British National Party bucks far-right trend in Europe - by losing

By Jessica Elgot, May 10, 2012
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BNP leader Nick Griffin out on the campaign trail. But he was manifestly unsuccessful

BNP leader Nick Griffin out on the campaign trail. But he was manifestly unsuccessful

Support for the British National Party has "collapsed" in all of its former strongholds, losing 10 of the 12 council seats it was defending.

The far-right party lost its seat in the London Assembly and all its candidates lost their deposits, according to Hope Not Hate. The anti-fascist group calculated that the BNP lost around £200,000 fielding candidates in the London elections, having spent more than UKIP. In London, it polled just 2.1 per cent of the vote.

Hope Not Hate's Matthew Collins said: "Across Europe, it's apparent that the far right is gaining support, but in Britain they are doing very badly.

"The party picked a pidgin-English speaking mayoral candidate [Carlos Cortiglia] who was second only to [BNP leader] Nick Griffin in his unpopularity."

The party has no seats on Burnley Council for the first time in a decade. Seats were lost in Calderdale, Heanor, Nuneaton, Bedworth, Rotherham, Epping Forest and South Tyneside.

Rival right-wing parties have split some of the traditional BNP vote, with the National Front and the English Democrats fielding candidates.

"In Basildon and Dudley, the BNP had less support than their old rivals, the more extreme National Front.

The English Democrats put up just one candidate in London, former BNP activist Mark Twiddy, compared to 13 in 2008.

    Last updated: 2:38pm, May 10 2012