Friday, February 09, 2007

The minnows march

In a council by-election in Nuneaton & Bedworth yesterday, the "extreme right wing" BNP came in second with 31.15 percent of the vote, only narrowly beaten by the incumbent Labour, which took the seat with 37.54 percent.

One should never draw conclusions from one set of results – especially from local by-elections. But this was a hard-fought contest, where the turnout was 36.08 percent despite the heavy snow, compared with the 20 percent that might have been expected.

The Conservatives managed a mere 17.17 percent, the Lib-Dems 6.79 percent and UKIP a pathetic 0.45 percent, accounting for exactly eight votes. They were even beaten by the English Democrats, who pulled 75 votes.

BNP's vote compares favourably with its share of the vote in Bradford during last May's local authority elections, when it achieved 27.5 percent of the vote in the wards which they contested.

As results like this continue to drift in, we are seeing more and more a broad-based rejection of the mainstream political parties, with voters turning to the minnows. In the north and the midlands (and some parts of London), BNP is the front-runner. Elsewhere, UKIP is getting some of the votes.

Yet again, the Boy King, who must capture these disillusioned voters, if he is to form a government, is not making the progress.


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