Much has changed in recent years, so this seat, which once would have been considered solid Labour territory, now provides the BNP with its best prospect of securing its first MP. Those members of the traditional white working class who remain have been abandoned by a Labour Party that has long since embraced corporate globalism and the cause of ethnic minority special interest groups to the detriment of its own people.
Can Nick Griffin take Barking? That is for the voters to decide. But what proportion of electors in the seat can we now safely describe as English? It is well known that the mass influx of immigrants over the past decade in particular has caused an exodus of those indigenous inhabitants willing and able to find a home elsewhere. Those who remain have felt increasingly alienated and marginalized, but will they vote BNP?
The census figures for 2001 detailed Barking and Dagenham’s ethnic profile as follows: 78.2% white; 10.5% black; 7.2% Asian; 2.4% mixed race and 1.7% Chinese. Almost a decade has since elapsed, so we can anticipate that the white proportion will have diminished by at least 10% owing to native outmigration and the arrival of immigrants. We are also safe to assume that the ethnic minority vote for the BNP will not be significant.
The BNP made an electoral breakthrough on Barking and Dagenham Council in 2006, securing the election of 12 councillors making it the second largest party behind Labour. Subsequently however, one of these seats was lost in a by-election. As for the parliamentary constituency of Barking, its boundaries have changed since the 2005 General Election, but UK Polling Report notes that whilst these changes “appear to reduce the BNP’s support in the seat, the BNP returned councillors in all three of the new wards in 2006 and they are likely to prove fertile territory”.
Looking at the 2005 results, we can see that then BNP parliamentary candidate Richard Barnbrook came close to taking second place to Labour from the Conservatives: he secured 16.9% of the vote, just 27 votes short of the Tories’ 17.1%. Margaret Hodge, the winning candidate, won the seat with 47.8% of the vote and a majority of 8,883. Can Nick Griffin leapfrog his way to the top? It is a daunting task.
Hodge has played up “the BNP threat” considerably during recent years, but this can be seen as a standard Labour tactic employed in an attempt to mobilise erstwhile supporters who cannot be bothered to vote any longer as they feel (correctly) that the Labour Party no longer listens to them or represents their interests. Hodge, a multimillionaire, has little or nothing in common with traditional Labour supporters. Griffin and the BNP on the other hand, offer the prospect of real hope to the beleaguered indigenous inhabitants of Barking.
The mass media have worked themselves up into a lather about the BNP challenge in Barking, much more so than in Keighley where Nick Griffin stood in 2005. Although the BNP has changed its constitution and won a popular mandate in elections to the Greater London Assembly and the EU Parliament, the mass media and other political parties remain inveterately hostile. Still, the reality of rapid demographic change, a chronic housing shortage and economic dislocation will cause many voters to see through the media lies peddled about the BNP. The real reason underpinning the Establishment’s hatred of the BNP is the fact that it is the only political party in the UK to stand up against globalist corporatist interests in favour of ordinary people.
As in 2005, UKIP are fielding a candidate, so we can expect a small percentage of nationalist votes to be siphoned off by Frank Maloney. However, UKIP only managed 2.8% of the vote last time, and it may be the case that on this occasion some nationalists will hopefully switch to the BNP. Margaret Hodge affects concern about the fact that the Christian Party is fielding a candidate in the person of George Hargreaves, for she along with some other commentators believes that Hargreaves could successfully attract many black evangelical Christians away from the Labour Party. Realistically, can he expect to secure more than 2% of the vote?
Ideally, Nick Griffin will win this seat. However, if he does not, he must secure second place with at least 25% of the vote for the BNP to retain its momentum. I am confident that he will be able to push the Conservatives into third place, but taking the seat from Hodge is a tall order. If we assume that Hodge loses 2% of the vote share to the Christian Party and a further 8% to the BNP, that would still leave Labour with a total of 38% and the seat in their hands. However, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the voters of Barking will express their displeasure with the mainstream parties and Labour's promotion of mass immigration by giving them a bloody nose by electing the UK’s first BNP MP on 6 May 2010. Paddypower.com is currently offering odds of 7/2 for Nick Griffin to take the seat.