Three council by-elections in Burnley during the last two weeks have seen the Nazi BNP build on its general election performance but not yet break through to win a seat. In the latest election in Rosehill ward on Thursday of last week the BNP grabbed 230 votes (19 percent).
However, Labour won the seat which had previously been held by an Independent. The week before the BNP took 181 votes in Trinity ward (19 percent) and 283 in Lowerhouse (23 percent).
The failure of New Labour and the other main political parties to do anything about over 20 years of decline in the former mill town means people are desperate for an alternative. Some have been fooled into backing the BNP, although 80 percent of those who vote reject them.
Anti-Nazi campaigners have stepped up their work in the light of these election results. United opposition to the BNP is growing, with the biggest ever local anti-Nazi picket taking place at the count of the latest by-election. That work needs to be deepened in the run-up to May's council elections.