The BNP did not have a good election. The party lost all the seats it was defending and failed to win any new seats. In many areas its vote was down, in some cases by as much as 50%. All good news for anti-fascists. Unfortunately, they’re not entirely gone. Not yet, anyway.
This week’s defeats follow a poor election last year and the number of BNP councillors has slumped from a high of 57 only three years ago to just three: Sharon Wilkinson on Lancashire County Councillor, Brian Parker in Pendle and – in our region – Catherine Duffy on Charnwood Borough Council in Leicester.
While other far-right parties have failed to capitalise on the BNP’s demise, there are also a handful of independents who are former members of the party, like Graham Partner on Leicestershire County Council. In some cases they will have repudiated their former politics, but it’s not as if politicians never lie. Recall that Partner was recently investigated for distributing an anti-Muslim leaflet.
Ongoing infighting will make it difficult for the few remaining BNP councillors to hold onto their seats when they are next up for re-election (in Duffy’s case in 2014). It is up to anti-fascists to ensure that they are stamped out entirely and that no other far-right group is able to take their place.