Another disaster strikes the ailing BNP, with the result of the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election continuing the consistently downward trend in its vote. The BNP polled just 1560 votes (just under 4.5%), which means the party can wave goodbye to yet another lost deposit, and was roundly beaten by UKIP (2029, or 5.8%), which will annoy pretty well everyone in the BNP.
It's worth remembering that Oldham was at one point an extremely important seat for the BNP - back in 2001 the party mustered up 11.2% and in the General Election last year they still managed to scrape together 5.7%. So what went wrong? Maybe it was the fact that the few local BNP activists left in Oldham refused to come out to support a candidate who had been foisted on them by Nick Griffin, who had already announced himself as a candidate only to back off rapidly when he realised how embarrassing (and likely) a low vote would be.
Or maybe it was the fact that Derek Adams, the BNP's candidate, is yet another bad-tempered, rude and arrogant shit along the lines of Lee Barnes (though probably not quite as insane). Certainly, Adam's behaviour at the hustings last week, where he took the stage and refused to leave until escorted off by the plods, didn't exactly endear him to the packed audience who booed him as he was hauled off.
Or maybe it's just that the BNP is crap and more people are realising it.
Labour: 14,718 (42.1%)
Lib Dems: 11,160 (31.9%)
Conservatives: 4,481 (12.8%)
UKIP: 2,029 (5.8%)
BNP: 1,560 (4.5%)
Green Party: 530 (1.5%)
Monster Raving Loony Party: 145 (0.4%)
English Democrats: 144 (0.4%)
Pirate Party: 96 (0.2%)
Bus Pass Elvis Party: 67 (0.1%)
It's just as well that many BNP members are delusional - no matter how you look at it, coming fifth and losing the deposit is not a good result. Or it isn't unless you're prepared to spin the result so much that reality doesn't get a look in. Here's a BNP supporter (Nick Griffin himself, I suspect) writing on the British Democracy Forum following the result being announced.
'Onwards and Upwards - Oldham was a good result for the BNP...With Nick Griffin standing we would undoubtedly have saved our deposit but he very selflessly stood aside for Derek, who with Clive's expert guidance fought a very good campaign...dig deep for the greater good of the party and for a just and noble cause...I'm sure genuine, loyal BNP members will join me in congratulating Nick, Clive and Derek, as well as everyone else who put it so much effort, on a fine result.'
Like I said, delusional.