Sunday, May 08, 2005

BNP - Now In Fourth Place

With all the MSM whining about Blair's victory and all the blogger hand-wringing over 'Jihad' George Galloway, most people seem to have missed the real story of last week's elections in Britain. The British National Party (BNP) is now the fourth largest party in the UK, even larger than the Greens . Check out the BNP results here. Notice that the BNP is up in nearly every district compared to 2001: 16.9% in Barking; 13.1% in Dewsbury; 9.7% in Dudley North where their raw vote count more than doubled over '01. And this is during good economic times in a country free of jihad attacks.

I have been warning of a rise on neo-nationalism as a way of defining the identity of native Europeans facing immigration and Islamism. No one listens. Bitching about Blair is so much more important.

Update: the "4th largest party" claim is from the BNP's site here. I don't know how they are measuring this but I assume it is based on more than just seats in parliment. For example here is the BNP showing in County Council elections. (They were 3rd in Padiham and Burnley West, only 30 votes behind the Liberal-Democrats.) They also contested mayoral elections but I can't find any results. A commenter left this link to the BBC parlimentary totals.

Update 2: Some commenters have dismissed the BNP since they didn't win any seats. I think that is short-sighted. They won more votes than 6 parties that did win seats. They won 3 times as many votes as Respect. Parties do not have to win seats to have an effect on the political system. I do not think that the BNP is ever going to more than a marginal party. But the 192000 people who voted for them did so for a reason. Why? Should the media and other responsible parties be paying some attention to this. Remember those 192000 votes were only in 119 race (the BNP did not contest every race). Do not dismiss the voters as cranks or lunatics. They have concerns and grievances that someone besides the BNP should be addressing.

Another commenter mentioned that the economy is not uniformly good. True enough. But during bad times at a macro level those areas that are not doing well now will be even worse. How will those people vote during a recession? Can you blame the BNP showing on economic factors? If so then how well will they do during a downturn?

Again, I am not really concerned with the BNP. Their legacy taints their brand. But another party without their historic baggage could tap into the same issues and emotions if these are not addressed in a responsible way. Ignoring, mocking and dismissing the people who voted for the BNP is a mistake.
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