The demise of the BNP as a significant political force has today gathered speed. The far right party has lost all 12 of its council seats it was hoping to defend. Only the truly audacious would try to argue that this is anything other than a disaster for the party.
The BNP’s official website however gives it a good go commenting, “Labour will be seen to have taken seats off everyone. And yet again, the plain truth is that this includes the BNP”. This seems to be wishful thinking. At the time of writing the electorate appear to have abandoned both Conservative and Liberal Democrats, but support for Greens, Scottish Nationalists and to a lesser extent the UKIP has modestly grown. Other smaller parties have done well while the BNP have been all but obliterated from electoral politics. You can see the full election results here.
Equally I wonder how the BNP would explain Le Pen’s extraordinary success in the recent French Presidential elections (where the socialists are in opposition and have attracted wide spread support).
The demise of the BNP however should be met with a degree of caution. In line with the BNP’s political demise we have seen a growing presence of the far right on our streets. New social movements such as the English Defence League (EDL) are making increasingly frequent appearances. As the BNP lose support, their hardened support base will look to fill the void that has been left. Be under no illusion that the far right still holds significant support across the UK.
What emerges from the ashes of Griffin’s train crash of a political party remains to be seen.