Social movement scholars have recently turned their attention to the interactions between political parties and social movements, but little is known about how social media have impacted these relationships, despite widespread adoption of these technologies. We present a case study of the relationship between Britain First, a far-right anti-Muslim social movement, and the U.K. Independence Party, the Eurosceptic political party that spearheaded the Brexit campaign. The movement appeared marginal in the press but it dominated social media, using this presence to support to the party. We examine the dynamics of the relationship between these groups from 2013 until 2017, drawing upon data from social media, newspapers, and other online sources, and focusing on interactions between elites and rank-and-file supporters. Our findings illustrate how far-right groups have used new technologies to generate an unprecedented amount of popular support and to attempt to influence the political mainstream.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science