Understanding Paranoid Populism: how to misuse a theory and misunderstand history

At the weekend a very strange article appeared in The Mail on Sunday from one of the UK’s rising stars of political science, Professor Matthew Goodwin of the University of Kent.

One of his central claims – that 57% now backed Brexit – was shot down in flames and removed. Prof. Goodwin, somewhat unconvincingly, claimed it had been inserted by a sub-editor at the Mail. But by then leading Brexiteers like Steven Baker MP were already citing it as a “fact”.

But I want to focus on the opening of his article because it exposes a deeply worrying tendency to distort facts to suit an argument.

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