Fresh defeats for BNP

15 December 2005

THE British National Party failed to make the impact it had hoped for in three council by-elections on December 1st.

In the two of the polls the BNP was beaten into third place and in the remaining election it finished what must be a hugely disappointing fourth place. It is likely that the by-elections were the fascist party’s last chance before the May local elections to make an impact and halt its 14-month electoral slump.

Grays Riverside ward in Thurrock, Essex, had been the scene of one of the BNP’s triumphs in 2003 when its candidate Nick Geri won the seat in 2003. However, he lost the following year and on December 1st the BNP candidate finished third with 340 votes. The Tories came second with 348 votes and Labour’s Val Cook won with 575 votes.

In The Homesteads ward, also in Thurrock, Labour’s Tony Benson won with 661 votes. The Conservatives again came second, the Liberal Democrats third and the BNP a very poor fourth.

Finally, in Felling Ward, Gateshead, Paul McNally, the Labour candidate, won with 848 votes. The Lib Dems finished a distant second with 208 and the BNP could only manage 96 votes, or 7.8 per cent of the poll.

While the three polls were good news for Labour and relatively bad news for the Tories, the one concern was the fascist vote in Grays Riverside ward, where the BNP still managed to pick up 25 per cent of the vote despite finishing third. This perhaps showed that while it has had a run of bad results, the BNP is far from finished, although it seems the anti-racist vote is turning out in a more determined way than previously.

There was a strong anti-racist campaign in Riverside, including Searchlight, Unite Against Fascism and local Together groups.

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