|Abstract: ||Followers of European politics will surely have noticed a trend in recent years—the success of far-right or nationalist political parties. For example, in France, the Front National (FN), a party once relegated to the margins of French politics, sent a shockwave throughout the country with a record performance in the 2012 French president elections and won a stunning 25 percent of the popular vote en route to a monumental victory in the 2014 European Parliamentary elections. A similar phenomenon was also seen across the English Channel in the United Kingdom, where the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a party founded on anti-European Union principles, would see similar results by capturing 27.5 percent of the vote and over a third of the seats en route their own victory in 2014.
Although both parties have seen unprecedented success at both the national and European level, a review of the historical trajectory of both of these parties demonstrates significant deviation and uneven development despite their similarities. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the commonalities and differences between the emergences of these two parties. More specifically, I focus on three major points: first, examining the ideological agendas of the two parties, second, explaining as why to the Front National emerged before UKIP or any far-right comparable in the United Kingdom and third, determining as to why UKIP has seen consistent growth since establishment compared to the FN’s volatility. In addition, I will also address the extent to which both parties have been able to influence their country’s political agendas beyond their results at the ballot box.|