Ah. Well… I really should try and finish what I started more often, so here are some final thoughts, largely others’, on the BNP’s recent efforts at getting itself elected.
On the whole, the Party’s exertions have been viewed as being rather less successful than was predicted by many, especially its supporters (“yes, don’t worry; it wasn’t just you, it had me going too!” quipped Nick Gri££in). In fact, in ‘What next, the British ask‘, Peter Wilson (The Australian, May 10, 2010) gloats:
…And the best news of all? The British National Party got thrashed. The racist party that grew out of the skinhead [sic] National Front had made progress in recent council and European parliament polls and described this as its “breakthrough election”.
The party’s leader, Nick Griffin, was elected as a European MP last year and ran for the House of Commons last week in the working-class London suburb of Barking, where the BNP already holds 12 council seats and was hoping to wrest control of the council’s £300 million ($500m) budget.
Striving to identify himself with the British military, Griffin, who has never served in the military, was accompanied on campaign appearances by a man in army uniform and made a television broadcast sitting in front of a row of military medals and a photo of Winston Churchill.
The man in uniform was a schoolteacher dressed as a soldier, the medals were borrowed and Churchill actually fought against the Nazis, but Labour feared the campaign could still strike a chord with voters upset about the level of immigration in the past decade.
When Brown was caught by a live microphone calling a Labour supporter in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, “a bigoted woman” after she had expressed concern about immigration, the BNP grabbed its chance, rushing out ads saying this proved anyone asking legitimate questions about immigration was unfairly labelled racist. But the Bigotgate affair had surprisingly little effect at the ballot box. Labour took the seat of Rochdale from the Lib Dems.
And in Barking, Griffin limped into third place with 14.6 per cent of the vote and then all 12 of the BNP’s councillors lost their seats.
Accordingly, political salvation apparently now lies in the replacement of the first-past-the-post system with some form of proportional representation, one which could guarantee the Party’s hundreds of thousands of votes translates into a voice for its leaders in Parliament. (See : Have advocates of electoral reform noticed the rising BNP vote?, Jim Pickard, Financial Times, May 9, 2010.) Or at least, such is the possibility being dangled in front of the Party and its supporters by Gri££in, in an obvious attempt to prevent the Party’s failure from bleeding its coffers dry…
In 2005, the BNP stood 117 candidates in the British general election. In total, they received 192,746 votes: 0.7% of the total, and an average of 1,647 votes per candidate. In 2010, the BNP stood 339 candidates. In total, they received 563,743 votes: 1.9% of the total, or an average of 1,663 votes. Thus, while the total number of votes received by the BNP almost tripled, the average vote received by each candidate increased by only a tiny margin.
Beyond this, in local council elections, the BNP lost over half its councillors (being reduced in number from 45 to 19), and was completely wiped out in its former stronghold of Barking & Dagenham. Notably, Gri££in apparently claimed at one point that, having elbowed aside Richard Barnbrook, having the Party Führer standing for the seat was a tactical innovation, one designed to assist the Party in its attempts not only to have its councillors re-elected, but to actually assume control of the council. (Full results for the BNP are available on the HOPE note hate site.) If correct, then the tactic was a total failure. Of course, on the bright side, the people of North West England and Yorkshire and the Humber continue to enjoy being represented in Europe by the racist Welsh upper-class twit and his sidekick, the (former) neo-Nazi Andrew Brons, respectively… LOL.
See also : National Front : 2010 British election results (May 7, 2010) | A bad, bad day for the BNP – how sad, how very, very sad, ‘Antifascist’, Lancaster Unity, May 9, 2010.