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.