Friday, February 20, 2009

Labour & UKIP Voters Turn to the BNP in Kent By-Election

Swanley St Mary’s, Sevenoaks District Council
BNP - 41% (+41)
Lab - 34% (-21)
Con - 25% (-)

BNP gain from Lab

(UKIP did not stand, having previously secured 20%)

I hesitated to even write about this, but for the BNP to secure a seat in a local council by-election in Kent is deeply worrying. I drive past Swanley each time I drive to London - it's just off the M25 at the M20 junction. I know nothing about the local politics, but it's not exactly an area I would have put in my Top Ten BNP winnable seats.

One interesting thing is that it's quite clear from the statistics that the whole BNP vote came from UKIP and the Labour Party. It used to be the case that the Liberals gained from the "plague on all your houses" vote. If the BNP manages to get itself into that position for the Euro elections, we should all be very worried. In the last Euro elections, UKIP managed to do that. Will they this time? I have my doubts.

UPDATE: Having thought about this a little more, it's clear that in areas like this the BNP is managing to portray itself as the only party on the side of local residents. The three main parties are failing. In my interview with David Cameron I asked him about how best to take on the BNP...
I think the first thing to do is recognise that it is an excrescence rather than a party. Don't ever run towards it, but the way to defeat it is to campaign actively on the ground. Pavement politics. People turn to extreme parties if they think they have been forgotten by the mainstream parties. That doesn't mean running towards issues they are campaigning on, it means running towards the people that they are talking to and showing you are listening to their concerns, taking up their issues and working for them. You have to show that no part of the country, no part of your constituency, no ward, that no housing estate is forgotten. That's the key thing. Eric Pickles is an expert on this and has helped teach me this lesson.
Well the local Conservative Party, and indeed the national Conservative Party, has failed to do that here. I'm having a coffee with Eric Pickles next week. I'm going to ask him what the Party intends to do about areas like Swanley and take them back from the far left extremists of the BNP.

UPDATE: In the comments, Labour apologist David Boothroyd writes...
Furthermore, parties do not own the voters. There is no sense in which, if a previously Labour voter decides to vote BNP, the Labour Party is to blame for the BNP gaining a vote. That's a ludicrous way of looking at politics and deserves to be thoroughly ridiculed.

It's that complacent attitude which is helping the BNP gain votes. Of course no party "owns" voters, but Labour has traditionally appeared to think it did indeed "own" the white working classes. It also did bugger all for them. It's no coincidence that Labour controls the councils on virtually every poverty stricken council estate in the country. Perhaps if they did something about them, voters who lived on them might not be turning towards the BNP.

119 comments:

p smith said...

A slightly simplistic conclusion for which Anthony Wells and co will rightly slap your wrist Iain.

The reality is that many Labour voters will have switched to the Tories and many Labour and Tory voters have voted BNP. The probability of the switch being almost entirely from Labour to BNP is statistically improbable.

Either way, the BNP winning anywhere is something that should concern us all.

Half The Story said...

Swanley is a funny place. A fair few council estates, a very working class area.

A bit like Dagenham and Barking really in social class. Nothing really to do, alot of shops and industrial estates providing the employment, or people commuting.

The BNP getting a hold to me shows that it is a vote that has been hidden for a while, that of the hidden anti-immigration voter.

Unemployment goes up, people need someone to blame. The BNP will fester and grow that discontent as unemployment rises.......

Adam said...

Your analysis can be shockingly simplistic at times Iain.

A fair few of the people who voted in previous elections will have died, moved away or not voted.

Then there will have been switches across the party divide from Lab to BNP, UKIP to BNP, Tory to BNP, Lab to Tory and UKIP to Tory.

You cannot just say BNP up Labour down ergo Labour to BNP.

Oldrightie said...

Dare I say the rise of Hitler began less promisingly for him and look where he ended up! It's Brown and Labour that have created the scenario for their success but all of us who will suffer.

Old Holborn said...

Expect Swanley to be "punished".

All Muslim schools will be opened there, Lee Jasper will open a "Stephen Lawrence Memorial KFC" and a Caribbean "drop in" centre will take over the local library.

Road signs will be converted to Urdu, the town will be twinned with Mogadishu and schools will be forced to serve Halal food.

Christmas will be abolished.

Far fetched? I think not. It's happened in most of the rest of London already.

Iain Dale said...

Adam, and you can be incredibly stupid. The Tory vote stayed static. Of course there will have been some switchers from Tory to BNP, from Labour to Tory, but it is quite clear where the bulk of the people went from and to, and to pretend otherwise if behaving like an ostrich. But that is all too typical of Labour supporters on this issue. They can't bring themselves to admit a self evident truth - that they have failed the white working class, and they are now shifting to the BNP.

Adam said...

Who exactly is a Labour supporter Iain? And who is saying the bulk didn't go from Labour to BNP? Just felt your initial point was a bit simplistic that's all!

Totally agree that in some areas the white working class vote is shifting from Labour to BNP. This is a worry and while some will stick their heads in the sand others will cry that it is the end of the world!

I don't necessarily agree that Labour have ignored the white working classes although there are perhaps areas they could have focused on them more and communicated more effectively.

Editor said...

it is swanley though...

TB

jdc said...

Without any polling evidence, it's not "quite clear" at all.

If UKIP were once polling 20%, it may be that there's a strong Eurosceptic vote in the area, and that former Tories, appalled by the reappearance of a federalist in the shadow cabinet, decamped.

Meanwhile Labour voters, disillusioned with Brown and reassured by genial moderate Clarke and Cameron's soothing rhetoric, decided to put their faith in the Tory Party.

That may be nonsense, or it may not, but if the only available evidence is the overall vote numbers, there's no way of showing which is the case. An added complication is that it's a two-member ward, so the figures for the last election are harder to compare (especially as there was only one UKIP candidate).

Doug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doug said...

As Iain says plus it is also statistically very unlikely that all the postulated party swapping would result in the Tories having the exact same share of the vote. There will be a frothy top that move a lot but no way will it be any where near the majority of the Tory vote.

That being said I'd say the most inaccurate part about Iain's post is the use of the word "whole" which is bit too declarative for my taste.

WV- disit

CROWN said...

I blogged on this exact topic a few days ago

http://thecrownblogspot.blogspot.com/2009/02/this-will-be-gordons-downfall.html

expect to see a huge surge to the BNP from left wing leaning voters who feel they are not represented

Blue Eyes said...

I know two Daily Mail types who live not far from this constituency and I am fairly sure that they might be tempted to turn their votes nasty because they are so frustrated with Labour. I would not urge the Tories to chase the racist vote, but I would urge the party to start telling us how different Britain will be under Cameron.

Anoneumouse said...

It doesn't matter where they came from. The question is why did they vote for the BNP and what was wrong with the other party's policies. The middle ground is shaky and has developed a rift.

Leonardo said...

Why aren't they voting Tory instead of BNP?

It is as much the Conservative's fault, for abdicating numerous areas of politics that matter to people and putting hardly a rizzla paper's width of difference between themselves and Labour in the few trivial competencies left.

strapworld said...

I note the Brown Bunker children are in denial!

They are calling the voters racist, stupid everything but realising what Labour has done to this country.

I agree with you. I do not believe UKIP can or will emulate their success at the last EU elections. But the BNP will. I have lost count of the number of people who have said that they would vote BNP if they could. The EU elections gives them this opportunity, returning to the main parties at the general election!

Mass Immigration and the EU's Human Rights Act will be on the tombstone of the Labour Party!

Chris Paul said...

"It's quite clear from the statistics"? You really are not with it when it comes to numbers are you Iain? Why was there no Lib Dem candidate? Why was there no UKIP candidate? What was the actual change on the ground? What were the actual numbers of votes cast this time, last time, the time before? What were the campaign issues?

My partner is from Kent, from Stockbury near Sittingbourne. Sister-in-law lives in Sevenoaks. Used to run Knowle for the National Trust before those mad-as-a-bag-of-frogs Tory Hereditary squatters did what Tories do best.

Anyway, I'm not that surprised by either the vote, or the simplistic analysis. Come on Iain, try a bit harder. This is nonsense.

Iain Dale said...

Typical post from the idiot Paul. Always slags off, never offers any analysis himself.

no longer anonymous said...

I've always said that many of Labour's traditional working-class supporters are just as racist as some blue-rinse traditional Tories. And it wasn't for nothing that UKIP were once known as the BNP in blazers.

Spartan said...

The recent event of Geert Wilders being banned and the shameful virtual silence of the Conservatives along with Liberals backing Labour just played into BNP's hand.

Mainstream papers polls showed 85% of the public against the banning of Wilders yet the Conservatives still remained silent.

The incident got national and international coverage with almost overwhelming condemnation of the UK Government ... and still the Conservatives said nothing.

ls there any wonder the BNP are reaping the benefits?

Half The Story said...

Some interesting reading:

http://votewise.co.uk/index.php?pg=show&c=1616&eid=29UKHK-0

The list of streets involved:

http://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/documents/swan_st_marys_street_index_2.pdf

Blue Eyes said...

EU's Human Rights Act

Winston Churchill's post-war government wrote the European Convention on Human Rights. It has absolutely zip all to do with the European Union.

Ignorance must be bliss.

Guthrum said...

I am amazed that you are surprised at this result.

Labour have probably pushed us into the Slough of Despond for ten years coupled with mind numbing blatant corruption, The Social Democrats Chris Huhne, leaps onto the Radio to support the banning of a Dutch MP when even the Government would not put anybody up, and David Cameron has veered from Blue/Green to Localism, and not addressing the concerns of people being thrown out of work daily.

Most people have not got short memories, the last Conservative administration John Major's sleaze ridden, divided and in charge through the 1990-92 Bust.

People are angry, really angry, there was violence at BMW Mini, and the Strikes in Lindsey et Al are food and drink to the BNP.

Your analysis is too simple.

trevorsden said...

What we have is former Labour voters voting BNP - its not rocket science and its by no means uncommon. These working class bigots are not people the Tory party should be chasing. Fortunately there are an awful lot of aspirational working class people who are indeed natural conservatives.

And 'Blue Eyes' - you are funny "Daily Mail types" - presumably you mean women who like doing SUDUKUs.

Chris Paul said...

PS I've just read your "It's quite clear" comment Iain. It is not quite clear. this is nothing more nor less than idle speculation.

Provide the actual figures. I've not seen them. Call it elective ignorance in my case.

But in my experience BNP by-election votes in such situations often come largely from habitual non-voters.

For all we know from the partial data you provide the Labour vote in absolute terms may have held or increased. The UKIP lot may have stayed at home or switched en masse. Their not standing certainly messes up the swing data.

And marked registers may show a goodly number of habitual non-voters turning out this time.

In which case, assuming the BNP Cllr is poor and ineffective, this will be a temporary phenomenon. It may be based on some local controversy. I'd guess a traveller's site, some mismanagement from the Tories who presumably run the council perhaps, with some sub-Dorries analysis might well do the trick.

Later I'm going to see what I can find out. But you might reevaluate your use of "obvious", "clear" and the rest of it when addressing the BNP. This things are rarely ahem black and white.

Dick the Prick said...

Good. I like it when people vote BNP and idiots throw their toys out of the pram. Considering we've had extreme left wing drivel, forged votes, benefits for all, education ignored, money burnt, illegal wars etc etc then I hardly think the BNP pose any threat at all.

You can't force people what to think. Cool - good luck to them. Highly amusing.

Weygand said...

Of almost as much concern as the BNP success should be the flat Conservative vote.

With a 20% UKIP share up for grabs and Brown falling like a stone, it is strange that The Conservative vote did not increase.

Perhaps there were local factors at play.

Nonetheless, it is a reminder that the Conservative lead in Opinion polls is largely driven by Labour's unpopularity and how easily this protest vote could transfer elsewhere.

Taxfodder said...

You are right to be worried Ian, its later than you think.

Over many many years I have seen civil rights ignored and abused by politicions and/or the authorities to make their jobs easy or to manage budgets set by unrealistic so called experts many of which have never had a proper job, all in the name of the people of the UK.

I have seen the people of the UK bled cash to be wasted on idiotic wars, grand schemes and many white elephants that were more about ego than substance.

I have seen MP's blame game and political correctness gone mad in the scramble to hang on to their jobs with not a thought for any but themselves.

The BNP may be a load of nutters but I see no difference in any of the others on offer either.

Bring it on!

Blue Eyes said...

presumably you mean women who like doing SUDUKUs

I mean ignorami who think that every problem is to do with immigration, elfinsafety and yumanrights

Fortunately there are an awful lot of aspirational working class people who are indeed natural conservatives

Agreed. It would be good for the Tories to encourage aspiration, thrift and hard work.

Chris Paul said...

Dear Iain

Enough of the "idiot" already. I wrote and posted the analysis that follows your hostile ridiculousness before seeing this crotchety remark.

You've been found out, again, is all. There is nothing "clear" or "obvious" about what happened at all. You'd have to be nowt but an innumerate cunning linguist to suggest otherwise.

Your analysis is pure speculation. I've not seen the figures either. But I do have some experience of statistics and BNP by-elections to bring to the party.

Put the numbers on the dots and you may find they need to be joined in a different order and give a different picture.

All the best, count to ten before the next put down. You're looking like an ungracious arse, not someone who's actually right.

Chris P

Newmania said...

Winston Churchill's post-war government wrote the European Convention on Human Rights. It has absolutely zip all to do with the European Union.

Do you think Winston Churchill would have had it supersede British Law ? Do you think he would have had unelected bureaucrats making legislation through judicial review ?
I think not . The EU is not one thing , it is a movement comprising many parts all of which are directed the abolition of the Nations State . The Empire we have in store is clearly one in which the European Court of Human Rights is far more important than the feeble EU Parliament .
This is what Churchill had to say
"We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not comprised. We are associated but not absorbed. And should European statesmen address us and say, 'Shall we speak for thee?', we should reply, 'Nay Sir, for we dwell among our own people'."
Ignorance may be Bliss but a little knowledge is worse than none .

David Boothroyd said...

Swanley St Mary's contains a large GLC overspill estate built outside the boundaries; one very similar to New Addington (within Croydon) and to South Oxhey (Three Rivers), and comparing the BNP votes in these areas is left as an exercise for the reader.

The truth is that it is not possible to say from a raw vote change who has changed from which party to which other. You can't look at an election where the Lib Dems go down 10% and UKIP goes up 10% while others stay static, and say that 10% have switched from Lib Dem to UKIP. That's the net change but it's not the gross change.

Furthermore, parties do not own the voters. There is no sense in which, if a previously Labour voter decides to vote BNP, the Labour Party is to blame for the BNP gaining a vote. That's a ludicrous way of looking at politics and deserves to be thoroughly ridiculed.

David Boothroyd said...

Swanley St Mary's contains a large GLC overspill estate built outside the boundaries; one very similar to New Addington (within Croydon) and to South Oxhey (Three Rivers), and comparing the BNP votes in these areas is left as an exercise for the reader.

The truth is that it is not possible to say from a raw vote change who has changed from which party to which other. You can't look at an election where the Lib Dems go down 10% and UKIP goes up 10% while others stay static, and say that 10% have switched from Lib Dem to UKIP. That's the net change but it's not the gross change.

Furthermore, parties do not own the voters. There is no sense in which, if a previously Labour voter decides to vote BNP, the Labour Party is to blame for the BNP gaining a vote. That's a ludicrous way of looking at politics and deserves to be thoroughly ridiculed.

Windsor Tripehound said...

I agree with Leonardo @11:46 am.

Instead of rubbing his hands in anguish, Cameron should be stating clear Conservative alternatives to NuLabor's failed policies.

The BNP pushes out a simple consistant message, and love them or hate them, at least you know what they stand for.

I'm not sure what the Conservative Party stands for at the moment. It's not good enough for them to just keep sniping at NuLabor. They should now be on the front foot, acting rather than reacting.

Newmania said...

David Boothroyd
The Labour Party may not be to blame but the elements within it are .People like you in who have nothing in common with Labour voters .
The BNP is the second choice of about 30% of Labour voters so it is your house that the problem arises and if you do not want to accept responsibility then that’s another reason to be consigned to the scrap heap
Who for example , on the left ,retain a suspicion of the EU. It was not always thus , many on the left fought to keep us out . Now this very EU which has been responsible for removing jobs and whose soon to be unemployed workers it offers the chance to go grape picking in Italy. These are skilled men with homes and families (Mandelson’s arrogance was beyond belief )
The Labour Party that primarily stood for the rights of the British working class was one I at least understood . I wonder how many real bread winners with skilled jobs will be unemployed by the end of the year ; a million?
How are they going to feel when they discover the taxes they have been paying have been squandered on hoards of community-interface-through-face-paint idiots and the Labour Party has nothing for them but Purnell`s ”Welfare to Work “ which means less welfare
The Party ordinary working men dutifully funded and voted for wasted the money on exactly the public sector professional who make a living out of idleness immigration and irresponsibility . The very people who have inflicted multiculturalism , the EU and a host of meddlesome interferences . The legal right to discriminate against white men , the preferential treatment of homosexuals by adoption agencies , the outlawing , in effect of working men’s clubs and the destruction of the pub.

All the things that Chris Paul wants ending with the destruction of the country he hates

Some are small irritations , but they might loom large when you feel the Party you thought was yours has betrayed you leaving you and your family to look for work in “Europe
Here is a fact
When Brown said “ British jobs for British workers “ he was lying ,and when the BNP say it they are telling the truth

OF COURSE ITS YOUR FAULT ,

Dick the Prick said...

I love the fact that the worthy equate the BNP with Nazis and miss out the gazillion movements in between.

Labour came to power promising education and 12 years later, 3 huge parliamentary majorities and a report published today states numeracy and literacy are woeful.

If Labour can't do a dam thing - what hopes have the BNP?

Domesday said...

The politically interested (such as those that blog and read blogs) know what the BNP is. The vast majority of people do not investigate: they base their votes on the literature through the door, half-remembered new stories and an emotional response of wanting to punish or reward. I imagine an examination of the BNP Swanley election literature would be enticing to non-political people worried about their homes and jobs. I am NOT defending that - I'm a Tory activist - but we need to understand that most people vote based on very limited data points about the parties.

Micktransit said...

Agree that Cons need to come arcoss stronger. Wilders fiasco was a missed opportunity. A stand for 'Freedom of Speech and Liberty' would be a start but BNP have taken that now.

Apart from DC, where the hell was the Champion of Free Speech, David Davis when Wilders was current news? Was he sat by himself somewhere with his phone off, no tv, no radio, no computer, no papers for days on end?

To be fair though, DC did comment about the 13yr old father.

Iain Dale said...

Micktransit, what a weak comment. Just because you did not hear a particular politician commenting on an issue doesn't mean they didn't. David Davis was on Any Questions speaking about Wilders and was incredibly robust.

Politicians aren't just able to ring up a programme and demand to go on, you know.

Bond007 said...

p smith said...

"The reality is that many ... Tory voters have voted BNP"

There isn't any statistical evidence for this.

Where did you get this information from?

Simon said...

Recent events have shown that the EU is actually in charge of this country (British Jobs, deportation etc) and people don't like it. All three main parties are going to continue to hand yet more power to Europe. The BNP is not. People see the BNP as being on their side where the main three parties are not. UKIP is a one issue party so the only realistic alternative to the main three is BNP. LibLabCon have only themselves to blame for this.

Mark Senior said...

Might as well put in my 2 1/2P worth .
This ward is mainly an impoverished council estate but of course in a Conservative run council hence the people who live there will have been let down by both the Conservative and Labour parties .
My analysis of where the BNP takes it's votes is that around 1/3rd comes from previous non voters around 1/3rd from Labour and around 1/3rd from the 20% or so of the old working class Tory who used to exist in even the most Labour areas . This later group may in fact have not voted Conservative at the most recent election - here in Swanley for example they had voted UKIP last time .
One final comment , the LibDems did in fact select a candidate to fight the byelection but did not put in nomination papers . There have been rumours , I DO NOT KNOW whether true or not , that they were persuaded by the local Labour party to not fight the seat in order not to split the anti BNP vote . My view is that this is a fundamental mistake and a LibDem candidate would have reduced the BNP majority if not eliminated it .

Victor, NW Kent said...

I live in Swanley although in a "safe" Conservative Ward.
St.Mary's is very much a working class area with many council dwellings.
Disaffection with Labour here goes back right into Tony Blair's time and has worsened under Brown.
The grievances are the usual ones on which the BNP can play - redundancies, business closures and a very smug Labour dominated Council which saw only the Tories as rivals.
There is no indication that former Tory voters have switched although one might well have expected an increase with both UKIP and the LibDems absent.
The Conservatives made little effort in this Ward probably on the assumption that it was forever a safe Labour seat. The BNP canvassed very hard.
The BNP gain from Labour is likely to be repeated over wide swathes of England come May.

Tom Harris said...

"the whole BNP vote came from UKIP and the Labour Party"

Where did the UKIP vote come from originally, Iain?

T England said...

Labour & the main parties have a lot more to worry about!
I was talking to an old time Labour lefty, a proper citizen smith type, I was amazed after talking to him when he said Labour aren't for his type anymore & he is now ready to vote BNP as they are the only party ready to stick up for his values!
If someone like him is ready to vote BNP then I believe anyone is!

Labour cannot do anything about the votes going to the BNP because they have shown themselves to not be for the British anymore.

David Boothroyd said...

Iain, that is really quite pathetic. If the best you can do is to indulge in the logical fallacy of 'poisoning the well' with the pejorative description "apologist", you really haven't a case to make.

trevorsden said...

Windsor triphound - I know what the conservative party stands for - I am a conservative and I know. I can read its web site I can watch its conference and I can read its speeches and I can look at its history. In recent times that history involves leaving the labour party a golden economic legacy.

The BNP - 'love' them or what?
I know what the BNP stands for and its pretty clear they hide most of it away. Your analysys is so wrong headed as to be pathetic.

Mr Boothroyd - if Labour policies lead to mass immigration and only creating jobs for overseas workers whilst the number of British people of working age on benefits skyrockets - than I think its safe to blame the Labour Party for people voting BNP.

The ECHR was established in 1950 when we had a Labour Government. It was instituted as a permanent court in 1998 - under a Labour govt. It now delivers many more judgements than it used to do.

Blue Eyes - the things you would like the conservatives to do they do as a matter of course. I know I have been around a long time. But if it is racist to condemn a man for the colour of his skin (or his nationality) or misogynist to condemn a woman for her sex - then its hardly much better to condemn people because they read a particular paper. A mate of mine even reads the Independent - hard to believe I know but it takes all sorts ...

Micktransit said...

Just took a look at BNP website. Their campaign for May goes under the banner of 'Battle of Britain' showing Spitfires and Battle of Britain pilots.

To the vast majority of the public these images immediately bring a sense of pride. Doesn't matter that it says nothing about the BNP's policies. The images alone give out what they stand for ... unless you dig deep into their manifesto ... and how many of the public do that?

Parliament has been drowning in sleaze and lies these past few years. The BNP use this to their advantage by saying everything Lab/Lib/Cons have said about them are lies too.

The major political parties are doing the BNP's work for them.

Under-estimate the BNP at your peril, especially so in the current climate. lt is very fertile ground for the BNP.

norman said...

I do not buy the argument about EU's influence in this election. As a brown-coloured British, I am sick and tired of both Labour and Tory policies on immigration. The Tories should be arguing on zero immigration outside the EU for decades, no overseas students outside the EU, holiday for decades for work permits and no pandering for muslim or ethnic sentiments which does not consider Britain first. No African and global aid nonsense either. Strict dress code irrespective of religion in schools, no nonsensical argument about Sharia Law and no other language other than English. As an ex-school governor and an university academic, I can say that it is the white working class who are disadvantated most in this so called multicultural Britain. Ignore this at our peril. I e-mailed about this to the Shadow Home Secretary a couple of weeks ago as a Tory voter and was not happy with the his reply.

Dave said...

People hardly ever vote FOR a party. They almost always vote AGAINST them.
Politicians erroneously think that a vote for a candidate is a vote for the party leader. We do not have a presidential election system despite what AlBeeb try to spin.
A vote for the BNP is a vote against the current political party system. It tells me that the voter is as disgusted with the corrupt vile stink emanating from Westminster. Cameron's silence is enough to tell them that he is as bad as all the others and the Lib Dems are a joke. So, half the electorate refuse to vote because they say it only encourages the greed and corruption and the rest vote BNP only because there's no line on the voter form that says "None of the above"

Perhaps voting should be made compulsory but with the opportunity to record a vote of no confidence?

JuliaM said...

Mark Senior: "One final comment , the LibDems did in fact select a candidate to fight the byelection but did not put in nomination papers . There have been rumours , I DO NOT KNOW whether true or not , that they were persuaded by the local Labour party to not fight the seat in order not to split the anti BNP vote ."

Oh, splendid! Nothing better than seeing the political elite fall flat on their faces...

Newmania said...

Mark Senior - Is it common for the Labour Party and the Liberal Party to coordinate their efforts. Does this not give the lie to Clegg`s claim of equi-distance ?

Micktransit said...

"trevorsden said...
I know what the conservative party stands for - I am a conservative and I know. I can read its web site I can watch its conference and I can read its speeches and I can look at its history."

Exactly my point, the vast majotity of the public don't do any of that. It's about time the Conservatives realised it and did something about it

John said...

@Iain Dale
It's no coincidence that Labour controls the councils on virtually every poverty stricken council estate in the country. Perhaps if they did something about them, voters who lived on them might not be turning towards the BNP.

You've hit the nail firmly on the head there, and it's something i've seen here in South Wales.

In South Wales you vote Labour, you just do. It's ingrained, and something that's passed on to children. The Tories are something to fear, something to hate.

This is particularly true of the deprived areas of South Wales. You could actually put a dead decaying donkey on the back of a cart, wheel it around with a Labour rosette pinned on it's arse, and it would win with a majority in the thousands.

However, as you said, this means Labour can afford to outright ignore South Wales, again, particularly the deprived areas, and they have, quite clearly. The vote in these areas is so automatic that Labour barely bother to campaign anymore, and other other parties don't bother with anything other than a token challenge because they are guarenteed to lose.

It's these areas that are now disenfranchised. The problem is, they aren't just disenfranchised with Labour, no, they've lumped all the mainstream parties togather and are dismissing them as a collective unit.

It's why Plaid Cymru has started to make inroads in these areas on a local and assembly level, although on a national level it's still Labour Labour labour.

Luckily, the BNP is having trouble here, because there is a ready made party waiting in the wings in Plaid Cymru. But in England? Areas like this are ripe for the picking for the likes of the BNP.

From what I can see the only way to combat it is to get local again. Get parties and their candidates demonstrating that it's not all about westminister and bankers hundreds of miles away, it's about THEM trying to afford food and heating, it's about THEIR local post office staying open, it's about the trouble on THEIR estates being targetted by the police.

Make politics about the local people of any given area again, and when the BNP come knocking and start ranting about local problems, people will be less inclined to care if they feel other parties care just as passionately about them and their community.

My $0.02 - ridicule as you see fit.

Jimmy said...

"it's clear that in areas like this the BNP is managing to portray itself as the only party on the side of local residents. The three main parties are failing."

Would this be "local" in the traditional LibDem sense of the word? If Labour loses votes by not pandering to that I have no problem with that. the voters of St. Mary's, to coin a phrase, would appear to be thinking what you're thinking.

jdc said...

Have just been looking over last night's by-election results.

In Harrogate the Labour vote held up, the Tories and Lib Dems went down, and the BNP went up, and in Leicestershire the Lib Dems lost 20%, Labour lost 8% and the BNP gained 28%.

Would you contend that in Leicestershire 80% of former Lib Dem voters switched to the BNP?

trevorsden said...

Dear mick - I think you underestimate the difficulty of campaigning throughout a parliament. And the difficulty of making yourself heard.

BTW accoring tom the BBC the Conservatives increased their vote -
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/kent/7901252.stm
"Tony Searles increased the Conservative party's share of the poll from 208 votes in May 2007 to 247 on Thursday.
The Swanley St Mary's ward was seen as a Labour enclave in the Conservative controlled district of Sevenoaks. "

Spartan said...

Iain's talking on BBC SOUTH now about BNP win. Wonder if he's seen what's going on here? ;-)

Mark Senior said...

Newmania , No it is not common for Labour and LibDems to coordinate campaigns but it has happened on rare occasions just as Conservatives and LibDems have coordinated campaigns on rare occasions in the past ( NE Lincs comes to mind here ) .
There are also even rarer occasions when the cooperation is between Conservatives and Labour - Bristol for example where the LibDem bar charts have 2 columns one orange one red at the top with a smaller blue bar underneath and an arrow pointing to the blue one with the comment Conservatives propping up Labour here .

Alex said...

Iain - worth looking at the other results from yesterday.

In Lewisham the Lib Dems held a double by-election but lost 10% of their vote with the BNP standing and gaining 10% or so (they did not stand last time).

In NW Leics, the BNP stood having not done so last time and got 28% of the vote with LDs and others losing ground.

There is much to be said for the argument that the BNP are often now picking up the 'against all' vote that might previously have gone to the Lib Dems or, in places, Greens.

But I suspect that we are also seeing some resonance with the BNP message (the message they put out on the doorsteps, not the message that we seasoned politicos would assume of them.)

I have to say that I think that Cameron is wrong to simply dismiss them as an excressence. If we do so then we immediately dismiss all who consider voting for them as not worthy of engaging. We might not want to engage with the BNP but the people who vote for them have history of voting for all other parties and we cannot dismiss them out of hand

Spartan said...

Actually Trevorsden, l think Mick makes valid points.

Savonarola said...

Labour/Cons keep demonising the BNP. Keep calling BNP voters rascist scum. Easy option.

BNP vote continues togog up. It is not difficult to understand why. Why not get out of the Westminster Village and find out what is going on?

Labour are not the party of the working man. Thet are the party of professional politicians with middle management mentality. More interested in pensions, expenses and climbing the greasy pole.

Frank Field for PM.

Cato said...

Reading the percentages of the turnout, it is apparent that at least 50% were ex-Labour voters.

On that presumption Labour can hardly blame anyone but themselves for losing those voters.

I doubt that the MSM will give this result much prominence and AljaBeeba will probably ignore it totally but news travels and when it does, people will think that this sort of thing can happen in their wards and constituencies.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

"In my interview with David Cameron I asked him about how best to take on the BNP..."

David Cameron IS the course of the rise in the BNP. I have said that here for a couple of years now.

The economic winds have turned, the very last thing most people want is another politician who deliberately sits on the fence to appeal to the mythical, media believing floating voter in a marginal seat.

Over the next few months the MSM and politicians' belief in large-scale immigration from countries whose cultures hate us and everything that we stand for, will be blown to the 4 winds.

The idea that another "call me Dave/Tony", "I'm glad you raised that point", "that's something we need to look into" politician will come anywhere near power makes me feel physically ill.

I like many people have started to look at the BNP's website more and more over the past few months. Nothing on there is "obscene". Much of it appeals to me in the absence of debate that has been imposed by the "extreme tolerance" brigade in the MSM and nu-Labour.

I honestly believe that the people who were responsible for allowing large-scale immigration into England over the past 11 years are guilty of Treason. I fear that they have sown the seeds of a future, bloody civil war.
May the God of "extreme tolerance" forgive them because I and many, many others NEVER will.

Spartan said...

l often take a veteran to various functions/meetings of Landing Craft/Submariners/Royal Navy. They are very disillusioned about current political parties.Was brought to a head by local council allowing 'Freedom for Palestinians' group holding a demonstration about Gaza at the War Memorial. The veterans almost to a man see no-one speaking for them except the BNP.

Chris Paul said...

Round here Lib Dems aka Tories control quite a number of benighted council estates, and they want to keep them that way.

Anyway, I've found out and published some of the more important facts and figures.

The Town has a Labour majority council, with quite a few Tories on. The borough has a huge Tory majority. 41-7-5-1 before this by-election, not 41-7-4-1-1.

Until 2007 it was 33-8-10-3. This is in the order C-LD-L-I-BNP.

Figures for Sevenoaks District - Swanley St Mary's by election, 19 February 2009: BNP 408, Lab 332, C 247. (May 2007 - Two seats Lab 462, 420, C 208, 197, Ukip 165). BNP gain from Lab. Swing 10.5 per cent Lab to C.

The proper swing figure at the end is significant and in line with what we might expect just now on national voting intentions.

Simplifying from the all out we get the following matrix:

Lab : : : 2007 441 - 2009 332

Con : : : 2007 202 - 2009 247

UKIP : : : 2007 165 - 2009 DNS

BNP : : : 2007 DNS - 2009 408

My alternative analysis - ignoring some minor swappage Lab-C etc - to yours Iain:

1. 45 Ukippers switched to Tory

2. 120 Ukippers switched to BNP

3. 288 Non Voters backed BNP

4. Just over 100 L voters went on strike - apathy or fury or related to popular vote for resigner.

It's all speculation. But tell me do why your own knee jerk analysis Iain has any greater validity than mine?

The usual pattern is that a considerable portion of BNP votes come from habitual non voters. You would know that if you'd canvassed anywhere where they are active.

If the BNP back off their effort or don't stand they go back to not voting ... or pick another protest candidate. Vide Newton Heath in Manchester. The LD won there.

Incidentally in the wider Swanley KCC seat the Lib Dems did quite well really. Well enough to indicate potential 200 votes per ward in LG terms.

The BNP are already busy busy busy in Manchester's Moston Ward
where there'll be a by-election fairly soon following a Labour death. In nearby wards the BNP went from 0-25% in one contest. Mostly - I' say at least 65% - from habitual NVs.

acadman said...

I am disappointed by the very lazy conflating of the BNP and UKIP, as though their supporters were completely interchangeable. As a member of UKIP I would say that most of their members are politically moderate, small c conservative / traditionalist patriotic types, many from rural areas (hence their strength in the south west). They are former Tory voters in the main. BNP supporters I have met tend to be more urban, working class and socialist. Most of them I think are former Labour voters.

What the two parties DO have in common is that they exist only because of the utter contempt both the main parties has shown to their core support over the years. However, to say that the UKIP vote switched en masse to the BNP is very simplistic. I imagine many UKIP supporters just stayed at home.

Lastly, its a very, very serious mistake to condemn BNP supporters as just narrow minded, racist bigots. Doubtless some are, but in the main people vote for the BNP because they not only feel ignored by the Labour party in particular by that Labour is now actively hostile towards them.

They vote for the BNP because they feel desperate, scared and very resentful. In one sense its raising two fingers to the political(-ly correct) elite by voting for party thats regarded as beyond the pale, and in a secondly sense - and here is the really worrying thing - they think they have to vote for a party which is downright nasty and aggressive to defend themselves against an establishment they see as being aggressive and hostile towards them.

In other words, if the main parties dont start to address their concerns in a serious way rather than ignoring them the BNP can only grow and we risk the rise of real sectarianism in this country.

dmc said...

You better get used to it as your going to see a lot more of this.Whether your for or against the bnp,they have a clear stated policy on immigration.The working class feel powerless as no one seems to be sticking up for them.Call them racialist,they probably are,they see the one sidedness of it all and resent it.

Look at the congolese family denied numerous applications to stay.Because they were picked up in the night in case they did a runner like most do,they got £150,000 compensation.Look at abu qatada,we can't get rid of him,and have to support his family because of a human rights law.This guy wants to see our downfall but we can't kick him out.They quite rightly ask where are our human rights when they encourate each other to kill and maim us.
The conservatives need to get some balls.Being'nice guy Dave'wont stop the bnp.

Chris Paul said...

Come on Cato ... don't follow the Iain Dale unreasoning. There is nothing "apparent" from these figures and the idea that "at least 50%" were from Labour is arrant nonsense.

That would be 204 votes and mean that without the BNP standing labour would have almost 100 votes more than they started out with.

JuliaM said...

dmc: "You better get used to it as your going to see a lot more of this."

I'm afraid you're right.

And judging from the comments on here, the usual suspects don't have a clue what to do about it....

Dick the Prick said...

Labour are worse than the BNP.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"People turn to extreme parties if they think they have been forgotten by the mainstream parties"

Cameron is correct. I feel exactly that way. So what is he going to do about it? Absolutely nothing so far.

Johnny Norfolk said...

If Labour listened and acted for the English people the BNP would be nothing. If people thought the Labour government was concerned for them the BNP would not get in. Its the same for the other parties. So if Parties are concerned about the rise of the BNP they should look to themselves and ask what they are doing wrong.

dmc said...

The other policy the bnp are clear on is leaving the eu.This is never going to go away despite wishful thinking.None of the other partys has a clear cut policy.Most want out but the politicians will not listen.We were asked to vote on an economic union and I think most would be happy with that and not full severance.We were lied to and it rankles still.
We need a referendum asking,in,out or economic union only.If the conservatives promised this and to abide by the outcome,they would get a landslide victory.
No more mealy mouthing but lots more plain speaking so we know where the partys stand.

David Lindsay said...

Half of UKIP's vote at the last European Elections came from disaffected Labour voters who have been disenfranchised by the disappearance of the patriotic, social democratic, morally and socially conservative party that they knew, and its replacement by Harriet "Paedophile Information Exchange" Harman, Tony "IRA Fundraiser" McNulty, et al.

UKIP's star turn was a former Labour MP, and combining its and the Tories' vote in the North, the Midlands or London gives a ludicrously high figure for the number of natural Tories living there.

Its failure to keep those voters, including that former MP, is the reason why it can no longer fight a ward such as Swanley St Mary's. But the people there, and in so many other traditional Labour wards around the country, still want an alternative to New Labour.

Note that unchanged Tory figure: these are people who would never vote Tory in a million years. But then, as patriots and as moral and social conservatives, why would they ever have done so?

So the void is being filled.

By the BNP.

Jonathan Cook said...

Iain,

This is a huge issue - thank you for highlighting it.

Manual labourers in particular have been forgotten by the Westminster village.

Really nice decent guys in our village pub have been saying good things about the BNP for a long time - and they have been pro-BNP for longer than the current credit crisis too.

The single common issue I have found is that the people I have spoken to have seen their work taken away by "Poles".

Many of these people run small businesses and they are being undercut - and can't compete on price - "we don't live 10 to a house and can't do a job for the same price".

From their point of view, they have been in recession for years already.

I hope that you convince Eric Pickles to grasp the nettle on this issue. The Conservatives must be relevant to the average man on the street. Good luck.

neil craig said...

Tain your assumption that there was no movement from the Tories to BNP (well 1%) depends on assuming there is no national trend from Labour to Conservative. I suspect the Labour fall includes about 6% to Conservative & that there has been a 7% swing from Conservative to BNP.

I must admit I would much rather have seen UKIP still standing & probably winning but what this proves is that all 3 major parties are not fighting for supporters but merely for the title of least unpopular. Cameron's line about not considering policy changes but merely getting more workers on the streets to relate to people seems dreadfully complacent to me.

Bugledog said...

I went on a small demonstration in Westminster this week (against the introduction of motorcylce parking charges in Westminster) and the sheer venom against our politicians and the political class was something else. The average person thinks they stink! This is why the very localised BNP will continue to make inroads. Sad but true...

Bryan said...

There by the grace of God...
Now what do you expect. Inept politicians,expenses sleaze,good pensions whilst the rest of us struggle,over liberal views towards ethnic minorities - its either going to be social unrest or join the BNP

Dave H said...

Officially, since Labour came to power, 1.8 million people have moved to Britain. That's nearly enough people for two new Birminghams.

Most of them have come from outside the EU, bringing non-Western cultures, values and traditions. The rising influence of Islam is one of the more striking examples of this. Labour, the Libdems and the Conservatives (at least in public) are all pro mass immimgration.

Whatever else he is, Nick Griffin isn't stupid, and yet people still wonder why the BNP are winning elections.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I am appalled at the mudslinging going on here between followers of the main parties.

Some of you still don't get it. Some of you don't realise that hope lies with the proles.

All the major parties are committed to a spendathon on our behalf. All of them embrace Europe. (Is DC going to leave anytime soon?) All of them run a mile from tackling the crazy immigration policies and foreign policies that have brought us violent crime and terrorism.

They have run out of ideas. They still believe in a public consensus that was dead 20 years ago and consequently will carry on spending more and more public money on more drop in centres for Somalis.

There is now a very big difference between what ordinary people really think and what they are prepared to say in public. As others have said, it is not rocket science.

I hope the BNP will win more seats. It would be a wake up call for the main parties, just as the green lobby did, when everyone thought they were loonies.

I personally cannot see a situation where I would vote BNP, but then again, that is the sort of caveat filled claim a politician would make.

albertmbankment said...

Please explain to Master Cameron that he won't endear himself to any wavering voters by loftily describing their chosen party as "an excrescence rather than a party". He/you/I may well think that, but people are voting for the BNP for a reason, not simply on a perverse whim. It doesn't work, simply to deride it and fail to address the real concerns that people have. By deriding the party you are deriding the voters, AND EVERY VOTE COUNTS.

It takes a lot of nerve, in the current climate, to stand up for the BNP. Thus, those who do stand up for it, and are curiously unembarrassed to be identified with it, will need far more persuading than childish name-calling. If they are not taken seriously, why the hell should they take the 'more reputable' parties seriously. You sneer at Sun readers at your peril, and you should treat the BNP voters with the same level of (albeit grudging) respect. The price to be paid is a BNP MP at the next election, and uncomfortable headlines around the world.

Yak40 said...

The BNP getting a hold to me shows that it is a vote that has been hidden for a while, that of the hidden anti-immigration voter.


The only surprising thing is that it hasn't happened more often and sooner. Immigration is one issue of great concern to huge numbers of people, and rightly so, but any attempt to raise it to politicians' attention draws immediate accusations of racism from the media and the discrimination industry professionals. All three (two ?) major parties act the same so why would anyone be surprised if people look elsewhere ?

trevorsden said...

100 labpour voters went on strike and 200odd were so worked up they came from nowhere to vote in a by election??

Dream on Mr Paul. And its funny to see you claim LibDems, when they are doing something you do not like, are 'aka' Tories.

Labour seat disappears down the tubes as vote goes to BNP, meantime the Tories increase their share.

Cue headless chicken time from labour.

Acadaman - you talk rubbish. We have had a Labour government for 12 years. You cannot possibly say that any problems are equally the fault of the conservative party - or that somehow they are all the same. At the last election Howard ran a right wing line and was demonised for being anti immigrant.

Just because there is a problem does not excuse voting for a load of evil shits (in the case of the BNP) or a bunch of dorks (in the case of UKIP).

warelane said...

Before everyone starts getting hysterical let us remember the BNP have gained ONE council seat. They appear to have a highly motivated membership at a time when membership of the main parties is aging and in decline. Their victory in this context alone is unsurprising.

Another factor is the, at times, quite irresponsible reporting in the media. In the desire to maintain circulation figures the press paint a picture of Britain that is a caricature of reality.

Certainly there is a growing perception that Labour has abandoned the white working class. Since no other party even pretends to represent them then there really is only one place to go. Jon Cruddas has made some interesting commentary on this, as has Billy Bragg. As a Labour activist I only have one tool … to roll up my sleeves are get out there and argue.

Spartan said...

Warelane ... you'd do better addressing your leaders. The public have had enough of being told what to do.

warelane said...

I am not telling anyone what to do. I am prepared to argue my corner. Surely this is an important part of our democracy? I do not have all the answers. But I do have the courage of my convictions.

strapworld said...

well said winkled weasel!

Either party do not get the real resentment, indeed anger, felt by so many at the way politicians (Tory and more especially Labour) have allowed the mass immigration seen these past ten years.

They are amazed that a British Government would allow the free movement from EU countries without the safeguards the French and Germans got!

They are disgusted when decisions on our constitution can be ignored and promises for a referendum ignored! So making us part of the EUSSR!

Can Cameron change it around? To date HE has said absolutely nothing about the Lisbon Treaty and what he will do if it is ratified!

Is the BNP the answer? Of course not. BUT, when all the parties are staring with wide eyes towards the
EU and none are considering their constituents! can you blame people turning to the BNP?

Spartan said...

Not saying you are warelane but your leaders damn well are and they aren't listening to anyone ... except Lord Ahmed ... and the bankers.

The veterans l commented about earlier would give you a hard time, l can tell you. They as many others feel totally ignored and until your leaders address this (which they won't) l see you making very little headway.

Sorry for spelling mistake. ;-)

Wrinkled Weasel said...

This is Cameron's weakness, and it is not his fault; he is desperate to distance himself from the BNP. He cannot be seen to condone it in any way for obvious reasons. It's to do the all those specious cries of the "nasty" "heartless" Tories. One word, one bit of mood music in the direction of sanity, i.e, tackling the issues the BNP are quite rightly addressing, and he is toast.

He caught between a rock and a hard place. So he is inherently weakened. Since he is already an invertebrate flapping like a wind sock, there is no hope.

Strapworld quite rightly identifies the way in which Labour has ignored democracy over the EU. That act, which I consider criminal, now impacts on every tiny aspect of our impoverished lives.

Angry, yes I'm F angry.

WV: Foradica

Wrinkled Weasel said...

PS This threat is getting nasty. Iain should do a post on why it is a good idea to give civil partners a government start up grant, in order to calm us all down.

javelin said...

What I find worrying is the undemocratic nature of the EU politicial structures. I presume they have been set up by those who think they know what is best for Europe. Presumably wishing to keep the far right out. But in doing so they have created a defensive structure that has never been tested against democratic attack.

If you see the defence as a series of walls it is not clear to me that there is not a way though these defences that could stop the far right from hijacking the EU once they managed to get inside the perimiter fence.

It would be interesting to know what percentage of the vote the far-right would need before they could use any means necessary to take over the EU. No institution is flawless it would be nice to know where the flaws in the EU lie.

AProlefrom1984 said...

Is this Tory strategy against UKIP before the Euro elections? Mention UKIP and BNP in the same phrase enough times to subliminally convince voters they're both one and the same. It won't wash.
What evidence have you got that UKIP voters went to BNP? None.
The Tories have to give a positive reason to voters to switch to them. They have to show they're going to take on PC madness and that they're pro British. I heard Baroness Warsi on Radio 5 live this morning on polygamous marriages - Tories would be just as PC mad and anti British as Nu Lab.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Yes, Prole, I agree.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

http://an-ex-apprentice.blogspot.com/

has posted a transcript of a coruscating talk, given by Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance, delivered to Conservative Future.

I will just pick out one gem:

Over the past few generations, a new Establishment or ruling class has emerged in this country. It is a loose coalition of politicians, bureaucrats, educators, media people and associated business interests. These are people who derive income and status from an enlarged and activist state. They have been turning this country into a soft-totalitarian police state. They are not always friendly to a Labour Government. But their natural political home is the Labour Party. They will accept a Conservative Government on sufferance - but only so long as it works within a system that robs ordinary people of their wealth and their freedom. They will never consent to what should be the Conservative strategy of bringing about an irreversible transfer of power from the State back into the hands or ordinary people.

acadman said...

Trevorsden - the foundation and rise of UKIP long predates the New Labour government. It occurred when the Tories were in power and ignored grassroots feeling on the issue of Europe. Likewise the rise of the BNP has occurred under a Labour government for their contempt for the white working class and its concerns.

As some other posters like Wrinkled Weasel have alluded to, we are now ruled by a self-serving, cross-party class of people who see their career opportunities being best served by following policies which are at odds with and often entirely hostile to the wishes of the average British voter.

I would recommend Peter Oborne's brilliant 'The Triumph of the Political Class' for a masterful analysis of this phenomenon.

cassandra said...

What is wrong with the big three political parties, are they so cut off from actual reality that they cannot see what is going on?
The so called brightest and best are simply blind and deaf to the fears and concerns of the ordinary voter now!
The voters have been lied to constanly and their genuine fears have been derided as 'retarded xenaphobia'!
Westminster gave away our sovreignty to the EU without a referendum, Westminster encouraged mass immigration without asking permission from the voter and yet the Westminster village idiots still scratch their collective heads and wonder why people are turning to the BNP?
I am staggered that highly educated people can be so stupid and shortsighted in not seeing just what is happening out there to the common people who voted in the very representatives that are now betraying them and selling them out wholesale. What on earth did the political classes think would happen?
You cannot bully,betray,ignore, patronize and deride the very people who vote you in and then expect them to elect you again can you?

The self delusion of the political classes is truly staggering!

cassandra said...

With regard to the EU and the BNP, just watch how truly demoratic the EU parliament is when the newly elected BNP members try to take their seats!
They are going to be subjected to a campaign of sabotage and hatred that would make Mugabe blush!
The real test of democracy was failed by the EU parliament when the leftist/greens walked out during the Klaus speech the other day.

Spartan said...

Cassandra ... can you put democracy and EU in the same sentence?

Bernie Gudgeon said...

Swanley isn’t necessarily a ‘funny’ place. What it is, is an area that defies multi-culturalism. For two or more generations, immigrants have settled in neighbouring boroughs such as Lewisham and Catford, whilst ‘locals’ have gravitated to the suburbs of Bromley, Sidcup, Swanley – the Bexley region. A mix of ‘white-van-man’ (skilled tradesmen) and City workers, many categorize themselves ‘working class’ and, depending on their take on life, are just as likely to vote Labour as Conservative, BUT in both respects, position themselves on the right of the two parties. They are undoubtedly ‘tribal’ in outlook and have a strong sense of history (Mom survived the blitz, Granddad was gassed in his trench by the Boche). They are ‘English’ rather than British-Asian or British-Caribbean, and go back 4+ generations. Even now they resent having been driven out of Lewisham, Tottenham, Barking... etc. in the 60s and 70s. I suspect that 10 years ago they were feeling more comfortable with life and coming to terms with the changing face of Britain, but – following the accelerated level of immigration this last several years, and having seen their country fatally wounded by the Scottish Raj, have increasingly felt under siege - moving even further to the right AND being joined by some of their old lefty buddies. Don’t know if this is a nation-wide trend or just peculiar to this part of the southeast, but I do suspect that, whilst many of the Blairite new-labour voters from middle-class neighbourhoods are considering switching their support to Cameron, his background and ‘middle-way’ will continue irritate many, and they could well vote BNP.

JuliaM said...

warelane: "Another factor is the, at times, quite irresponsible reporting in the media. In the desire to maintain circulation figures the press paint a picture of Britain that is a caricature of reality."

Specifics..? What, exactly, do you mean by that?

Glyn H said...

Must agree with Wrinkled Weasel, Strapworld etc.. Schumpeter said that welfarism leads to socialist inertia (or something like that). Camerons lack of bite over Lisbon, Wilders, the obnoxious financial antics of Smith, Balls et al and failing to identify with the fears of Swanley voters is very disappointing. Labour shrieking about extreme parties or Conservatives calling ‘excrescence’ to the faces of put upon voters is no way to win elections in a civilised society.

Incidentally Iain; in the Western Morning News this morning is a court report of a creepy twat called Buckley who was caught, again, defacing trains with aerosols etc. 300 hours c/service and £1800 compensation ordered. Says he lives in Tunbridge Wells!

Cllr Chris Beverley said...

A fantastic result that goes to prove that the BNP can win just about anywhere. Aside from the areas lost through mass immigrtion of course.

What disgusting comments from Cameron, but they are a sign that he is worried by us I suppose.

Bert Rustle said...

According to Martin Wingfield The Battle for Thringstone - can you help?

... it's a Tory leaflet, produced in conjunction with Unite Against Fascism which is run by the Socialist Workers Party. Now that is a marriage made in hell - the very worse that British politics has to offer uniting against the BNP.

But this all goes to show how desperate the Old Gang parties are as well as just how similiar they are.

In Bexley it was the Lib-Dems that lined up with the UAF, in Newcastle it was Labour, and now in Thringstone it's the Tories. All tarred with the same brush and working with the lunatics of the Socialist Workers Party. ...


Can anyone corroborate or repudiate this?

The Wilted Rose said...

Labour voters (those who would never vote Tory, in particular) switching to the BNP in Sevenoaks is one thing: but what if it were to happen on a large scale in Labour-held marginal seats at the next general election? Or even in not-so-marginal Labour-held seats?

English First said...

This is precisely what will continue to happen. Folks are toe dipping! With the major political players regarded as liars, incompetents and milking the British tax payer dry with their crude examples of "legal" and fraudulent expenses, the voters are unsure where to turn.

This may also be a backlash at what is perceived to be continuing restrictions on free England. For example, anyone who is a member of the BNP can expect a very nasty time from the establishment! So, a backlash. In any case if politicians, many in the Lords are allowed to join Political organisations like The Communist Party, why is it not on to join the BNP? The BNP may not be for you but then neither may the Communist Party!

This is, sorry was, a free country! Something I have fought for twice!

You know what, I damn well wouldn`t fight for her again!

neil craig said...

According to the online dictionary "excresence" means "2. A usually unwanted or unnecessary accretion" which quite firmly shows Cameron's attutude that politics is a cosy Westminster monopoly of 3 parties which divvy up the country between them & that anybody else mere people choose to vote far aren't really part of politics.

Of course since the BNP opposed going to war against Yugolsavia to assist in the racial programme of Adalf Hitler & all 3 main parties were enthusiastic about, even to the extent of letting their "police" kidnap Serbs & cut them open, while still alive, to steal their body organs. I can see why the BNP would not want to be part of a conspiracy like that.

What I don't understand is how anybody who is can pretend to moral superiority, or indeed equality, to them.

The Grim Reaper said...

Yawn at the way this thread has developed.

People turning to the BNP is a worrying but completely predictable event, especially during a recession. There's a message for the mainstream parties in there - what a shame that Tom Harris, Chris Paul and other Labour Party apparataniks have no intention of paying attention to it. But nor do Call Me Dave and his Tory friends either.

And on a side note, Sir Iain said "Politicians aren't just able to ring up a programme and demand to go on, you know."

Not unless they're Alastair Campbell, they're not anyway.

Summer said...

Oh Iain, when will you stop behaving like a maiden Aunt who needs the smelling salts whenever sex is mentioned, over the BNP.

I'll tell you why the BNP are gaining ground.

Labour are anti British, they fill this country with immigrants who hate us, will not integrate and want to kill us. If you hadn't noticed the civil war has started already. British passport holders are fighting for the Taliban and sending bombs to blow up our soldiers (see today's Telegraph). AND, they have sold us out to the undomocratic EU who think it is OK to fill our country with foreign workers whilst skilled family men have to look for work picking grapes in say Italy!!!!

The Conservatives are not far behind Labour. Given their record of silence and reluctant comment over these issues, we have no faith they have the strength to do what needs to be done. They will capitulate to the anti British faction which now perverts our schools and institutions. They call BNP voters stupid instead of engaging with the issues.

The Liberals - well they go the way of the wind. And it's Clegg's fault the Lisbon Treaty got through. And who was jumping up at down supporting Jackie Smith over the Fina episode last week? Another anti-British party.

So who do we have left.
UKIP - well anyone seen them?

Greens - the get rid of humans and cover the land in windmill brigade?

BNP - the strongly British party with a strong leadership who want to send back to their spiritual homeland all those who don't want to integrate with the British way of life. Who want to promote our culture and a strong society. Do I and others want their other policies? No. Do we think they will do anything for the economy - probably not?

But this, ladies and gentlemen, is your choice for your poor country, who are you going to choose? Engage with the issues Iain, and I suggest your party does as well, before it is too late.

Windsor Tripehound said...

I wish I shared Trevorsden's (@1.21pm) clear vision of Conservative policy. I too am an active member of the party and I'm confused, so how are the disinterested and uninterested supposed to be in touch?

And for him (@ 12:00pm) to dismiss the disaffected white working class as merely bigots is, I'm afraid, typical of a mentality which fails to address the genuine concerns of a section of society which thinks that none of the major parties cares about them.

That's how the BNP gains a toe-hold, and that's why our party should be speaking to them directly and clearly. Scoring points at PMQs ain't worth two pen'orth of cold pee.

Old Holborn said...

Iain, the ruling elite have denounced YOU as a racist in recent weeks. They have denounced Guido as a racist just last week.

In short, anyone who doesn't vote for them OR THINK LIKE THEM is a vile racist.

We are ALL vile racists now

Is it any wonder that some are now deciding to vote for a party that doesn't call them a racist?

Leg Iron on why we are ALL racists now

Raedwald said...

The comments appear to show a wide consensus that the electorate's disillusionment with the old three parties and the political class is going to produce some 'wild' voting outside of the old tribal loyalty box.

With the dire prospect of the combined membership of the three dying parties falling below 1% of the electorate for the first time ever, this may not be so much of a recessional blip but a position from which recovery will not be possible.

However, there are encouraging signs that some Conservatives at least are not pretending that the voters like them but are facing the reality that the voters hate Labour, and that this is likely to give Cameron a Parliamentary majority. But it doesn't auger well for the future.

The June elections are shaping up to be interesting, anyway.

Chalcedon said...

It's not at all surprising. People are fed up with unfettered immigration and the EU. Hence the vote for the BNP. Expect a fair few more I reckon.

Peter said...

I would tell you why the BNP won in Sevenoakes Kent, but hey everyone allready knows. Everyone allready knows apart from that is the LibLabCon who are in denial that the voters through England and Wales identify with the BNP and their policies.

Europe, political correction, multiculturalism for example are all mad. This is Britain, we are British and we want to be British. British people do not want to be world citizens.

Well done to Councillor Paul Golding.

Rightwinggit said...

"excrescence".....

Take a look at the occupations on the leaked membership list.

Medical people.
Members of the services.
Fire-fighters.
Plumbers.
Builders.
Carpenters, etc.
Teachers.
Police officers (retired, calm down).

Ordinary people who help make the country run.

And Cameron called them that?
He just handed them seats.

troymolloy said...

It is very fashionable to say that the BNP are racist scum, far-right madmen who are not fit to breathe the same air etc. etc.. Now personally I would not vote for them because I find their policies bonkers in several critical areas... but if a BNP councillor does a crap job he can be voted out. If not, he is not in any position to enact his party's national agenda (unlike those from the major parties... though whether local councillors should ever be anything other than Independent is doubtful in my mind).

If anyone can convince me that it's better to vote for Labour than the BNP without relying on those oft-abused words 'racist' and 'homophobic' I'll be very surprised. Even if we were talking about national government it could be argued (by anyone who wouldn't mind the BBC and main political parties ostracising them for the next 20 years) that the BNP only promise tyrrany for the few, where Labour promise it for the many.

Thatsnews said...

And of course, "British jobs for British workers" (prop. G. Brown) had no effect whatsoever.

Having the leader of the Labour Party spouting BNP slogans can't have helped.

Thatsnews said...

Oh, dear me, Adam!
I don't necessarily agree that Labour have ignored the white working classes although there are perhaps areas they could have focused on them more and communicated more effectively.

Dalek-like auto voice intones
...we have...not...got..the...message across...{BEEP!} We...failed...to...communicate...effectively ...{whir! Clunk!}

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

It sounds like part of the problem is that under Cameron the Tories have become Liarbour-lite.
We have that problem to some extent in New Zealand.
But adopting much of the liberal left agenda means a huge constiotuency has no voice so they turn to UKIP, the BNP, etc.
The Tories need to rediscover the working class, the C2s, Essex man, and cultivate them; the recipe that brought them to power under Margaret Thatcher.