May 4 2012

Bye bye BNP!

Fascists had a bad night in local elections across the country. The BNP has, at the time of writing, lost all of the seats it was defending and failed to win any new seats. None of the smaller fascist groupuscles has fared any better.

In the East Midlands, the BNP lost their two seats in Heanor where their share of the vote was considerably reduced. Cliff Roper’s term as “the invisible councillor” obviously didn’t go down well with the electorate and his share of the vote has fallen to 19.1% from the 36.5% he won with in 2008. Beaten into third place, Councillor Roper has become simply another nationalist chancer, the Heanor Patriot. Lewis Allsebrook’s replacement, Adrian Hickman, also failed to impress and came last. In Heanor & Loscoe the BNP’s share of the vote was halved and in Ripley & Marehay it was reduced to a third of the 2008 result. Emma Roper did particularly badly, getting only 59 votes (4.2%) in Codnor & Waingroves. This is about a quarter of the share won by fascist farmer Alan Warner in 2008.

The National Front’s Amber Valley candidate, Timothy Knowles, only got 99 votes in Langley Mill, coming in last place.

Over in Lincoln, disgraced Nazi sympathiser and BNP candidate, Dean Lowther, got a pathetic 49 votes (2.8%) coming in last place. This is less than a quarter of the 12.2% he got last time around.

In Derby, the BNP did slightly less badly but their vote was still down on the 2008 results. Paul Hilliard’s black shirt campaign won him 14.7% of the vote in Chaddesden, but this was down from the 17.9% he got in 2008. The only good news for the party was that candidates in Derwent and Spondon beat the Lib Dems into last place, gaining 11.9% and 8.1% of the vote respectively.

Hope Not Hate are collecting the far right’s results on their website and you can compare them with the results from 2008 here.

It seems that electoral support for the fascists is well down from its peak. Nick Griffin’s troubled leadership of the BNP looks decidedly shaky and party activists and voters are leaving in droves. The new fluffier British Freedom Party, who are backed by the EDL, haven’t got off to a good start either. Their candidate in Basildon only managed to get 4% of the vote and none of the 4 candidates currently declared in Liverpool got more than 3%.

These are good results for anti-fascists but we should never be complacent. The BNP was still voted for by a little under 1 in 5 people in Heanor and they are consistently winning over 10% in parts of Derby. There is always the danger that the far right will rearrange itself around a new pole in the wake of the BNP’s plunge into obscurity and start building on these foundations. Their current failure is a cause for celebration. Let’s make sure they don’t come back from the dead.


May 4 2012

BNP fail in Derby

It looks like the BNP have had a really bad election. Locally their loss of two seats in Amber Valley has been compounded by their failure to make a breakthrough in Derby.

Admirer of Mussolini’s Blackshirts and “Grand Dictator of Derbyshire” Paul Hilliard was the most successful of the three  candidates they stood in the city, but even he only managed to get 459 votes (14.7%) and come third, although this put him ahead of the LibDems. Vanessa Griffin also beat the LibDems, taking 270 votes (8.1%) while Julie Fuller beat the tories into fourth, securing 302 votes (11.9%).

Chaddesden

  • Care Ian (Lib Dem) 134
  • Hassall Steve (Con) 836
  • Hilliard Paul (BNP) 459
  • MacDonald Anne (Lab) 1,689

Derwent

  • Fuller Julie (BNP) 302
  • Hudson Richard (Lib Dem) 689
  • Redfern Margaret (Lab) 1,314
  • Roulstone Nicola (Con) 239

Spondon

  • Froggatt Steve (Lab) 1,305
  • Griffin Vanessa (BNP) 270
  • King Simon (Lib Dem) 153
  • Williams Evonne (Con) 1,587

(Results taken from This is Derbyshire.)


May 4 2012

NF trounced in Langley Mill

Tim Knowles standing for the National Front (NF) in the Amber Valley ward of Langley Mill and Aldercar came third, in a contest which saw labour take the seat from the Tories, receiving a paltry 99 votes.

Knowles was the only NF candidate standing in the East Midlands in yesterday’s local elections. However, across the country the NF was contesting more seats than it had in any election since 1982.

Knowles had previously managed to get himself elected unopposed  (i.e. no one else bothered to stand, so he won by default) to Langley Mill Parish Council last year, but was booted off the council after only a few months having failed to fill in the declaration of acceptance or to attend a single meeting.

While 99 votes and third place will be disappointing for Knowles (and heartening for anti-fascists), on a turnout of 1,137 (27.7% of those registered to vote) it actually amounts to 8.7% of the vote. In a General Election that would be enough to get back his deposit (although Parliamentary constituencies are obviously larger than borough council wards).

That he achieved even this much and the apparent disinterest of much of the electorate underlines the extent to which the mainstream parties have ignored areas like Langley Mill. Anti-fascists cannot afford to make the same mistake.


May 4 2012

BNP lose two seats in Amber Valley

Yesterday’s local elections have not gone well for the BNP in Amber Valley. They have lost the two seats they took in 2008, with a massive slump in the percentage of the vote:

  • Heanor East: 19.1% (2012) 36.5% (2008)
  • Heanor West: 18.2% (2012) 29.5% (2008)

There were 16 seats up for election (one third of the total) with the BNP standing five candidates. Although none won, the votes they were able to achieve varied widely:

  • Heanor East: Cliff Roper, 284 votes, 19.1%
  • Heanor West: Adrian Hickman, 272 votes, 18.2%
  • Heanor and Loscoe: Ken Cooper,  245 votes, 17.8%
  • Codnor and Waingroves: Emma Roper, 59 votes, 4.2%
  • Ripley and Marehay: Alan Edwards, 130 votes, 7.5%

Former councillor Cliff Roper has described the results as “disappointing.”

Roper, commenting on his Heanor Patriot blog, would have supporters believe that the party’s loses “mirror those of smaller parties throughout the country as we were swept aside in a national backlash against the coalition government, which resulted in a massive vote for Labour by an electorate eager to punish the coalition parties.” The reality is more complicated with many “smaller parties” actually doing quite well. There was an unprecedented vote for UKIP and steady progress by the Green Party, while Respect ousted the Labour leader in Bradford.

There does not appear to have been a great deal of anti-fascist activity in the area, although Hope Not Hate report having organised a couple of leafleting sessions. Whether this had an effect is impossible to gauge.

Internal squabbling amongst the local BNP can’t have helped. Roper resigned the whip last year and was even accused of being a “secret red”, only to return to the fold. Fellow councillor Lewis Allsebrook also jumped ship earlier this year amidst accusations of backstabbing and incompetence. Hopefully their latest failures will only fuel the infighting.