Talk:Brexit Party

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Populism in lede[edit]

I've just added yet another citation calling the Brexit Party "populist". That's seven citations calling them "populist". I don't see any secondary sources calling them anything else. Can't the lede be simplified to just call them a populist party? Bondegezou (talk) 15:33, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

I would advocate using the Five Star Movement (the party's partner in the European Parliament) wiki page as a guide to the structuring of this page. In the initial paragraph it does not use any label, and then it starts the second paragraph with "The M5S is variously considered as xxxxxx" with citations next to each. I prefer the phasing of "considered as" rather than labelling as factual, as political identity is always going to be subjective to some extent Jopal22 (talk) 15:52, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
The Five Star Movement article is pretty messy, I wouldn't jump to using that as a model. Thematically closer to this article would be the UK Independence Party article, or the (FA-rated) Referendum Party article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:06, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm not precious about the exact wording: second paragraph and "considered as" work fine. Bondegezou (talk) 16:10, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
We should always avoid using weasel words. If reliable sources are describing the party as "populist", so should we. They are, so we should. I won't rush to add these to the article because I think the current citations make it clear enough for me, but there are also descriptions of the party as populist in the Guardian] and [GQ]. I've looked for other descriptions of it, but nothing really comes close in RS usage. Ralbegen (talk) 16:12, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
Yeah sorry, just to clarify, I should have just said structure in having a first paragraph that leaves out political labels, and a second one that starts with "The Brexit Party is variously considered as xxxxxxx" as the first paragraph should be short and punchy and I think it is better to have a more descriptive narrative around ideology/labels. That was the only aspect of the 5 star page I meant to advocate to follow. I like the Referendum Party article but that was a unambiguously clear one issue party which made things simpler. Jopal22 (talk) 16:20, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
In terms of weasel words, I see your argument, but we also should take into account that populism is noted on wikipedia as Few politicians or political groups describe themselves as "populist" and the term is often applied to others pejoratively. Therefore we should take into account WP:LABEL and use in-text attribution. Jopal22 (talk) 16:30, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
I know I replied a few times, and am in danger of talking to myself. But I think this paper is good for citing discussions around populism and Brexit, which looks into Was the outcome of the United Kingdom’s ‘Brexit’ referendum to leave the European Union a visible and consequential manifestation of right-wing populism? Although it is about "Brexit" and not the "Brexit Party", the fact that the Brexit party is about a clearly populist cause (Brexit), I think it can be de facto used. So I'd suggest saying the Brexit Party has been described as populist by various publications....and then discussing populist characteristics they possess to back up the assertion. Jopal22 (talk) 17:02, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
WP:LABEL is for terms that are a lot more pointed than "populist", surely? Calling an organisation a cult is a value-laden label in a different way and on a different scale. I can't see the need to hedge against calling a populist party that's consistently described in reliable sources as a populist party, a populist party. Ralbegen (talk) 20:31, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
It is worth noting that the UKIP page only includes populism in the third paragraph and uses "characterised by political scientists as a right-wing populist party" and "use of populist rhetoric, including describing its supporters as the "People's Army"." This has come after a lot of historical discussions around populism on the talk page. I would suggest the wording at the second paragraph of the Brexit Party page should be:
Given the party's self defined raison d'être is that they represent the popular will of the people against the betrayal of the government and MPs to deliver brexit, it is usually referred to as populist by the media. (Citations to be added)Jopal22 (talk) 21:40, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
It's the lede: it doesn't need to go into detail of why they're called populist.
The rationale you give there, I don't see many citations saying that. Most citations just call them populist. Goodwin goes into more detail as to why, but doesn't say what you're saying... similar, but not the same. Bondegezou (talk) 22:31, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
Such labels are clearly subjective, and so we cannot assert them as fact when are are simply opinion. If some, even a majority, of commentators use that label we still need to be careful how we word it and how we correctly attribute and weight that opinion in the body and in the lead (it's not meant to be a "lede"). -- DeFacto (talk). 07:56, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Nearly all articles for political parties assert ideological positions in the opening paragraphs. We do that by summarising what reliable sources say. Reliable sources describe the Brexit Party as "populist". (Some say "right-wing populist".) This is not rocket science: reliable sources say X, so the Wikipedia article says X.
As far as I can see, everyone else in this latest discussion above supports saying "populist" somewhere in the lede, but there is some disagreement over how that should be phrased. The softest version of the text supported by the discussion above would be something like, "The party is considered as populist." in the second paragraph, along the lines initially suggested by Jopal22. That could vary: "characterised as", "referred to as" &c. being alternate wordings. Jopal22 has also suggested adding some explanatory text after that. The hardest version of the text, along the lines I think Ralbegen is suggesting, would be something like the opening sentence saying: "The Brexit Party is a populist, Eurosceptic political party". (We haven't discussed whether we should switch to "national populist" or "right-wing populist", as used by a subset of citations.)
Given that, I propose we restore the minimum, softest wording for now ("The party is considered as populist." in second para.), while discussion continues on whether to expand on that or to harden that phrasing. I favour myself having the opening sentence say: "The Brexit Party is a right-wing populist, Eurosceptic political party". Bondegezou (talk) 08:14, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Right now I think the best options are "The Brexit Party is a populist Eurosceptic political party" or "The Brexit Party is a right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom". (The second description is used in full in this [ Times comment piece, but its components are both used in multiple independent reliable sources with no frequent alternative that I've seen). Ralbegen (talk) 10:38, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Per WP:WIKIVOICE opinion cannot be stated as fact, even if it is the predominant opinion amongst political journalists, and should be attributed to its sources. For those reasons I favour the lead summary being something like: "The party is considered as populist by some political commentators." We certainly cannot assert that "The Brexit Party is a populist Eurosceptic political party", or anything else based on opinions only. -- DeFacto (talk). 14:10, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Saying "The Brexit Party is an evil Eurosceptic political party" (to use the example in WP:WIKIVOICE) or "The Brexit Party is the best Eurosceptic political party" (to use the example in WP:SUBSTANTIATE) would be putting an opinion in Wikipedia's voice. The comparison doesn't really stand up, in my view. It's populist in the same way that it's Eurosceptic, which is different both to the way in which it's logo is blue or whether it's good. Ralbegen (talk) 14:20, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

Let me set out my position in a more structured way

a) As per Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a newspaper, we should be aware that newspapers write information that may be subjective in nature, and wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, written from a neutral point of view and based on reliable sources and objectivity. So for instance, after today's FA Cup Final there could conceivably be headlines that say "Lucky Watford beat favourites Manchester City". I would back the term favourites being used in an opening of an article as it could be objective (betting odds etc). Saying that a team is lucky is subjective, and it doesn't matter how many sources there are to back this up, we should not say they are lucky in wikipedia without explanation and context. This to me is similar to the distinction between populism and eurosceptic (i.e. subjective v objective)...hence my issue is not with the amount of newspaper sources stating populism.

b) Therefore I have to back up that "populism" is subjective. In wikipedia's own article on populism it says within political science and other social sciences, various different definitions of populism have been used; some scholars propose rejecting the term altogether. There is no single definition of the term, which developed in the 19th century and has been used to mean various things since that time. Few politicians or political groups describe themselves as "populist" and the term is often applied to others pejoratively. Therefore it is saying populism is not a clearly defined term which some scholars reject should be used, and is often pejorative. How can it be objective to refer to something as populist, when the definition is not clearly defined?

c) This is why for populism I favour the phasing of "the media often refer to them as populist for reasons x,y,z etc". I would also say a lot of readers of Wikipedia won't intuitively know what populism means, whereas eurosceptic is self explanatory, hence it makes sense to add context.

d) My approach would be similar to other articles on parties referred to as populist, e.g. UKIP, Five Star Movement, British National Party etc. None of which use populist in the opening lines. I also refer to the Donald Trump article which doesn't say "his political positions is populist, protectionist, and nationalist", it uses the phasing "commentators described his political positions as populist, protectionist, and nationalist." Also note that if you put in the word "populist" to define the party in a factual way without any context or phasing it to be clear the it is a subjective judgment of commentators, then this article will continually be changed by editors who disagree and it will continually be reopened and discussed on the talk page, as you can see happened on the UKIP page Jopal22 (talk) 14:57, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

If the balance of references change we can look at it again - Boradsheet newspapers are a reliable source in wikipedia and there is no reason for qualification -----Snowded TALK 16:24, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
A lot of time and energy is being wasted on trying to agree on what labels to apply when we could use sources to describe the BP instead. The problem in particular with the label 'populist', as Jopal22 points out, is that it has become almost meaningless except for adding a whiff of disreputableness. Without attribution and explanation, using a meaningless/ambiguous label doesn't help the reader. This problem can be avoided by describing what it is that makes some sources say 'populist': so, describe, don't label. EddieHugh (talk) 20:13, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Journalists, commentators and political scientists use the term "populism" frequently with a clear and consistent sense of what it means, so the characterisation of the term by EddieHugh here seems a bit WP:IDONTLIKEIT to me. We have reliable secondary sources saying this, so we should say the same. Attribution -- eight citations now, I think -- is given in the main article and is not needed in the lead section. I am all for expanding the text under "Policies and Ideology" along the lines suggested, but the lead section is a summary and shouldn't go into such detail. Given the vast majority of lead sections for articles about political parties do label them, and given the infobox to this article has said "populism" for a while, I don't see the problem that EddieHugh is suggesting exists. Bondegezou (talk) 16:09, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
It's not (just) me pointing out the problem: read the first paragraph of Populism (or read Jopal22's point b, above, which quotes it). We don't describe Usain Bolt as "fast"; we use the numbers that describe how fast. We don't label Willis Tower as "high"; we tell readers how high. Why label as "populist", when we can say 'it presents itself as anti-establishment', 'it targets voters who are dissatisfied with MPs not delivering Brexit', 'its leader says voters have been betrayed by elite career politicians', etc (all of which are clear to the reader)? And if we have to put simplistic/unclear labels in the infobox, then do that too. EddieHugh (talk) 19:55, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
The first paragraph of Populism does note that there are issues with the term, but there are then another 96 paragraphs discussing it with references to reliable sources. So, sure, we use the term with care, but we don't have to avoid it. What we do have to do, as basic Wikipedia policy, is follow what reliable sources say. Reliable sources say the Brexit Party are populist, so the Wikipedia article should say that. And then, in the body of the article, we can expand on why that is and all the description you suggest. Bondegezou (talk) 16:16, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
Jopal22, you mention three articles on other political parties: UKIP, Five Star Movement, and the British National Party. The UKIP article's opening sentence says it is a "hard Eurosceptic, right-wing to far-right political party": I would be happy for this article to say in its opening sentence that the Brexit Party is a "hard Eurosceptic, right-wing political party". Would you support that?
There appears to be less RS describing the Five Star Movement as "populist"...? They are a somewhat different case. The article for the BNP has an opening sentence saying there are "a far-right, fascist political party": that seems how best to describe them, as that is how RS usually refer to them, rather than as populist. Meanwhile, I would note that the National Rally (France) article does use "populist" in the opening sentence ("a right-wing populist[26] and nationalist[27] political party"). You get much the same for the Party for Freedom or Pauline Hanson's One Nation. So, some Wikipedia articles are happy with using "populist" in the opening sentence. Bondegezou (talk) 16:20, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree that the label 'populist' has no clear meaning - and as it tends to be used as a pejorative, has no place here. -- DeFacto (talk). 16:25, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Respectfully, it doesn't matter what you think about the term. Your dismissal of the term is WP:OR. We follow RS. RS use the term: journalists, commentators and political scientists use it. Matthew Goodwin has a whole book on the subject. If political scientists through to analysts and journalists all think the term has a clear meaning, then Wikipedia thinks it has a clear meaning. Bondegezou (talk) 09:09, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

Farage & Banks money[edit]

I had added the following text:

It was reported during the European Parliament elections that Farage had received nearly £450,000 from Banks since the Brexit referendum, which he had not declared on the European Parliament's register of interests. Farage has not commented on the amount claimed, but has said any support was "purely on a personal basis". European Parliamentary authorities are investigating.[1]

It was removed on the grounds that it's about Farage, and the money does pre-date the Brexit Party, so it should be on the Farage page. I have now added the text there. However, the matter has arisen now because of the rise of the Brexit Party and is being discussed in the context of the Brexit Party and its funding, so I suggest something could be said here too. Is there any support or opposition to that? Bondegezou (talk) 16:02, 19 May 2019 (UTC)


From glancing over the coverage of the Farage-Banks story, it seems to me that the Brexit Party is mentioned only to give context to the Farage element rather than vice versa. At the moment, I'd say that it deserves coverage in Farage's article but not here. Ralbegen (talk) 16:39, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
I'd agree that although it might be appropriate on Farage's page, it's probably out-of-scope here. -- DeFacto (talk). 16:49, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
This money/set of benefits seemingly was given before the Brexit Party existed, and wasn't given to any party, so we'd need very good sources that explicitly link it to the BP for it to be included here. User:Snowded, I see that you've put it back in; could you self-revert until a consensus is reached (per WP:ONUS) – I'd prefer not to revert again. EddieHugh (talk) 21:52, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
It is clearly linked and the Marr Show and the Channel 4 challenge in Merthyr were part of the current campaign. They myth of small donations that Farage is trying to push has already been shattered by investigative journalism. Given that Farage set up the Party (to use his words) as a start up company in which he makes all the decisions all and anything relating to his political actions is relevant. I amended the text to make reference to its use in the current campaign -----Snowded TALK 21:56, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
I have removed this. The line European Parliamentary authorities are investigating is factually wrong. The quaestor, who is also a Liberal Democrat MEP, has written a letter asking for an investigation, but as yet there is not one, and Farage is not currently under investigation. Also, I agree this should only appear on Farage's page (with factually correct info), as everything is personal to Farage.Jopal22 (talk) 22:21, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
We now have this report in the Guardian - a reliable source - which brings the issue front and centre to the current campaign - and the Party only currently exists for this campaign. You can't distinguish the Brexit Party from Farage as he has set it up as a private company which he controls. -----Snowded TALK 06:49, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
While I concur that we should recognise the strong link between Farage and the Brexit Party, other editors have persuaded me that this text is better in the Nigel Farage article than here. That said, perhaps a brief summary of other funding rows could be composed for here? Bondegezou (talk) 08:14, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
No question that it should be on the Farage page, but its nature is material to an understanding of the Brexit Party. The lack of transparency is an issue and reported as such and the hisorical context - involvement of former advisers from the referendum not denied bu Farage, comments like 'we don't check the currency of donations' etc. are all a part and parcel of this. I didn't add a sentence to the text I largely restored this morning but I thought about refering the EU potential investigation and I still think wording is needed for that -----Snowded TALK 08:18, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── There has been some back and forth over versions of some text I added about Gordon Brown's call for an investigation. The intervention has been covered extensively ([1], [2], [3], [4], [5]). I'm open to alternative summaries of the coverage, but this is something that secondary source coverage establishes due weight for. Chris Bryant's quote in the Lancashire Telegraph puts it the most clearly that I've seen: a lack of oversight means that overseas donors could be able to make multiple payments of less that £500 to end up with an illegal donation over the limit, and Bryant and Brown think that the Electoral Commission should investigate. Ralbegen (talk) 11:09, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

And I can't think why there is any legitimate reason to exclude the material. I tried a couple of variations but they just got reverted which makes the section a POV violation -----Snowded TALK 11:12, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

This is how I'd word it:

Farage has stated the party will largely be funded by small donations and that they have raised "£750,000 in donations online, all in small sums of less than £500" in their first ten days. The party also accepts large donations, such as £200,000 donated by Jeremy Hosking, a former donor to the Conservatives. The party will not be taking money from key UKIP funder Arron Banks, but Farage has personally faced questions during the electoral campaign regarding undeclared travel and accommodation benefits provided by Banks before he joined the Brexit Party.

I removed the original text as it was factually wrong, in that the he has not "received nearly £450,000 from Banks" (this makes it sound like a bung rather than allowing him to use accomodation etc), and Farage is currently not under any official investigation. This needs to be corrected on the Farage page. On this page there should just be a short description of the issue, with only touching on how it effects the Brexit Party, whilst linking to a more complete explanation in the Farage page. Jopal22 (talk) 14:52, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

That seems reasonable to me. --RaviC (talk) 15:28, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
I like Jopal22's wording too. Bondegezou (talk) 16:18, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
OK, I've added something close to Jopal22's wording to see if that will fly. Bondegezou (talk) 16:25, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm Ok with that wording. Now the Commission have confirmed a 'visit' this may change but its OK for now-----Snowded TALK 22:40, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
I suggest removing the NPOV tag once we've given 24 hours for anyone to challenge that we shouldn't Jopal22 (talk) 23:05, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

New lede[edit]

In reply to Bondegezou. I agree, looking at various articles the consistency is a bit of a mess. I was trying to find some guidance in wikipedia help as to general rules around this but there doesn't seem to be any. Possibly because most users are in the US where they only have 2 parties. Anyway, to throw a couple of more in the mix, the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy is termed hard eurosceptic, the SDP (which has the same policy as BP) is termed eurosceptic, and the featured article Referendum Party has eurosceptic. I still have the same opinion around "hard Eurosceptic", I think eurosceptic is clear enough (we never for instance use the term soft Eurosceptic), and using the term "hard" does nothing but imply the party is "extreme" which is verging to much into opinion for me.

As for right-wing political party. I can't really find consistent reliable sources that describe it as that, with articles often describing them as trying to transcend the left right divide I agree that a lot of their most prominent candidates are ex tory's e.g. Farage, Widdecombe, Rees Moog, but they also have candidate like Claire Fox standing who is as left wing as they come, and people like George Galloway voting for them. Plus they only currently have one policy, which has neither left or right wing implications.

Looking into this, I think I can improve the article quite a bit. Especially the article needs to talk about Five Star, and Farage's plan to build a party based upon their model. I have put together what I think I think the lede paragraphs should be. Let me know your thoughts. I have references but will add them later if agreed.

The Brexit Party is a newly formed Eurosceptic political party in the United Kingdom. It currently campaigns for the single-issue “that the United Kingdom shall cease to be a member of the European Union and shall not thereafter make any treaty or join any international organisation which involves in any way the surrender of any part of the United Kingdom’s sovereignty”. The party advocates trading with the EU on standard World Trade Organization terms until a new trade deal can be agreed. It is planning to unveil additional policies after the 2019 European Parliament elections.
The party was formed in January 2019, and has been led by former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, since March of the same year. The party currently has fourteen Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), and four Welsh Assembly members, all of whom were elected as UKIP candidates. Most of the currently elected members, including Farage, cite UKIPs move to the "hard right" as the reason for leaving and forming a new party.
Farage has described his admiration for how fellow Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy members, Italy's Five Star Movement, have managed to grow from a protest group into the country's largest political party in both houses of the Italian Parliament. He has described the Brexit Party as doing the same kind of thing and "running a company, not a political party, hence our model of registered supporters" and building a base using an online platform. Like the M5S, the Brexit party is often described as populist, and trying to transcend the left-right political spectrum.
Currently the Brexit Party leads the polls going into the 2019 European Parliament elections with around 30% of the vote. Despite the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union falling under the legislative remit of MPs rather than MEPs, the party's electoral leaflets position the party as "fighting back" against the "betrayal" of the government and MPs to implement the outcome 2016 referendum, where the majority voted in favour of leaving the European Union. Talking about the direction of the party in the future Farage has framed the party as counter to the frustration "about the way the establishment has behaved".

Useful articles:

Jopal22 (talk) 21:38, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

The lead summarises the main text, so step 1 would be to add relevant sourced material to the body (WP:LEAD). And it's best to avoid relative time terms such as "currently"; they inevitably date and readers don't know when they were written: see MOS:RELTIME. EddieHugh (talk) 21:56, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Fair challenge. That's what I would normally do, I suppose because we have an election soon I was trying to take a shortcut, given people are likely to look at the page leading to this. Also given how new the party is, the page is likely to change a reasonable amount after the election. Jopal22 (talk) 22:43, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
I concur with EddieHugh's suggestions. There's material there, particularly on the M5S comparison, that can go into the body of the article right now. However, the M5S stuff hasn't received extensive coverage, so I wouldn't mention it in the lead section at all. I also support talking in the lead section about how the Brexit Party grew out of a schism in UKIP. Other parts of the text, e.g. on polling, are too focused on the current situation. I don't think the lead should draw so much on what Farage and the party say -- I'd not use all those quotations -- but we should instead focus on what reliable, secondary sources say. Those reliable secondary sources all say this is a populist party (some saying right-wing populist). So, instead of "Like the M5S, the Brexit party is often described as populist, and trying to transcend the left-right political spectrum." I'd just say, "The Brexit party is often described as populist." We don't need the M5S reference in the lead section, and there isn't much RS supporting the "transcend the left-right political spectrum" phrase. Bondegezou (talk) 08:58, 20 May 2019 (UTC)


I know I have just made a long post. But I have just found the party's constitution released by under the freedom of information request. At the moment it is very difficult to write about the Brexit Party because it has no policies bar one, but if you look at the constitution, it has a raft of information which can be used to improve this article.

On the back of this, it is clearly a right wing party based upon its stated policies to seek to diminish the role of the State; and lower the burden of taxation on individuals and businesses. We just need RS's to back this up so its not original research.

Jopal22 (talk) 21:38, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

I added a report about the constitution, so that's 1 RS.
I concur that this adds weight to a right-wing label. We already have other RS calling the party right-wing or right-wing populist. Some editors who were objecting to an ideological label argued we should say nothing in the absence of a manifesto or equivalent: well, we've now got something.
Snowded has just removed a summary of the constitution that I took from that piece, complaining it was incomplete. Snowded also removed a Farage quote about the party not being left or right-wing. Both seem well-sourced and relevant to me. I'd favour both being returned. Or Snowded is free to add their own summary of the constitution (based on reliable secondary sources). Bondegezou (talk) 08:12, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
The summary was very partial and its an FOI release not a full manifesto. So I think its safer to link and people can form their own conclusion. Farage says many things as do other politicians and we shouldn't allow their quotes to form the article. That is a political line that he wants to run and yes its referenced, but without a third party source which says its important we would not usually include such statements -----Snowded TALK 08:27, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
Snowded, the summary was taken from the Politico article. We are meant to draw on secondary sources. If you have another wording, or if anyone can see more secondary sources on this issue, then happy to consider other text. But it seems good to say something.
(I note other coverage of the constitution has focused more on the power it gives Farage, e.g. [6] and [7].)
While we should lead with secondary sources, some reporting of what Farage/the party say is appropriate. I entirely agree that we shouldn't have an article of quotations, but one sentence in a paragraph seems fine. Bondegezou (talk) 09:05, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Bondegezou that both the constitution summary and the Farage quote should be reinstated as there are information "straight from the horses mouth", so to speak. -- DeFacto (talk). 08:44, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
Politico is not the best of sources and has its own controversies. The source itself says that the best we can get are 'clues' as it is simoply a memoradum item. With that qualification I'd be happy with free individuals, families and businesses from excessive government interference.” in some form. But we don't just quote political leaders unless a secondary source says its significant -----Snowded TALK 09:59, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
Politico is considered generally reliable (at least for US politics). Its article's focus also seems to be Farage's power rather than the ideological principles of the constitution. I can see that there's a case to include some summary of it but I don't have a particularly strong view either way. Long quotes of its constitution should be avoided for such a small article without any particular weight established. I think it's right to be very wary of including quotes from Farage, particularly woolier ones about the party being "beyond left and right". You can look over the article as it stands now, and how much of it is just reporting things that Farage has said. There are ten times where Farage is attributed to a quote or paragraph in what's still a fairly short article. We have He also said that the party aimed to attract support "across the board", including from former UKIP voters and from Conservative and Labour voters who supported Brexit which is a paraphrase of something Farage has said. It's something that means something similar to his line about "transcending left and right" but is more substantial, so I think we can keep that but avoid adding "beyond left and right". Ralbegen (talk) 10:21, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

Lead section/infobox: discussion starting 21 May[edit]

There's been lots of discussion and editing. I think we're mostly caught up on everything. I made some relatively bold edits last night based on what I thought was emerging consensus from various discussions. I thought, however, it was useful to re-(re-re-re-)visit the lead section. Jopal22 had some very specific suggestions above: we've not used Jopal22's text in full, but elements of it have been added to the article.

I think there are unresolved points around populism remaining. The current text says, "The party is considered as populist by some political commentators." I would ask three questions:

1. Do we need "by some political commentators"? This is text insisted upon by DeFacto. Other editors do not see it as necessary. As far as I can see, there is near unanimity in reliable sources (the article cites 8 pieces from a range of different sources and we've discussed several more here). I can't see RS saying anything other than Eurosceptic or populist.

2. Do we swap from "considered as populist" to simply "is a populist party"? (We've effectively got a gradient in terms of how hedged the text is: "considered by some" -> "considered" -> "is a"). Other articles vary in their approach: Jopal22 and I have given examples either way for other parties. Again, I would argue that the weight of RS is clear here. Others are concerned about "populism" inherently as a term. But then we are meant to avoid WP:WEASEL.

3. Do we say "right-wing"? This might be in the position field of the infobox, or we could swap "populism" to "right-wing populism" in the infobox ideology field or in the lead section. We have some citations saying "right-wing populism" or "right-wing", as given in the "Policies and ideology" subsection, although more citations just say "populism". One prior concern was that there wasn't a manifesto or set of policies to be judged, but more reporting has yielded a constitution and related documents that are consistent with right-wing, as Jopal22 discussed earlier.

Thoughts? Bondegezou (talk) 11:04, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Populist - yes. Right-wing - wait until any concrete fiscal/social policy emerges, at which point there will be enough RS sources to justify any position. --RaviC (talk) 14:10, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
I know I might sounds like I am being trivial, but using the term populism unqualified I think gives two impressions, that the party is claiming to represent the "people against the establishment", and it is used pejoratively to criticize a politician for building popularity by exploiting people’s fear. Describing them as positioning themselves as people against the establishment is fine, but the pejorative implication should be discouraged in an encyclopedia (wikipedia is not a newspaper, which will often use a looser factual bar). I think I would only agree to the use of populist under 3 scenarios:
  • saying it "espouses a populist libertarian philosophy" (this could be in the first line). I think adding libertarian clarifies the "people v elite" philosophy whilst softening the pejorative implication. (This is what encyclopedia brittanica did for UKIP
  • Using phrases like "referred to by many in the media as"
  • Using the term only with context of explanation i.e. described as populist because it claims to champion "ordinary people" who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups
As for right wing. I think this is a grey area, as the party clearly has two stages. An early stage to be a one issue party (brexit, which is neither right or left), followed by a long term plan to move to a right wing party. I don't think we can use right wing yet. Right Wing populism implies populism that builds upon issues such as a hardline immigration policy, and the Brexit Party has explicitly avoided mentioning that word, so we can't go there. Thats the problem with a new party, you have to judge them on what they've said since they are formed, not what individual members might have said before
Another way of perhaps conveying the nature of the party, of you don't feel it is being truly represented, is to separate Nigel Farage from the first paragraph, and starting the the second paragraph with "The party is currently lead by Nigel Farage..........", and then find sources regarding Farage being key to the Brexit Party (e.g. there would be no party without Farage), and then discussing how he has a right wing philosophy etc (with references) Jopal22 (talk) 18:42, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
I'll put together some suggested text Jopal22 (talk) 19:01, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
I whole-heartedly support Jopal22's views on the use of 'populist' - we cannot use the Wikipedia voice to imply it is a factual and objective description. As it is subjective (i.e. an opinion) we need to be careful to correctly attribute the holders of that opinion. -- DeFacto (talk). 19:07, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
We shouldn't use weasel words. "Populist" is the only description we're consistently seeing. It's not equivalent to calling the party "terrorist" or "evil", which are value-laden and opinion respectively. It's a term used without qualification in Syriza. In Podemos it's used with more qualification. I find it hard to accept that it's a primarily pejorative term. Here it is being used in the Sun, which has endorsed the Brexit Party. Here is Rod Liddle talking about how he wants populist parties to do well. It's a term that's used in reliable sources that we should use here.
So to (1) I'd say, no. To (2) I'd say yes. To (3) I'd say we should still wait. The Sun, far left news sources, blogs and the Express seem to use the label most, which aren't reliable sources. Reliable sources will discuss this eventually. There is no deadline. So The Brexit Party is a populist party. Ralbegen (talk) 20:11, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
@Ralbegen: we avoid weasel words by providing clear attribution, which WP:WIKIVOICE also insists on when avoiding stating opinions as facts. -- DeFacto (talk). 20:56, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Hi @DeFacto:—I was making a general response to Bondegezou's question rather than to your post, sorry! I probably should have bulleted it rather than indented it. Regardless, you've made that point in this discussion and in another discussion above, and I've responded to it in both cases. I don't find any of the arguments against using the term "populist" without qualification to be particularly compelling, and I hope I've managed to explain my reasoning. Ralbegen (talk) 21:25, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Question for advocates of "The Brexit Party is populist" or similar wording: what does that sentence mean? EddieHugh (talk) 22:06, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Jopal22, DeFacto and EddieHugh: which should we listen to? Your opinions on populism or what reliable secondary sources say? As far as I can see, we follow WP:RS, not WP:OR. The suggestion that we should say "espouses a populist libertarian philosophy" is nonsense when not a single RS has said that. (An RS saying that about a different party does not help.) Wikipedia calls numerous other political parties "populist": it is clearly not something the broader editing community see as a problem. In answer to EddieHugh's question: I would suggest you read the 8 citations in the article, the half a dozen more that have been discussed here and Matthew Goodwin's new book on national populism.
Wikipedia follows what reliable sources say. What is factual and objective is determined by WP:V. Bondegezou (talk) 09:30, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
So what you are arguing for is, I want to add a description for the party, but I don't want there to be clarity about what is meant.
It is not our opinions on populism, it is what multiple reliable sources say about it i.e. poorly defined and often pejorative. Secondly I am not arguing against reliable sources, or that we shouldn't use the term. I am just arguing that we should be clear what we are implying when we use it. I don't see the problem with adding in a definition to add clarity (I'm happy to include the perjorative implication as part of defining it). A question to you is, if you were to write what you think needs to be said, but did not use the word populism, what would you say?
Also wikipedia doesn't blindly follow what reliable sources say e.g. subjective things like "national treasure", "beautiful" are added with context, or factually incorrect things are corrected e.g. they use the term Middle East when they mean Arabian Peninsula Jopal22 (talk) 10:59, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Thats a little unfair - all political terms have some fluidity about them but there is little question of BREXIT being a populist party per the sources its not marginal -----Snowded TALK 11:04, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

I asked my question above because that is what the reader will ask (we're writing for readers, not just ourselves). If the answer is 'read a dozen sources plus a book', then the reader will be clueless. Surely we don't want that: "we should be clear what we are implying when we use it", as Jopal22 says. It's a simple question, so if we can't answer it, we can't expect the reader to understand and... surely we don't want that. EddieHugh (talk) 11:18, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

If RS describe the party as "populist", then so should Wikipedia. That some Wikipedia editors don't know what populist means or dispute the designation is irrelevant. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 11:40, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

@EddieHugh and Jopal22: we link to the Wikipedia article on populism. The reader has there a good article explaining populism to them if they're not certain what it means. That's why we have internal links. As I've said, I am happy to see the main text expanded to discuss further why the Brexit Party are populist. Bondegezou (talk) 13:20, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
...And if they go there, they'll be told immediately that "various different definitions of populism have been used ... and the term is often applied to others pejoratively" (and that's what 'experts' say!), so will wonder what applies in this instance. And no one's attempted to answer my question yet (the incentive is: if it gets answered with sources, we can put that in the main text). EddieHugh (talk) 17:51, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
There are more good quality RS describing the Labour party as populist than the Brexit Party.. so why is there no mention of populism in the Labour Party infobox? It is because the word 'populist' is a loaded and ambiguous term that is currently being redefined. Here - the Guardian - the darling of left wing wikipedians.. describes why the word is constantly ambiguous and confusing. To quote directly from the Guardian article from this year:
'When populism appears in the media, which it does more and more often now, it is typically presented without explanation, as if everyone can already define it. And everyone can, sort of – at least as long as they’re allowed to simply cite the very developments that populism is supposed to explain: Brexit, Trump, Viktor Orbán’s takeover of Hungary, the rise of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. The word evokes the long-simmering resentments of the everyman, brought to a boil by charismatic politicians hawking impossible promises. Often as not, populism sounds like something from a horror film: an alien bacteria that has somehow slipped through democracy’s defences – aided, perhaps, by Steve Bannon or some other wily agent of mass manipulation – and is now poisoning political life, creating new ranks of populist voters among “us”. (Tellingly, most writing about populism presumes an audience unsympathetic to populism.' [1]


So the word is not stable and not reliable it seems. Reaper7 (talk) 12:06, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Source is an opinion piece written by a freelance writer and your quote is pretty partial even then. -----Snowded TALK 12:30, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
As previously, Reaper7, if you want to discuss the Labour Party article, go to the Talk page of the Labour Party article. Bondegezou (talk) 13:15, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Just noting this source which discusses the party's populism in depth and could be a very strong source to use in the article. Also on the basis of this source, I'd now be more happy for the term right-wing to appear in the lead and infobox. Ralbegen (talk) 20:05, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
@Snooganssnoogans: using 'populist' as an adjective is similar in principle to using 'brilliant', 'bigoted' or whatever - and WP:PEACOCK and WP:LABEL warn against such usage, even if it is used that way in reliable sources. WP:NPOV seems clear on this too: Strive to eliminate expressions that are flattering, disparaging, vague, or clichéd, or that endorse a particular point of view (unless those expressions are part of a quote from a noteworthy source). -- DeFacto (talk). 20:36, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
The term "populism" is used frequently on Wikipedia and stated in Wiki voice. The term is not a value-laden pejorative, but a descriptive academic term. Also, I asked for input on the NPOV noticeboard.[8] Snooganssnoogans (talk) 21:43, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

Why is someone adding text to the lede saying the party "fields candidates from both sides of the political spectrum who support Brexit". This is entirely unsourced and not covered at all in the body. As far as I can tell, it's just one editor's original research. From what I can tell, RS clearly describe the party as "populist" and perhaps "right-wing" as well. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 20:31, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

I refer you to later in the page which says The party is standing candidates in Great Britain at the 2019 European elections, with candidates including the former Conservative Minister of State Ann Widdecombe,[41] the journalist Annunziata Rees-Mogg (a former Conservative general election candidate and the sister of the Conservative MP and Brexit advocate Jacob Rees-Mogg), the Leave Means Leave co-founder Richard Tice,[1] the writers Claire Fox and James Heartfield (both once part of the Revolutionary Communist Party and later writers for Spiked)
Also Jopal22 (talk) 20:47, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Hi Snowded, think you are wrong to say unsupported, but it is probably correct to say it is slightly misrepresentative. I wanted to put something to show about the political leanings of the party members but I made it sound 50/50 right/left. Hope the adjusted text is better? Jopal22 (talk) 20:47, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Not really - if we are going to start this commentary then we can add comments about some of their candidate's dubious origins and it all gets out of hand. I don't see that this adds value to the article - but it is the line Farage is pushing so we need to be very careful before we endorse that -----Snowded TALK 21:35, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Okay, well I was just trying to add something about the political wing of the party as there was some desire to do that from previous comments. You cannot apply right wing to the party when it has zero right wing policies. You can reference that the candidates are right wing, but it would be unfair to imply they all are, hence the wording I put. I don't care whether it's the line Farage is pushing or not, I'm not trying to support or attack Farage! Jopal22 (talk) 21:47, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
The fact that people from the far-left fringe are in this party strengthens the argument that the party is populist, it doesn't undercut it. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 21:43, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Populist is mentioned in line 1 and the infobox Jopal22 (talk) 21:47, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
The point is that its not a party that represents left and right over the whole spectrum but the extremes and in any event we can't say that without a proper source and some discussion on weight. -----Snowded TALK 06:01, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

We go with what RS say, now I am pretty sure that most (if not all) RS call them populist, and unless there are any RS that explicitly challenge this assertion we can say they are. As to right wing, I am less sure about that, and would leave it out for now.Slatersteven (talk) 09:00, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Jopal22, earlier you said, "On the back of this, it is clearly a right wing party based upon its stated policies", but now you say, "You cannot apply right wing to the party when it has zero right wing policies." Did something change your mind?
Others: yes, sometimes "populist" is used pejoratively, but then "liberal", "socialist" and "conservative" are also sometimes used pejoratively. We still use them on Wikipedia. Bondegezou (talk) 09:21, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
To me the party clearly has a right wing core agenda, and is packed with right wing individuals but it currently operates with a generally neutral approach to right/left wing issues. I think this has to be potrayed but I think have to be careful with wording. I would be happy to use the term right wing (in some places e.g. infobox, relatively unqualified) if RS (especially in the British media) consistently used this label (which I don't think they do currently). What I was trying to do before in the lede, was not explicitly label them right wing, but say Nigel Farage basically is in full control of the party->he is right wing->most of the candidates are right wing->but be honest that they have a few left wing candidates. Unfortuntely I don't think i worded it well and it came across as advertsing Farage and making it seem like the party is an all inclusive cuddly party. I would favour some sort of wording that says they currently operate on a neutral platform...but talk about the right wing members and constitution. I'd also be happy to mention Classic Liberal (as they describe themselves) and talk about that is a PR word (don't word it like that in the page) for conservative. I do find it funny they describe themselves as liberal and democratic, perhaps they should merge with the Lib Dems! Jopal22 (talk) 12:10, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Brexit Party's status with regards to Northern Ireland[edit]

I would recommend that "The party is not standing a candidate in Northern Ireland" is best amended to "The party is not registered in Northern Ireland and is not fielding candidates there", to better reflect their party political status in Northern Ireland. [9] -- (talk) 06:57, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Seems reasonable. Done Jopal22 (talk) 09:06, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Polling day. Vote now![edit]

Lots of discussion around terminology use to describe the party. I'm hoping we can close the debate by getting a straw poll of where people stand. So vote now! (add your signature in a free box next to your voting option). Feel free to add short comments below the voting box.

Question 1

The current text around "populism" is Generally described as populist, it draws its support from those who are frustrated with the current implementation of the 2016 referendum and wish to leave the EU without remaining part of the single market or customs union.

Do you agree with this phrasing?

Yes Jopal22
No - it should be made more factual
(i.e remove terms like "Generally")
Bondegezou Ralbegen
No - the term "populist" should be softened or even removed Reaper7
Other - please comment below
  • Thanks, Jopal22, for organising this, although I note, of course, WP:!VOTE. Positions should be back by reasoning, preferably with respect to guidelines and reliable sources. While I've voted for "more factual", I am fine with the current phrasing too. Bondegezou (talk) 11:13, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Agreed, but I felt the previous discussions covered the range of opinions and I didn't want to rehash it here (plus it is hard sometimes to add guidelines without seeming like you are adding bias or trying to steer someone in one direction). Any one coming in blind, please read the previous discussion on this talk page Jopal22 (talk) 11:54, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Question 2

Should "Euroscpetic" appear in the infobox under ideology?

Yes Jopal22 Reaper7
No - it should upgraded to "Hard Euroscpetic" Bondegezou Ralbegen
Other - please comment below

Question 3

Should "Populist" appear in the infobox under ideology?

Yes Jopal22
No - it should be "Right Wing Populist" Bondegezou Ralbegen
No Reaper7
Other - please comment below
  • Specifically "Right-wing populism", but that's a matter of style. I think "National populism" could potentially work too if it's used more widely that just Goodwin. Ralbegen (talk) 12:01, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Just going to give my 2 cents on this. My understanding of the terms is that a party can be right wing and populist (e.g. low tax, small state but also populist), without being right wing populist (which means they are using traditional right wing issues e.g. immmigration/tough on crime etc to fuel their populist cause). Jopal22 (talk) 12:34, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Question 4

Should "Classic Liberal" appear in the infobox under ideology (as the party describes itself in it's constitution)?

Yes Jopal22 Reaper7
No Bondegezou Ralbegen
  • I note the almost complete lack of reliable source coverage of this. Bondegezou (talk) 11:13, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Question 5

Should "Single Issue" appear in the infobox?

No Jopal22 Bondegezou Ralbegen Reaper7

Question 6

How should be "Political Postion" infobox category be populated

Left Blank Jopal22 Bondegezou Reaper7
Some variation of Right Wing Ralbegen
Big Tent
Other - please comment
  • Specifically, "right-wing", off the strength of sources mentioned in the article already about right-wing populism or national populism, but also this Al Jazeera piece. Ralbegen (talk) 12:01, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Jopal22 (talk) 10:47, 23 May 2019 (UTC)