From Norfolk Unity:
The BNP’s general election campaign hit the buffers across the country in spectacular style last night, with the vast majority of its candidates losing their deposits, unable to make even the tiny 5% necessary to keep their £500In the BNP’s two main target constituencies there was no joy for either party leader Nick Griffin or his deputy Simon Darby.
Darby, parachuted in to Stoke Central at the expense of former organiser Alby Walker, took only 7.7% and 2502 votes, increasing the BNP vote by just 0.1%, a derisory increase given that the party seriously believed it could gain an MP in the constituency – that being the reason Alby Walker was elbowed aside by Darby.
Darby’s lacklustre, almost non-existent campaigning, is sure to further anger already demoralised local BNP members, who felt that the well-known and – unusually for the BNP – highly regarded Walker, a local councillor and former leader of Stoke Council BNP group, had been badly used by Griffin and Darby, who squandered the BNP’s chances on the altar of their own ambition.
In Barking, where Griffin had carpet-bagged the constituency from local councillor Richard Barnbrook, no amount of hoopla could save the BNP leader from getting self-inflicted egg all over his face. Barking was another constituency the BNP believed might give them an MP, hence Griffin’s order to Barnbrook to stand down in favour of himself.
As the campaign went on Griffin began to reign in expectations, claiming that his candidature was intended purely to assist the simultaneous BNP campaign to take control of Barking and Dagenham council, though he still expected to increase the BNP vote and come second to sitting Labour MP Margaret Hodge.
In the event Griffin lost ground, his vote share falling from 16.3% to 14.6%, placing him a distant third, behind the Conservative Simon Marcus, who, like Hodge, put on votes and share.
In Norfolk the BNP nose-dived. In Norfolk North West, where even the BNP’s opponents expected them to at least save their deposit, Dave Fleming took a meagre 3.8%, not helped even by the antics of Labour candidate Manish Sood, who lost 18% of the governing party’s vote.
In next door Norfolk South West, the BNP (Dennis Pearce) managed on 3.6%, while in Yarmouth, despite the Labour vote plummetting by 12%, Bosco Tann managed to convince only 3.3% of the electorate. In Mid Norfolk the BNP’s Christine Kelly fared even worse, taking only 2.5%, and in South Norfolk Helen Mitchel took a risible 2%.
The BNP were made to look complete fools in Norwich South (Len Heather), achieving a joke 1.5% as former Labour minister Charles Clarke lost the seat to the Liberal Democrats.
Only two Norfolk results involving the BNP remain to declare as we post, but it is unlikely the BNP will improve on its lamentable performance across the rest of the county.
(LATER: BNP's Edith Crowther crashes in Broadland with just 1.7% of the vote, and BNP's Tom Richardson in Norwich North with hilarious 1.8% ).
As the racist party faces serious internal turmoil due to Griffin’s highly public falling out with ousted webmaster Simon Bennett, who has made a number of serious accusations against Griffin, the future for the BNP looks bleak.
Nick Griffin encouraged BNP members to hold utterly unrealistic expectations of success in the general election, many of them believing the party would gain several MPs, for which they repeatedly dug deep into their pockets. With those expectations shattered disenchantment is certain to follow as the Griffin-worshippers come to see that the expensive and wrong-headed strategy persued by the BNP was the product of Griffin’s own incompetence and that nobody but him is to blame that in an election when the word “immigration” was on almost every voter’s lips, they came away empty-handed and humiliated.
Griffin’s only hope of salvaging something from the wreckage of the BNP campaign is a face-saving performance in local election counts, due to begin shortly. If the BNP fails to impress, Nick Griffin and the BNP could easily be facing their 1979 moment*.
By Denise Garside
*In 1979 a similar performance by the National Front resulted in the swift implosion of what had been the biggest fascist movement in Britain since the days of Oswald Mosley.