Understandably therefore, local tensions are running high. For years now, and especially since last year, ordinary Britons, particularly in England, have grown increasingly concerned with the manner in which Muslims have been courted by our mainstream politicians and given preferential treatment by the police and much of the mainstream media. This has given birth to the EDL as a popular counter-jihad street movement and has also energised the BNP vote in many constituencies over the past decade. Although UKIP purport to oppose Islamisation, the BNP is the only political party in the UK to make counter-Islamisation one of its main planks of policy, and it's not shy about mentioning this. Wherever significant concentrations of Muslims live amongst or next to the native population, the BNP does well owing to its willingness to articulate the many problems experienced by the local indigenous population which are directly attributable to Islamisation.
Dudley North was BNP Deputy Chairman Simon Darby's former constituency target in the past two parliamentary elections. In fact, Darby has an even longer association with the seat, having stood as the National Democrats candidate in 1997. Once he moved to the BNP however, he polled more healthily, upping his share from 1% in 1997 to 4.7% in 2001 and 9.7% in 2005. This time, Ken Griffiths is representing the BNP, but he also has competition from two other candidates who can be classed as nationalist: Malcolm Davies of UKIP and Kevin Inman of the National Front. Malcolm Davies stood in Dudley North in 2005 and polled 4.7%, so is likely to score a similar share this time. However, he may well receive EDL endorsement as he led initial opposition to the construction of the Mega Mosque. Up until 2007 he was a Dudley councillor who had originally been elected as a Liberal Democrat. Evidently, he disapproved of the latter's Euro-servile stance and jumped ship for UKIP.
The National Front haven't stood in the seat since 1997 when they took 1.2% of the poll, and I should imagine that they'll take a similar share this time. The majority of voters who support nationalism realise that the BNP is the most credible of the nationalist parties and won't waste their votes on Inman. Interestingly, Kevin Inman was until recently a member of the BNP. Only last May he featured in a BNP website story on campaigning ahead of the EU elections, where he was described as 'Black Country Deputy Organiser'. Presumably, Inman's decision to leave the party for the National Front was in some way connected with the BNP's move towards the mainstream and its decision to admit ethnically non-indigenous members. In fact, the National Front have decided to stand against the BNP in a number of seats this year, but they will be doomed to being beaten by the BNP by a healthy margin wherever they stand.
Dudley North has been a solid Labour seat for many years, although Labour's share of the vote has eroded slightly since 2001 and must be expected to decrease again tomorrow. In 1997 they polled 51.2%; in 2001 52.1%, and in 2005 44.2%. This time, the full slate of candidates is as follows: Ian Austin (Labour); Mike Beckett (Liberal Democrat); Graeme Brown (Conservative); Malcolm Davies (UKIP); Ken Griffiths (BNP) and Kevin Inman (National Front). The results for 2005 were:
- Labour 18,306 44.2% (−7.9)
- Conservative 12,874 31.1% (−3.4)
- Liberal Democrat 4,257 10.3% (+1.6)
- BNP 4,022 9.7% (+5.0)
- UKIP 1,949 4.7% (N/A)