Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Support for the British National Party is higher in London than in any other part of Britain

Arun Kundnani:

New research has found that support for the British National Party is higher in London than any other part of the UK, with 23 per cent of Londoners saying they would consider voting for the far-Right party.

Speaking at the launch of The Far Right in London: a challenge for local democracy?, Professor Helen Margetts of Oxford University, a member of the team that carried out the research for the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, said: 'The far Right has entered the mainstream of London politics.'

In mayoral, assembly and European elections in London, the British National Party (BNP) and the UK Independence Party (UKIP) vote doubled between 2000 and 2004 and, in 2004, the BNP narrowly missed gaining a seat in the London Assembly, losing by only a handful of votes. In the same year, 45 per cent of Londoners said in a survey that they would consider voting for either the BNP or UKIP.

Another of the researchers, Professor Peter John of Manchester University, pointed out at the launch that, in London, unlike other parts of the UK, the wards where the BNP did well were also the wards where UKIP did well, suggesting that both parties were appealing to the same mindset. 'With the decline of UKIP', he asked, 'will these votes now switch to the BNP?' One in five UKIP voters put the BNP as their second choice in the London mayoral elections in 2004.

The BNP, which currently has twenty-one councillors in England, is planning to stand six hundred candidates in local elections in May 2006. Forty seats, all of which are vulnerable to a swing of less than 5 per cent, are to be specifically targeted. Barking, Dagenham and Epping are to be the key target areas in London. In the May 2005 general election, the BNP gained 16.9 per cent of the vote in the Barking constituency and 9.3 per cent in Dagenham.

The centrepiece of the BNP campaign in 2006 is likely to be the London bombings. The party has already claimed that they would not have happened if its warnings on immigration had been heeded. A BNP leaflet entitled 'If only they had listened to the BNP' was put out soon after the London bombings as part of a local election campaign in the Goresbrook ward of Barking and Dagenham.

Election changes 'will boost BNP'


At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"voting for the far-Right party"

Well, if people were to vote for a "far-Right party", I don't see how, just considering the voting, this could really be called "a challenge for local democracy". Right? After all, there was voting.


Anyway, London is quite a "cosmopolitan" city at this point -- meaning there are so many immigrants (i.e. non-whites) that in a way parts of it do not really look English anymore (going by the demographics). It's reasonable to wonder if this had anything to do with the result of the "research"; in fact, according to this story, whites are leaving London (and other cities) in numbers large enough to be worth writing about.

At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whites are leaving London (and other cities) in numbers large enough to be worth writing about

They are probably leaving in even greater numbers since the July bombings.


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