|BNP Leader Nick Griffin posing with a Nazi flag|
Despite BNP claims to be the "Party of the moderate right", and accusing the BBC of Marxist/Communist propaganda and lies, the truth about the BNP is there for the general public to see. It calls itself a "White nationalist" party, and its leader Nick Griffin is frequently pictures standing next to White Power or Nazi flags/Swastikas, and Nick Griffin recently attacked the European Commission for not taking action against Greece after the Greek Parliament had banned the blatantly Neo-Nazi organization Golden Dawn. The party is, admittedly, "Moderate" compared to the extremist National Front party, which calls for forced repatriation of foreigners and non-whites, but "Voluntary repatriation" as is proposed by the BNP is no better.
In a recent EU election poll, it was found that the BNP polled at 0%- Strikingly, because all of their voters last time seem to be switching to UKIP. This change is devastating and may mean that Nick Griffin will lose his seat at the Euro elections, and, just to rub it in his face, he may lose his set to the benefit of Afzal Khan, a British Muslim candidate for Labour who has campaigned extensively against the BNP. What has caused this incredible BNP collapse?
For starters, as mentioned in the introduction, a major factor has been the popularity of UKIP. When the BNP used to win Council Seats in areas such as Burnley and pushed hard in Oldham a decade ago, this was during a time of extreme disillusionment with the Labour Party. The Iraq War was ongoing, and the popularity of Labour PM Tony Blair had declined significantly. Consequently, many people to the right of centre and many working class voters, who did vote for Tony Blair in 1997, decided that they could no longer trust the Labour Party and defected to the BNP. During times of great national crisis or hardship, the influence of the far-right is often at its strongest, as people look for somebody to blame. Immigrants are easy targets- For the vast majority of Brits, who read and believe what they see in the Murdoch Media, which constantly vilifies immigrants and foreigners, it is very easy to believe that immigrants, Muslims, and Romanians/Bulgarians are the source of the problem, rather than Britons themselves. For years, the BNP were the strongest Anti-Immigration voice for the fascists and extreme Right-Wingers, as well as disgruntled, disillusioned, and disenfranchised Labour, Tory, and even Liberal Democrat voters. Then came UKIP, soaring on a popular wave of Anti-Immigration,Anti-Foreign, and anti-EU sentiment. Because UKIP claims (ostensibly)to be a "Non-racist, Libertarian party" in its constitution, this made sure that the party was not marginalized or stigmatized in the same way that the BNP has been, allowing it to grow beyond the 8-10% that was the peak of the BNP's national support, and allowing it to pick up some Labour, Tory, and Lib Dem voters who were sceptical about supporting the BNP because it was openly fascist. For this reason, UKIP is polling strongly in places where the BNP never has and never will, such as fiercely Conservative Lincolnshire and Kent. This has led to many former BNP members and supporters quitting the party to join UKIP, which explains the highly publicised scandals involving UKIP candidates and councillors that frequently come out in the newspapers.
Another big factor is the fact that Labour are in opposition, and the Labour Party's popularity is currently high. There is significant evidence to suggest that the BNP's support is highest when the Labour Party is struggling in the polls. Since the Labour Party is in opposition it then picks up some anti-establishment Labour voters who would otherwise protest vote for other political parties, including the BNP, during mid-term elections if Labour were in government.
All in all, this is very bad news for the British National Party. UKIP are now replacing them as the voice of the Far-Right, and it now looks extremely unlikely that the BNP will pick up the 8% of the vote needed for Nick Griffin to hold his European Parliament seat. Not holding the seat would have dire consequences-Nick Griffin is personally bankrupt and funds his party by using European Taxpayers money and their expenses. If he loses his seat, it is likely that the BNP may collapse completely due to bankruptcy, and could shrink to a shadow of what it was, just like the National Front. Only time will tell if fascism really is on the decline.