March 28, 2008

Racists rejected in Redwell West

Wellingborough is a pretty average sort of town. Sitting in the heart of Northamptonshire, it is the usual small-town mix of light industry and suburban housing, and has a population of over 50,000, of which 10% are believed to belong to the ethnic minorities (we have no figures for recent European immigration).

It's also one of those places where the Labour Party is in disastrous decline. Wellingborough Borough Council has a chamber of 36 seats representing 16 wards. In the 2003 local elections the then opposition Conservative Party gained 13 seats, to give them a majority of 18. In 2007 the Conservatives came away holding 30 seats, ousting the Labour group leader and his deputy into the bargain - a majority of 24.

Tonight we're interested in Wellingborough's Redwell West ward, where the BNP are fielding a first-time candidate. In May 2007 Redwell West voted as follows:

Con 836
Con 818
Lab 243
Lab 237

The two Conservatives were elected with 77.5% of the vote, but one of them, David Old, resigned in February - six weeks after moving to Canada. Old claimed that he had made his mind up about emigrating after becoming the victim of a mugging, but his tardiness in failing to resign promptly (before Christmas) has left a bad taste in the mouths of many local voters. It seems that Old had been talking about leaving the country for at least two years and put his house up for sale in June - shortly after winning re-election to the Redwell West seat. "We feel duped," one voter told the local press.

Nobody seriously expects the Conservatives to lose Redwell West tonight, but party activists usually prepare themselves to take a "punishment hit" when councillors resign in dubious circumstances - and there is the added element of a fuller field of candidates to take into account.

In addition to Labour, the Greens, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the BNP are all contesting. The Labour vote is clearly vulnerable, as they have no realistic chance of taking the seat, and it is pretty certain that Green and Liberal Democrat votes will come from them. Both the BNP and UKIP are more than capable of eating into the Tory vote, which, from its May 2007 high of 77.5%, is overdue for a fall.

Wellingborough BC Redwell West ward result (percentages in brackets):

Con 665 (59.01)
BNP 177 (15.71)
Lab 169 (15.00)
L-D 40 (3.55)
UKIP 39 (3.46)
Grn 37 (3.28)

Total 1127

On a slightly increased turnout the Conservative vote fell by exactly 18.5% and Labour by exactly 7.5%.

The bald figures suggest that much of the BNP vote came from the Conservatives, and very little from Labour. A vague pattern does appear to be emerging of the BNP taking Tory votes in safe Conservative wards where either Labour or the Liberal Democrats have little or no chance of winning.

Even so, this being such a safe Tory seat voters had nothing to lose by taking a chance on the BNP - something they signally failed to do. We're becoming accustomed to seeing the BNP taking the neither-here-nor-there 15%-ish territory on first outings, but we have very rarely seen them sustain or improve on that figure in subsequent contests.

So, last week's nasty surprise in Havering behind them, it's as you were for the BNP as the voters of Redwell West turn the volume back down on the "quiet revolution".

It's unfortunate that I couldn't find anything more interesting to say about this particularly uninspiring by-election - so I'll leave you with a link to Wellingborough councillor Tony Sharp's blog, where you'll find the BNP's whinging Rob Walker pleading that whatever else the BNP might be, racist it isn't. Honest.


Anonymous said...

"It's also one of those places where the Labour Party is in disastrous decline."

This is the key to the future of the BNP. If Labour would forget all its crap middle-class pretensions and get back to working with the unions and the working classes, and bringing back some good leftie solidarity, we might see the far-right recede into the far distance as the working classes go back to it.

Anonymous said...

It was a boring election. W'borough is a boring place. The BNP came second but it wasn't even a good second. They wouldn't have even done that if the Greens or the Libs hadn't stood. A fair report. The BNP failed on W'borough, doesn't matter how they call it.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. 'Failing' is when the fash get this kind of % in their winnable wards and 5% or less in this kind of ward. They'll be happy with this result.

Anonymous said...

Good heavens Imagine if they had won this local election.

they would have 46 yes 46 councillors out of 22,350.

Clearly that would have changed the political landscape of this country forever!!!!!!. Yawn!

Residents associations throughout the country have 8 times more councillors than the BNP have.

I have lost count of the amount of local elections that the BNP have fought since may 2007 and to the best of my recollection they have not won a single contest.

Yes they have retained a seat recently but in all honesty is this the sign of a growing party??

Should BNP members not start to question the strategy of its leader?

Should BNP members not start to question its own popularity??

Should BNP members not start to question what is happening to all their donations?, hours of canvassing? the wisdom of the party?

If I was a member of the BNP and thank God I am not , I would have very serious reservations about where the party is going

Clinging to the hope that maybe some BNP candidate might get elected to the GLA is hardly going to bring the party success.
How many people have heard of One London Group?? they have to elected members on the London assembly Nuff said

So what happens if the GLA election fails What will the next promise be by the leaders?
Euro Election? General Election??

As long as Griffin feeds his supporters tiny morsels of hope they will continue to donate.

Isn't it about time after almost 20 years for BNP members to realise that they will never, can never and should never gain power??

Anonymous said...

How many people have heard of One London Group?? they have to elected members on the London assembly Nuff said

The One London Assembly members were originally elected under the UKIP label benefiting from the 2004anti-EU protest vote. They changed after the Kilroy-Silk fiasco to Veritas and then split again and made up a name for themselves.

As an aside is Irish Tony a closet troll because he seems to offer BNP members a lot of advice?

Anonymous said...

to anon, who was stupid enough to allege that Irish Tony could be a closet troll. Please go away. The regular community here know and trust irish tony completely.

Anonymous said...

As an aside is Irish Tony a closet troll because he seems to offer BNP members a lot of advice?



You will also find me on you tube

watch some of my videos and deal with your paranoia

feck I rarely get angry
But you have really pissed me off

Antifascist said...

Don't worry about it mate. You wouldn't believe some of the shite we get in the comments section. Only about ten percent gets through and even then we let the odd one through that shouldn't have made it every now and again. In any case, I rather thought that anon had simply misinterpreted your post. Most of us can see what you're doing in it but maybe it's a little too subtle for some folk. Relax and keep on posting as you do - you're a valued part of the LU community.

Anonymous said...

Im not sure if LUAF have a method of confirming who sends posts I hope they do because it will prove outright it was me that posted those last comments.

I stand by what I say, I feel pity for the misguided and misled idiots who contribute to the vile BNP or any other fascist party .

Much as I feel sorry for people who fall into cults, I feel sorry for the people who believe the BNP lies.

its usually quite easy to spot my genuine posts, there are usually a few spelling errors and the odd punctuation mark in the worng place.

But I really do hope when I use my name that LUAF can confirm it is really me.

as for me giving advice to racist hate filled scum bags???

Yeah I advise them to wake up

Anonymous said...

Don't let it worry you IrishTony - having posted here as webeatthebnp (because we did, and I was the agent)I get a bit brassed off when somebody else posts as ... webeatthebnp !!

But ... who cares !! It's easy to spot the real me! And the real IrishTony!

The last time pseudo-webeatthebnp posted he claimed he was about to donate £100 to LUAF. Clearly wasn't the real me as it would take surgery to separate me from £100 !!!!!