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.
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.
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.