Socialist Worker

BNP gets stuffed in Stoke too

Issue No. 2201

It wasn’t just in Barking that the BNP failed.

Their vote dropped in every one of their top ten seats from 2005.

On average, across all their 338 parliamentary seats they contested, the BNP increased their average vote per candidate by only 48 votes.

As for the councils, the BNP stood over 700 but it did not gain one seat.

They lost at least 24 of their 31 existing councillors who were up for re-election.

Stoke-on-Trent was known as the BNP’s “jewel in the crown”, the city where Nick Griffin launched the BNP general election campaign.

Paul Jenkins, Unite Against Fascism (UAF) organiser for the region, said “They were hammered despite their presence for a number of years and the fact that the EDL rioted here earlier in the year.

BNP Deputy Leader Simon Darby came fourth in the Stoke Central parliamentary seat. And the BNP lost two of its council seats up for re-election.

“A year ago, the BNP held nine seats and were poised to take control of the council,” said Paul, “now they have been reduced to five seats.

Turnout

“In Stoke UAF worked with North Staffordshire Campaign Against Racism & Fascism, with trades unionists from Stoke Trades Council, PCS, NUT, UCU, UNISON and others.

“We delivered thousands of leaflets, which labelled and exposed the BNP as Nazis.

“We took part in activities involving a broad base of campaigners like the PCS Make Your Vote Count battle bus and UAF groups travelled to join these from across the Midlands and North West England.

“We worked with Staffordshire University student union to mobilise a higher student turnout.”

The BNP vote plummeted in Burnley, with two sitting councillors kicked out.

In Sandwell the BNP lost two sitting councillors, in Solihull the sitting BNP councillor was defeated and in Leeds the BNP’s Chris Beverley was booted out.

These fantastic results are due to tireless anti‑Nazi campaigning, and also an increased turnout. But there can be no room for complacency.

The BNP took 563,743 votes nationally and will hope that, sustained by the main parties’ anti-immigration rhetoric, that they can revive as the cuts bite.

We need UAF groups in every town and city and opposition to their racist conspirators in the English Defence League.


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.