BNP, far right and nationalist candidates all lose heavily
no fascist candidates stood in Wolverhampton
The 2013 local elections saw the lowest number of far right candidates since 2002 and this reflects their electoral decline in recent years, showing that continued campaigning by groups such as ours in Wolverhampton and across Britain by Hope Not Hate, Unite Against Fascism and community groups such as Norscraf in Staffordshire.
The British National Party (BNP) stood just 105 candidates across England, compared to 450 in the county council elections four years ago. What is worse for the BNP is that they are a serious contender in just two or three seats. Even Sharron Wilkinson, who is the BNP’s only current county councillor, has decided not to defend her seat in Burnley.
The BNP could not even find candidates for the Mayoral elections in Doncaster and North Tyneside.
There is even worse news for the recently formed British Democratic Party (BDP). Set up by former BNP officers and organisers, including Andrew Brons MEP, the BDP hoped to replace the BNP as the main far right party in the UK. With just three candidates, their journey is set to be a long one.
Both the BNP and BDP will no doubt argue that the lack of candidates is a deliberate move because they realise that the rise of UKIP severely hampers their chances. While this might be a political reality, this is not the reason for the lack of candidates. The truth is simply that the far right is in complete disarray.
The decline of the BNP has long been seen as an opportunity by the English Democrats. While they are not a far right party, their leadership had hoped to attract BNP members into their ranks and the support of BNP voters through the ballot box. Last year, this seemed to work as 43% of their candidates were former BNP members. Their fortunes have deteriorated since then, not helped of course by their bizarre tie up with the thugs of the EDL and the fascists and racists of Britain First. Despite boasting only a few weeks before the election of over 300 candidates, the English Democrats only managed to stand 39, half of whom in Kent.
The BNP has been on a downward spiral since it was heavily defeated in Barking and Dagenham in 2010. This year saw that continue and as a consequence we are likely to see the far right, including the EDL and its numerous splinter groups, increasingly turn away from the ballot box.