Everybody knew that the 2015 General Election was going to see poor results for the English Democrats (ED), British National Party (BNP) and National Front (NF) as well as a myriad of far-Right groups. The UK Independence Party (Ukip) had gained momentum as a ‘respectable’ Party that spoke out on issues like immigration. Just as in 1979 when Thatcher talked of people feeling that they had been “swamped” to gain the votes of those who previously voted for the National Front Farage courted those who had previously voted (in large numbers) for the British National Party (BNP).
This is probably what lay behind the shock decision made by BNP Organisers to stand in a very limited number of seats (8 Parliamentary Constituencies) way down on the previous total. Those attending their Organisers Conference in January said that they understoood from the European Election results and by-elections that the BNP vote had transferred to UKIP. Speakers said that until voters realised that UKIP were not the solution the BNP vote (and indeed the votes of other ‘far Right’ groups) would be depressed. The English Democrats, in contrast, decided to contest many more seats, as it turned out, unwisely.
The BNP also seemed to have realised that the First Past the Post system used in UK General Elections has never favoured non-establishment Parties. Indeed it appears that the BNP is now championing electoral reform. Ukip voters as well as the Greens have now seen how the First Past the Post system works! Ukip secured over three million votes accross the UK – they won one seat. Under two million people voted for the Scottish National Party (SNP) and they won 56 seats. The SNP did well with concentrated support. UKIP support spread over many constituencies didn’t translate into political power. Only the Tory defector Carswell won a seat (and that on a reduced majority). Farage failed to win and resigned as Ukip leader and then returned leading to bitter infighting and an uncertain future for that Party.
Even though the BNP concentrated on just a handful of its strongest areas the party’s results were the worst in their history, with every single candidate polling below 1%.
It was little better for any of their immediate rivals. No ED, BNP or NF candidate received higher than 1.3% of the vote.
Splits from the BNP like the British Democratic Party and British Unity fared badly. The BDP stood only one Parliamentary candidate and the Nick Griffin franchise, British Unity, could manage only one Council candidate in the whole country.
At local level there were mixed results for the BNP. Cathy Duffy was defeated in the council seat (East Goscote ward, Charnwood) that she had held for the past eight years. On a positive note she did receive 36.0% to finish runner-up (down only 6.3% from the previous contest there in 2011). Parish results were also more favourable for the BNP which got some elected unopposed and some respectable percentages in actual contests.
Looking at voting patterns in the local elections the BNP and other ‘far Right’ groups did better in areas where they did not face Ukip opposition. This may indicate that the Ukip vote is a soft vote which will transfer under certain circumstances. How far the BNP, EDs or NF would be able to win that vote in a contest on a level playing field as regards campaign spending is something yet to be tested. All their electoral fortunes appear at present to be tied to that of Ukip – at least at a Parliamentary level. If the Ukip vote falls then votes for the ‘far Right’ are likely to rise, if it stays the same or rises they will have to mark out a very distinctive image from Ukip to make any headway (something they have as yet been unable or unwilling to do).
Hornchurch & Upminster – Paul Borg 0.3% (-6.1)
Old Bexley & Sidcup – Nicola Finch 0.5% (-4.2)
Dagenham & Rainham – Tess Culnane 0.4% (-10.8)
Rotherham – Adam Walker 0.6% (-9.8)
Charnwood – Cathy Duffy 0.9% (-4.9)
Boston & Skegness – Robert West 0.3% (-5.0)
Kingswood – Julie Lake 0.3% (-2.4)
Braintree – Paul Hooks 0.2% (-2.0)
Rochdale – Kevin Bryan 1.0% (-3.9)
Carshalton & Wallington – Richard Edmonds 0.1% (+0.1)
Hull East – Mike Cooper 0.2% (-2.3)
Linlithgow & East Falkirk – Neil McIvor 0.2% (+0.2)
Aberdeen North – Chris Willett 0.4% (+0.4)
Bridgend – Adam Lloyd 0.2% (+0.2)
North Tyneside – Rob Batten 0.4% (-0.9)
Bradford East – Dr Jim Lewthwaite 0.5% (+0.5)
Independent nationalist result:
Stoke North – Craig Pond 0.9% (+0.9)
Bournemouth West – Dick Franklin 0.2% (+0.2)
Chichester – Dr Andrew Emerson 0.2% (+0.2)
Liberty GB results
Birmingham Ladywood – Timothy Burton 0.6% (+0.6)
Lewisham West & Penge – George Whale 0.1% (+0.1)
Luton South – Paul Weston 0.4% (+0.4)
English Democrat results
Barnsley Central – Ian Sutton 1.3% (+1.3)
Barnsley East – Kevin Riddiough 1.1% (+1.1)
Bath – Jenny Knight 0.1% (+0.1)
Berwick-upon-Tweed – Neil Humphrey 0.2% (+0.2)
Bexleyheath & Crayford – Maggi Young 0.3% (-0.7)
Bradford West – Therese Hirst 0.2% (+0.2)
Brentwood & Ongar – Robin Tilbrook 0.3% (-0.6)
Bury South – Valerie Morris 0.4% (-0.7)
Central Suffolk & North Ipswich – Tony Holyoak 0.3% (+0.3)
Dagenham & Rainham – Kim Gandy 0.2% (+0.2)
Dartford – Steve Uncles 0.4% (-3.9)
Don Valley – Louise Dutton 0.6% (-3.5)
Doncaster Central – Dean Walker 0.8% (-3.6)
Doncaster North – David Allen 1.1% (-4.0)
Erith & Thamesmead – Graham Moore 0.4% (-0.7)
Faversham & Mid Kent – Gary Butler 0.3% (+0.3)
Harlow – Eddy Butler 0.3% (+0.3)
Kettering – Derek Hilling 0.3% (-1.7)
Monmouth – Stephen Morris 0.2% (+0.2)
Nuneaton – Steve Paxton 0.2% (+0.2)
Penistone & Stocksbridge – Colin Porter 1.1% (no change)
Rother Valley – Sharon Pilling 0.8% (+0.8)
Rotherham – Dean Walker 0.4% (+0.4)
Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough – Justin Saxton 0.4% (+0.4)
Sheffield Central – Elizabeth Breed 0.2% (+0.2)
Sheffield Hallam – Steve Clegg 0.3% (-0.8)
Sheffield Heeley – David Haslett 0.3% (+0.3)
Sheffield South East – Matthew Roberts 0.3% (+0.3)
Southend West – Jeremy Moss 0.4% (-0.9)
Stevenage – Charles Vickers 0.2% (-0.6)
Wentworth & Dearne – Alan England 0.7% (+0.7)
Weston-super-Mare – Clive Lavelle 0.6% (+0.1)