The British National Party put forward around 450 candidates in the county council and unitary authority elections but came away with just three seats. One was in Burnley, Lancashire, where the BNP has had borough councillors ever since 2002. Another was in North West Leicestershire, where the BNP has had two district councillors since 2007.
In both Burnley and NW Leicestershire the newly elected councillors were already BNP borough/district councillors, and in particular they were among the handful of BNP councillors who actively carry out their role and are known in their communities.
The third BNP win was in South Oxhey, a far-right stronghold for very many years.
In most counties the BNP polled abysmally, coming bottom or next to bottom of the list of candidates. There were moderately good percentages for the BNP in pockets of the East Midlands, but poor results pretty much across the board in Yorkshire and The Humber, the South West and the South East. In Essex, the only county where the BNP contested every division, it topped 20% only in one Basildon and one Epping Forest division.
One must, however, remember in comparing these results with previous years that many areas that have in the past returned a strong BNP vote, such as Stoke-on-Trent and Bradford, did not have local elections this year.
Most of the divisions were electing one councillor. In those where two, three or even four were elected, and voters had as many votes as the seats to be filled, we have calculated percentages based on a total consisting of the sum of the highest vote received by each party plus all independent votes. This makes the percentages more comparable with those achieved in single-member divisions.
The British National Party presented a full slate of 69 European election candidates in the 11 mainland Britain regions. There were none in Northern Ireland. Its main target regions were the North West, where the lead candidate was Nick Griffin, the party leader, and the West Midlands, where Simon Darby, the deputy leader, headed the list.
Secondary BNP target regions were Yorkshire and The Humber (Andrew Brons), the East of England (Eddy Butler) and the East Midlands (“Reverend” Robert West).
The election uses the d’Hondt system of proportional representation, under which each voter casts one vote for a party list or independent individual. The percentage vote the BNP needs to get elected varies from region to region, depending on the number of MEP seats available. It cannot be determined precisely because it depends on how the other parties poll in comparison, but in the North West, Griffin could get elected if the BNP takes 8.5% of the regional vote.
This has been the BNP’s biggest election effort ever. The party has poured money into the campaign, sensing a chance of victory in the European election and all the funding that would bring. Against the fascist party was the biggest and most professional HOPE not hate campaign we have ever staged. Throughout the campaign we have worked with the media to inform the public about the real face behind the BNP’s lies and racism. We have worked with Blue State Digital to reach hundreds of thousands of people in the biggest online political campaign in British history. And above all, thousands of people, many who have never campaigned politically before, have distributed newspapers and leaflets, held events, told their friends and got involved. There has been a huge determination to hold the BNP back and celebrate our Britain, our diverse and free Britain. In the wait between polling day and the announcement of the European election results, we hope we have succeeded in keeping the BNP out of Europe and the respectability and funding European seats would bring it.
HOPE not hate