British National Party Set To Make Electoral Gains
The British National Party is on course to make significant gains in the local elections in England in two weeks time, according to a YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph today.
It shows that seven per cent of voters are ready to back the far-Right party and that 24 per cent have considered voting BNP in the past or are thinking of doing so now.
In the eyes of almost three-quarters of potential BNP supporters, Britain “almost seems like a foreign country”.
The poll underlines the recent warning from Margaret Hodge, the employment minister, that white working-class families felt so neglected by the Government and angered by immigration that they were deserting Labour and flocking to the BNP.
Mrs Hodge told The Sunday Telegraph that eight out of 10 white people in her east London constituency of Barking were threatening to vote for the BNP on May 4.
The surge in support for the BNP – which displaced the National Front as Britain’s main far-Right party in 1982 – could damage the Conservatives in the local elections, which will be David Cameron’s first electoral test since becoming Tory leader.
The poll suggests that the BNP draws its support more from the Conservatives than from Labour – and is gaining ground at the expense of the Liberal Democrats and UK Independence Party.
The strong showing for the BNP, which has already achieved more success than any other far-Right party, will alarm all the mainstream parties. At the general election last year, the BNP won 4.3 per cent of the vote across the 116 seats it contested. It polled 16.9 per cent in the Barking constituency.
The poll confirms the fears of Labour MPs that Mrs Hodge’s warning about the support for the BNP among white working-class voters has given the party a valuable boost. In recent months, almost no one had been telling YouGov they would vote BNP, but publicity following her comments has highlighted the party’s existence.
A report by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust this week said that up to 25 per cent of voters indicated they “might vote” for the party. It claimed that support for the BNP from skilled and semi-skilled workers reflected voter “tension” about multi-cultural Britain.