Taking into account the aforementioned figures, what might we expect in terms of a likely overall result for the BNP in May 2010? General elections are not EU elections and thus parties that appeal specifically to nationalism and anti-EU sentiment tend to do better in the latter than in the former. I will therefore start with the most conservative estimate of the BNP vote, projecting a repeat performance of 2005 with an average of 1620 votes per candidate which would yield 528,120 votes. If we assume (simply for the sake of direct comparison, for the situation will not repeat itself) that the total number of votes cast for all parties nationally came to the same sum for 2005, this would give the BNP a 1.9% share of the vote.The actual national result for the BNP was as follows: total votes received 563,743; share of vote 1.9%; average vote per BNP candidate 1,668. This result is startlingly close to that of 2005, with the aggregate tally almost directly correlating with the increased number of seats contested.
As the party would have achieved this result by standing in only circa half of the available Westminster seats, this would equate to a rough national share of 3.8% which would match the party’s position in many polls. Although the sum total would thus be far more impressive than 2005’s tally of 192,746, it would mean that the BNP would have been treading water. It therefore needs to achieve substantially more votes and a correspondingly higher share of the national total to indicate that it has achieved a significant breakthrough. When considering the current combination of toxic factors - mass immigration, economic crisis, Islamisation, the war in Afghanistan, the expenses scandal, multiculturalism and the loss of sovereignty to the EU - which have made large swathes of the electorate either hostile towards the mainstream political parties or apathetic about politics in general, and the lack of willingness on the part of the said parties to discuss any of these issues other than the economy, the threshold of success, I would suggest, needs to be set at a minimum of 970,000 votes. This would equate to roughly 7% of the vote. If the BNP manages to garner in the region of 1.5 million votes or above, it will truly have emerged as a political force with serious prospects.
Many BNP members and supporters have tried to portray this as an ‘advance’ and a good result of sorts, but they really should not fool themselves into thinking that this is the case. Given our national circumstances, this showing was, to put it mildly, less than adequate. Furthermore, if one digs a little deeper and examines BNP performance in the ten key target constituencies that I singled out last month, we see that in those in which it has previously done well, its share of the vote has generally dropped. Furthermore, the BNP’s performance in the local elections has been woeful: rather than taking control of the council in Barking, it has lost all of its councillors.
The results for the ten aforementioned target seats are as follows:
Barking 6,620 14.8% -2.1% 3rd place
Stoke-on-Trent Central 2,502 7.7% +0.1% 4th place
Thurrock 3,618 7.9% +1.8% 4th place
Keighley 1,962 4.1% -5.0% 4th place
Salford & Eccles 2,632 6.0% +6.0% 4th place
Stoke-on-Trent South 3,762 9.4% +0.4% 4th place
Burnley 3,747 9.0% -1.3% 4th place
Dagenham & Rainham 4,952 11.2% +6.8% 3rd place
Dewsbury 3,265 6.0% -5.2% 5th place
Dudley North 1,899 4.9% -6.0% 5th place
No MPs, no second places and only two third places. Of the ten results detailed above, the vote decreased in five constituencies and increased in the other half. However, the BNP had not previously stood in Salford and Eccles, so Tina Wingfield’s reasonable 6.0% vote share cannot be counted as a real increase. The results in Barking, Keighley, Dewsbury and Dudley North are undeniably bad. To see the BNP beaten into fifth place in Dewsbury by a Muslim Independent candidate is particularly galling. In Dudley North, despite the controversy surrounding the recently cancelled mega mosque and associated protests, the BNP came in behind UKIP and lost over half of its share of the vote compared to 2005. According to UK Polling Report, the BNP saved 72 deposits.
These are not results befitting a nationalist party on the verge of a breakthrough into the mainstream. What they demonstrate, along with the poor performances of UKIP (917,832 votes with a 3.1% share) and the English Democrats (64,826 votes with a 0.2% share), is that there exists the need for a single credible nationalist party in British (more particularly, English) politics. My next article will examine the reasons underpinning the BNP’s failure to make a breakthrough at this election together with some suggestions as to how it, or a nationalist successor party, could make genuine headway in British politics through articulating a clear, credible and moderate nationalist programme.