The BNP's candidate in the Glasgow North East by-election, Charlie Baillie, was facing derision last night, after it emerged he had predicted the party's "best-ever result" an hour before he lost his deposit.
Mr Baillie, an electrical contractor from the south side of the city, told reporters just before 1am yesterday that the far-right party was about to make history. I am predicting that this evening we will produce the best result ever for the BNP in Scotland," he said. "I confidently predict we shall easily save our deposit and possibly more. Tonight will be the best result ever for the BNP in Scotland."
But at 2am, when the result was announced, Baillie's party was declared to have been beaten into fourth place by the Conservatives, securing only 4.92 per cent of the vote. Parties need 5 per cent to keep their deposits.
The BNP has failed to keep its deposit in any election in Scotland. Its tally of 1,013 votes was only 93 more than it won in the 2005 general election, despite the huge publicity generated for the party by the appearance on the BBC's Question Time programme of the party chairman, Nick Griffin.
The candidates of all the other parties staged a silent protest when Mr Baillie made his post-result speech on Thursday night, all walking off the stage as he began to speak. This meant that neither the Conservative nor Liberal Democrat candidate took up their opportunity to speak.
Amid heated exchanges afterwards, one BNP supporter was heard to shout at a black man watching the count: "Away hame. You'll never be British."