BBC BLOGS - Nick Robinson's Newslog
« Previous | Main | Next »

Fewer votes for BNP

Nick Robinson | 09:10 UK time, Monday, 8 June 2009

Nick Griffin is now a Member of the European Parliament even though he won fewer votes than he did five years ago.

bnp_votes226afp.jpgThat's right, fewer.

In 2004, the BNP in the North West polled 134,959 votes. In 2009, they polled 132,194. So, why did he win?

In short, because of a collapse in the Labour vote from 576,388 in 2004 to 336,831 in 2009. In Liverpool, Labour's vote dived by 15,000; in Manchester by almost 9,000; whilst in Bury, Rochdale and Stockport, its vote halved.

The switch away from postal votes for all in the last Euro election in the region also led to a fall in turnout.

Thus, the BNP could secure a higher share of the vote whilst getting fewer votes.


Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Cue quotations of Edmund Burke ad nauseum.

  • Comment number 3.

    ... The ultimate conclusion when people cannot be bothered to vote.

    60% of the British public never bother to turn up yet all have an opinion. Well, their opinions have no merit if they cannot be bothered to put a cross in a box.

    Maybe, attaching voting to tv ownership. Might concentrate a few minds!

  • Comment number 4.

    The minor BNP success represents a protest vote against the Government's lax immigration policies and a fear on the part of some British workers that they are losing out on losing a paucity of jobs to incomers from outside The UK. Of course there are also supporters who harbour genuinely racist views. It's not right and their ethos is abhorrent but you can understand how some people think this is the only way they can register their frustration with a Government that simply doesn't listen.

  • Comment number 5.

    All very well Nick, but consider this

    The BNP in the North West, got a higher proportion of the vote than Labour did in the South West.

    The electorate clearly understand how PR works, given the different patterns of voting in the Locals to the Euros.

    Therefore one can not avoid the conclusion that the BNP is as of now, more representative of the people in some areas than Labour is in others.

    Still feeling comforted this morning?

  • Comment number 6.

    Nick, this analysis of the BNP phenomenon is getting more desperate.

    Nearly half as many people voted for them as voted for the party of the current government, but you just can't understand it.

    Can't you get out onto the streets of somewhere like Burnley and ask the ordinary people why they are voting for them?

    Most of them will be unable to admit they voted BNP (strong stuff this 'democracy'), but some will tell you what the issues are.

    The reason you can't understand the phenomenon is because you are totally unexposed to the thinking behind it - no one you work with or mix with can explain it. Even if there was someone at the BBC who understood/agreed with these issues they could not speak openly to you.

    It's like you are trying to understand some radically different alien culture without being allowed to hear what any of the aliens think or say. You need to get out and talk to some ordinary people.

  • Comment number 7.

    WHY moan - more people voted for BNP - they got the rewards. Nick, TRY and be impartial, I can get ZanuLabour guff anywhere BUT I do not need, or expect, to hear ir from the allegedly unbiased BBC.!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Really so all the problems are labour.
    Not the fact that the media stirring up trouble has forced people's minds off parties like Labour and the Lib Dems and made them vote for the BNP which is essentially a racist party.
    Common Mr Robinson.

    Stop the personal attacks on Labour and Gordon Brown, haven't you stirred up the hornets nest enough yet?

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm actually surprised that the results aren't worse for the main parties. I guess it shows the deep seated conservative nature of the British people. I expected independent candidates to perform considerably better than seemingly they have, in some sort of collective protest vote against Westminster style politicians en-masse.
    I think it's good news for Westminster. Clearly they can largely do whatever they want, be as corrupt and as untrustworthy as they like and whilst we may jeer and heckle them at Question Time, when push comes to shove we are still too frightened of the alternatives. Just remember when the next lot of self serving fraudulent bunglers roll into power, you had your chance to shake the establishment tree, but you bottled it! So no whingeing please.

  • Comment number 10.

    Am I the only one that found his victory speech sickening?

    I know they polled fewer votes, but they still got voted for a staggering amount of very mislead people.

    The White Supremisist forum, Stormfront, where most of the Hard Core BNP supporters hang out, is jubilant today, saying that whites will once again rule the world.

    How on earth can such horrendous attitudes still survive in our world? I do wonder if our society may really still have a widespread racist, anti-semitic and anti-Muslim backbone.

    I have come across anti-Semitism in the young frequently. Not because of modern Israeli politics, but because they have been taught to be anti Jewish by their parents. My daughter, to her horror, discovered that a large group of her class use the word "jew" to insult teachers behind their backs. Is that normal in an ordinary middle England market town?

    Apparently it is. We don't need the BNP, we don't need ANY of their politics, or their hatred - why then do some vote for them?

  • Comment number 11.

    How much spin do you think we can take?

    Yes the BNP polled less but did a lot better overall because Labour's vote collapsed.

    Its a bit like stating after a football match that the BNP scored one less goal than their last game whilst ignoring Gordon Brown's yellow card and own goal.

    Perhaps a more apt headline would be

    "Fewer votes for BNP but Labour vote collapses".

    After all that is what the blog actually goes on to say.

  • Comment number 12.

    If this Labour government had not treated its core vote as just ballot fodder then the BNP would be just another marginal party of no importance whatsoever.

    Rather than whistling in the dark, Nick, I suggest that you journalists focus on the cause of the BNP's apparent success so that there can be a solution to this phenomenon otherwise the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

    The simple truth is that the Labour Party has betrayed the working class of this country as it taxed them more than the bankers who have brought ruin to us all. The thing that Labour needs to understand is that their core vote still has not deserted them, it stayed at home. The loyalty of these decent people is still there but only God knows why. It could come out and support Labour again but it needs a reason.

    Today LDV goes into administration. Next week it might be IBC as well. A few months ago two thousand people were laid off from the Mini production line in Cowley without notice or compensation. And we have a Labour government? This Labour government has betrayed its core support not one, not twice but ten times over. What do they expect? What do you middle class folk in the BBC expect? Accept your responsibility and do something about it. This is alwasy assuming you know how to.

  • Comment number 13.

    While all the other parties have accepted that the election of 2 BNP MEPs is a sad reflection on their own performance, Labour in particular must be castigated for letting these thugs into parliamentary politics.

    It happened on their watch. If for no other reason - and of course there are many - this should be the issue that causes Brown to at last behave honourably, like a gentleman, and resign.

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Nick,

    Who would have thought that Labour would be SO keen to talk about expenses?

    See you in the pub.

  • Comment number 15.

    Not really surprising getting fewer votes on a smaller turnout though is it Nick?

  • Comment number 16.

    Whether the BBC likes it or not, the BNP elephant in the room has just dumped; so much for all the anti BNP bias in the BBC's reporting.

    And it didn't take Andrew Brons long to put Jim Naughty in his place, that alone was worth staying up until the early hours of the morning for.

  • Comment number 17.

    Voting turnout was terrible. Time to make voting mandatory.

    By all means include a "none of the above" option, but people must take responsibility for electing the government.

    The reason why this country is in a dreadful state is not because of the politicians. It's OUR fault for not choosing them, and allowing a self-serving political class of jobsworths to hijack our democracy.

    Incidentally, what is the monarch actually FOR if not to act in such situations as we now find ourselves? The idea that she cannot dissolve Parliament is wrong. By Order in Council, she may do ANYTHING! Protocol is NOT a bar.

    Your Majesty; close your eyes, hold your nose and think of England.

  • Comment number 18.

    No mention of the Greens who polled well above the votes of the BNP and in europe are now the fourth largest party with the largest % increase in representation of any of the recognised parties.

  • Comment number 19.

    Nick, your analysis is flawed. To point out that the BNP got fewer votes and say the only reason they got in was because of a collapse in the Labour vote is simplistic.

    Firstly there was a much lower turnout from 2.122m to 1.651m so everyone got fewer votes than last time. The fact of the matter is that the BNP share of the vote went UP from 6.4% to 8%. That's why they got in.

    The problem with your analysis (which seem to be saying "hey, don't worry about the BNP, they aren't grwoing in popularity" is that they clearly ARE.

    God knows I wouldn't vote for them if they were the only party on the ballot paper but if you dismiss them and demonise them, not only are you ignoring their growing popularity but you are completely missing the point as to WHY they are growing in popularity.

    There are a growing number of white, mainly working class people who perceive immigration as a problem and can see that every minority group has someone set up by the Government to help them but that they do not. Where do the poorer, less well educated, perhaps English language poor end up in this country? In what were previously predominantly white working class areas. And when these white working class people begin to grumble as they see this immigration centre open up or that immigration initiative announced when they seem to be getting nothing, what happens? The Government, the big political parties shout them down. Refuse to listen to them. So what happens? They turn to someone who does seem to be listening to them.

    I've heard politicians on the TV and all they say about the BNP is that they are a racist party who won't let non-whites join and want to introduce repatriation (which is the truth, of course). They say it over and over again. No-one listening could be in any doubt. But then they say that people voting for them don't realise this!!!! I suspect that for many people this is the ONLY thing that they know about them. And still they vote for them.

    If you, Nick, the BBC, the other political parties don't stop looking for excuses for why peole vote BNP and continue to conjure reasons why they can be ignored, the problem will only get worse and their support will grow.

  • Comment number 20.

    Isn't it about time we did what they do in Australia and make voting compulsory? Would that not improve matters and make voting outcomes more representative of the people? Any research done on this?

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm deeply concerned that the BBC and other media groups have stirred so much of a hornets nest and a whole lot of trouble that now people are putting their trust in the British National Party.
    I warned the BBC and other media groups before, you ignored me, now you have seen the results, perhaps in the future you will think about what news you are publishing and what political slants you are giving to things.

    It isn't just the BBC it is all media groups and they need to be aware of this.

    Okay it was only 2 seats, but if things continue I wouldn't be surprised if it worsens.

    Things to learn from this, Firstly the main parties stop the arguing so much, secondly the media to watch what they are saying and thirdly to listen to advice rather than shunning it away.

  • Comment number 23.

    You'd make a great football manager Nick.

    "Yes, it's true that last week we won 10-2 and this week lost 0-1 but look at the facts. The other side scored less goals this week than last. The only reason the other side won was because of a collapse in the number of goals we scored."

  • Comment number 24.

    Even though I am pro-Europe myself, I am very aware that I am out of step with the current public mood. I had hoped that UKIP would provide a more acceptable and less extreme home for the anti-Europe vote and, to some extent, it has.
    Unfortunately there is a small, but growing, band of extremists that really are racists and support the BNP. I don't think that there are many who can be unaware of their real agenda.
    We have to face up to this fact and address this now, before the nasties reach critical mass. As we have seen so often, mass public opinion can easily be manipulated by those with strong points of view.

  • Comment number 25.

    I'm not a BNP voter. I never will be. I find the undercurrent in their façade disturbing. HOWEVER, just because talking heads in the media and people like me have this distaste does not permit us to patronise voters who DO find that the BNP reflects their concerns and beliefs. I am appalled by the number of pundits last night who expressed regret that so many voters had been "misled" or apparently hadn't quite grasped what they were voting for. How pompous and condescending was that? Has it occurred to any of them that BNP voters might have a better handle on current grassroots urban opinion than the rest of us? We might not like the BNP's beliefs, and we have every right to campaign against them, but we have no right to sneer down our noses at those who feel that the BNP is the only party reflecting their concerns. Listen to these voters' opinions more and act on them. That's the answer.

  • Comment number 26.

    AndyC555 I cannot agree with you more.
    Finally someone who recognises what is going on.

    The media has been so blind to it, it is absolutly embarrising.

    It's all labours fault, I have a headache it labour's fault.

    Why don't you just shut up hey, stop your bias towards labour, we don't care anymore what you think about labour. Just write the news rather than your view of it.

  • Comment number 27.

    Why does everyone refer to the BNP as a 'far right'. Surely with their socialist manifesto they should be described as a 'far left' party.
    Hopefully when exposed to the oxygen of publicity the BNP will be shown to be what they really are, a really vile collection of individuals. Adam Boulton on Sky really nailed Nick Griffen last night on the question of who could join the party, apparently only people who they "like the look of" would be allowed to join. Sort of says it all really...

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    There is massive disinformation going on here - the UK public is not stupid - they are not voting because of expenses.

    1. The election is all about Europe
    2. The two parties who promised us a referendum came first and second
    3. The parties who promised a referendum and failed to deliver came 3rd and 4th
    4. We want a referendum on Europe, and we want power back in Westminster, to be represented by those we put in power
    5. If the average UK citizen wants out of Europe and the parties in power know that but refuse to deliver because they know better than us then they are not representative and THEY MUST GO

    Sooner the better, just go.

  • Comment number 30.

    Having watched the BBC coverage late last night, it was easy to see how many of the politicians have no idea about what goes on at grass root level, and dismissing the BNP vote with the idea that voters have no idea what they were doing, they should spend more time in the local pubs to see the real level of racism that exsists. I feel ashamed as a mancunian that the BNP got a result in the Northwest. And we should feel belittled as a nation that we have allowed them any success.

  • Comment number 31.

    UKIP didn't do too bad either... why not discuss why people voted for them? Obviously immigration policy is nothing to do with it.... and we don't really want to discuss that do we because its anti-PC and 'racist' if you think there is anything wrong.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    Before we get more comments on all these foreigners wandering around the UK on benefits, it might be a good time to point out that the UK remains more than 90% white. Any suggestion that we are being overrun by immigrants is hyperbole.

  • Comment number 34.

    Socialism bites the dust, (at least the British version ) . It has struggled along , playing on the fears of the workers and castigating the big bad Tories, now the lies and bigotry have come home to roost, the only people to gain under Labour, are the workshy and the extremists (of all persuasions, not just the BNP, the extremists of Islam are also thriving ). Now we have a government which has lost it's mandate from the British people, but continues to refuse to stand down in the country's interests so that it can continue to pursue it's discredited agenda. It's leader hides in his bunker, making occasional orchestrated appearances for the cameras while his accolytes ( most of whom would like to see him gone )proclaim his greatness. If ever a country was in need of a general election to rid it forever of this dreadful political regime it is Britain. Socialism however, by it's very nature does not believe in allowing the people to have a voice ,otherwise it cannot survive,to the Brown sychophants, the state is all, the people are nothing. They still aspire to an anthill state like N.Korea, or the Cambodia of Pol Pot.

  • Comment number 35.


    You missed the real story, only twice as many people voted for Gordon Brown and Labour as Nick Griffin and the BNP.

    A frightening indictment of this Government and how it has let down the working classes (well everyone really apart from sitting MP's) in this country.

  • Comment number 36.


    The fringe parties will ALWAYS benefit with low voter turnout.

    The disconnect between the Westminster village and the general populace is widening by the hour. The government is treating not only the public with contempt but the PM has effectively dismissed his own MPs as novices by selecting unelected people to join his cabinet by ennobling them.

    Low voter turnouts are contagious, expect at least one BNP MP at the next GE.

  • Comment number 37.

    "the switch away from postal votes for all in the last Euro election in the region also led to a fall in turnout."

    Is this an admission of Labour, in particular, benefiting previously by postal voting. How many of the swollen numbers of previous ballots were actually real people voting? A quick google reveals several convictions/arrests/abscondings related to postal ballot rigging in Birmingham, Halifax, Peterborough...

  • Comment number 38.

    10. Gurubear

    Why do people vote for the BNP? Because they feel threatened, marginalised and uncertain of the future. I am not a Nazi, i spent a lot of time in my youth fighting them (with my fists when required) but i do understand why they get support. Support for them is a sad reflection of the failure of government to put the needs of working people before the needs of international capital. Of course, the solution to that may be more unpleasant for certain people than the BNP gaining support.

  • Comment number 39.

    #20. moraymint wrote:
    "Isn't it about time we did what they do in Australia and make voting compulsory?"

    Australia also has very strict immigration controls. Should we have those as well?

  • Comment number 40.

    Thanks for moderating me for telling the truth.

    What a lot of people don't realise is that Nick Griffin is a Cambridge University graduate and no fool.

  • Comment number 41.

    Can anyone explain why the BNP is a legal political party? Their constitution is overtly racist, as it bans non-whites from joining the party. A rule like that would be illegal in most walks of life, and rightly so. We do we allow it for political parties?

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    This is a rather feeble point, Nick. The obvious factor that explains your 'revelation' is that turnout in 2004 was 38%, whereas turnout in 2009 has fallen to 34%. Try and avoid basic errors like this.

    On the BNP, the reality is that the very processes of economic liberalisation, globalisation, and supra-national government that the Labour Party has so wholeheartedly embraced since 1994, and which it has repeatedly told us that is good for all of us, has led to electoral fragmentation. Just as there is a price to pay for economic change (a price paid by the mass of the British people), so there is a price to be paid by the politicians - loss of guaranteed, 1950s type support. And if we want more representative and democratic government (which means some kind of PR - remember Jenkins and AV top up?)then we are going to have to live with a fragmented electoral base (including a very small BNP representation), just as we have to live with a fragmented country.

  • Comment number 44.

    The success of the BNP is hugely dispiriting but predictable. White working class people feel alienated as never before. Whether that is a reasonable view for them to take is irrelevant: the fact is that working class white people seem to feel, effectively, ignored.

    Their concerns are not, in general, wholly racist. They are people who, in a very conservative way, regard justice as being about fairness, not about redistribution and a path to the achievement of a utopian society. They see immigration as a social and cultural phenomenon changing the shape of their communities and lives without consultation, and not a focus for racial intolerance. They regard politicians as fickle and inconstant, seeking their votes when they need them but deliberately ignoring white working class urban voters when it suits them.

    As I say, whether they are right to believe any of this is not the issue. The fact of the matter is that they DO believe it, and vote BNP partly as a means of encouraging the main political parties to wake up to their concerns.

  • Comment number 45.

    Nick, Please report the major news item that revolves around the European election. Our political masters have largely admitted that they have lied, deceived and cheated us. We've all rushed to throw tomatoes as they've hung in the stocks over the last few weeks, then when we're presented with the opportunity to really register our dissatisfaction with the entire political establishment we sit on our bums and watch TV. The REAL issue is how do we re-engage the millions of people that simply can't be bothered. It suits the mainstream political parties to have such a small proportion of the country engaged in politics. it makes the electorate controllable and malleable. The whole political system needs a massive shake up. BBC do your job and get that debate as a headline item, not the BNP.

  • Comment number 46.

    I think the Euro elections illustrated an ongoing, and growing, tide of political engagement which isn't just anti-Labour, or pro-Tory in the old sense of 'swings' between two poles--but is more a reaction against perceived 'metropolitan elitism' in this country.

    The MPs of whatever party have long been perceived as 'them', part of a chattering class comprising big business people, TV and media pundits and bankers --------and the recession has been such as to begin to allow this reaction to emerge more clearly.

    I think it is more useful to interpret the results in this, and other elections, in this way than to struggle to interpret them using the old mechanisms.

    It's a multi-polar political world rather than bi-polar, which is becoming more empowered by the internet (that old dis-intermediation effect!), at the same time as the Ancien regime is falling apart from decay, careerism and an inability to connect with the sources of their legitimacy.

  • Comment number 47.


    Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. Wrote George Orwell in Politics of the English Language in 1946.

    A very good description of the uncontrolled greed, corruption and general venality of politicians everywhere who connive to destroy decency, democracy and the progress of civilisation and prosperity and the whole quality of life in general for all of us.

    Bearing in mind the point that there is never an excuse for murder, the tens of millions of people Worldwide routinely being killed by war and other conflicts inspired and directed by politicians is pure evil, entirely avoidable and completely unnecessary.

    George Orwell also got it right with his views of modern financiers.

    Building societies are probably the cleverest racket of Modern Times. The beauty of the building society swindles is that your victims think you are doing them a kindness. You wallop them and they lick you hand. Orwell wrote this prescient description of our current poisonously dishonest mortgage market in his novel Coming up For air in 1939.

    Recent events have proved that the whole banking and financial industry in general is full of cheats, liars and thieves who have milked the whole of the rest of the population of vast sums of money and they continue to do so, largely because of those corrupt politicians who do absolutely nothing at all

  • Comment number 48.

    Like it or lump it you will see more and more of the BNP and they may well gain the respect of those who hitherto were afraid to speak their minds too.

    So long as the main political parties REFUSE to accept the immense changes imposed upon us over the last eleven or so years then the BNP will rise and rise.

    How dare anybody be so arrogant as to say BNP supporters are ignorant or ill educated and "don't realise what they are doing?"

    They realise all right and act of desperation or not it should not be ignored.

  • Comment number 49.

    It is customary for the "main" parties to suggest that people vote for the BNP without fully appreciating the policies. These perceived dullards represent 6% (approx.) of the national electorate and a significant presence in certain areas. It is these same people that Labour will covert to cling to power or that the Conservatives will woo to regain power.

    Rather than assume that we are all ignorant racists, perhaps the political mainstream should ask themseleves why a significant majority of voters in small pockets of this country feel comfortable voting for the BNP?

    Although not a BNP voter, I welcome the shock caused by the election of Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons.

  • Comment number 50.

    21. At 10:07am on 08 Jun 2009, flamepatricia wrote:

    "Due to politically correct thinking and regulations with is rife from the BBC and the government down, WE ARE ACTUALLY TOLD HOW WE SHOULD FEEL, THINK AND SPEAK ABOUT IT!"

    Actually, I do think you have a point there.

    My view is that political coverage within the media has changed over the last couple of years or so and I think there are some simple reasons.

    1) Lack of money - BBC is competing with Sky, Channel 4 to be the watched, read and listened to broadcaster and all of them are doing that with less and less resources around.

    2) Rolling news - the BBC has to churn out vast amounts of news coverage on BBC24, lots of which is rather boring, so there is a tendency to try to dramatise and make more out of the often scarce pieces of news they have. This results is rumours being presented as facts - e.g. Alistair Darling moving from the Chancellor's post. It results in journalists not perceiving when they are being 'wrong-footed'. It also reduces the news to the realm of gossip-mongering and viewpoint rather than delivery of facts.

    1) and 2) As the same applies for Sky and the others, the BBC gets pulled into competing to exclusively reveal dramatic news even when they don't really have any particularly newsworthy content at all. To put it simply, if they don't do that then their competitors will and the BBC will appear to be slow off the mark and playing catch up.

    All of that leads to you not just being presented with facts, but with journalistic commentary, guest expert opinion, comments of some often unconneced celebrity, reaction of fiends and family (and neighbours and pet goldfish), viewpoint of some geezer who just happened to be passing at the time .... ....

  • Comment number 51.

    I suggest that people just write to Her Majesty (can no longer email her as in the past for obvious server overload reasons!) and ask her to dissolve Parliament.

    Brown is in denial but we aren't.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.


  • Comment number 55.

    bankingballs said:

    "He probably didn't fit the thicko type that the BBC likes to infer all the BNP members of are."

    I think you mean IMPLY, not infer. BBC's case proved I think.

  • Comment number 56.


    "Fewer votes for BNP"

    Why can you lot not just accept that there are people who have different views from yourselves! I would not vote BNP but for you to bury your head in the sand by stating that they won less votes than last time (ignoring the lower turn out) is just ridiculous and exposes the BBC's general centre left bias. Impartial? I don't see it.

  • Comment number 57.

    "33. At 10:22am on 08 Jun 2009, JSlayerUK wrote:
    Before we get more comments on all these foreigners wandering around the UK on benefits, it might be a good time to point out that the UK remains more than 90% white. Any suggestion that we are being overrun by immigrants is hyperbole."

    Well, that might as well have been a party political broadcast for the BNP. It is so blind to why BNP support is growing and so typical of the attitude of the media. I take it JSlayer that you do not live in an inner-city area where immigration levels are much, much higher? I take it that you do not walk down UK high streets where hearing English being spoken is a rarity? When you say things like you've just said to white working class people in those areas, you might as well give them a BNP leaflet as you say them.

    What I suggest you now do is (1) dismiss me as some rampant racist Nazi thug for saying things that upset you and then (2) go back and read my posting at number 19.

  • Comment number 58.

    so we are to think from your blog that more than a million people in the UK are wrong!
    disgraceful reporting/blogging once again!

    why dont you blog about jane kennedy?
    refused to sign her loyalty to gordon brown, so she was sacked - astounding story, once again given little coverage on bbc news website and what was reported, mentioned nothing about it at all.

    why does the bbc continue in this way?

  • Comment number 59.

    The success of the BNP is down to many things - I just wish the political classes could accept the main one: a lot of people share their racist views. They've not been misled. They're not anti-Europeans looking for a home (UKIP provides that). They just don't like people who don't speak English living amongst us, they are afraid of Islam, and they mistrust people whose skin is a different colour. Until that fact is accepted, it will be impossible to find a genuine response to it.

    I find racism ignorant, degrading and its appeal hard to understand: but then I feel the same about religion, smoking and Big Brother. In a democracy, the elected administration will reflect the range of views of the people: that the BNP wins seats is not a failing of democracy, but merely a reflection of Britain in 2009. In a recession, the easiest thing is to blame outsiders - that's why the success of Nazis grew out of the Weimar Republic. The way to get rid of the BNP is for Britain's economy to become successful again. So, that should be easy then!

  • Comment number 60.


    21. At 10:07am on 08 Jun 2009, flamepatricia wrote:
    I cannot get my thick head around your statistical comments, Nicholas, but what I CAN tell you is it is nothing to do with MP's expenses, although that was something of a catalyst to get people thinking and actually voting.

    No, what the BNP success was is that some of our towns and cities here have changed beyond recognition (maybe you live in a different one).

    Like it or not, the existance of the BNP is a direct result of ALL the main parties not grasping the immigration nettle. Worse, they have actively discouraged debate on the subject.

    Remember the last election but one where there was an attempt to actually BAN immigration as a subject for election discussion?

    I hold no candle for Labour or the Tories. As far as I'm concerned, they have consistently lied to us for years about immigration AND Europe. The expenses business has revealed that virtually all MPs of both parties don't give a toss for anything except enjoying an extravagent lifestyle at our expense.

    But - they're they ones who've been in power for the decades that have seen a catastrophic decline in our country. They have to go - the lot of them. With only a tiny number of exceptions, all MPs in this current Parliament have either been guilty of fraud, embezzlement and theft themselves - or have been aware of it and done nothing.

    The idea that this Parliament can reform itself, let alone continue to govern us, is ludicrous!

    Actually, I voted UKIP in the recent elections, and will do so again when the General Election comes. As far as I'm concerned, ANYTHING that upsets this rotten applecart of what we laughingly call our political system is to be welcomed!

    You can't put up a new building till you've smashed the old one to bits and cleared the debris from the site.

    BNP? Genghis Khan? Stalin? Alistair Crowley? Come on chaps, step forward!

    And where's the IRA when you really need them?

  • Comment number 61.

    39. At 10:34am on 08 Jun 2009, yukapataya wrote:

    #20. moraymint wrote:
    "Isn't it about time we did what they do in Australia and make voting compulsory?"

    Australia also has very strict immigration controls. Should we have those as well?

    Erm... yes sure why not? I know a few people who have emigrated there, they had to have jobs arranged before they went, they are expected to contribute to the economy, and in return they get to live in the country. Sounds reasonable to me.

  • Comment number 62.

    I think that the reason the BNP has attracted so many votes is that the main parties are completely out of touch with the concerns of ordinary people. Many people are concerned about the level of immigration in this country but there is no honest discussion and those who suggest concern about the issue are branded racist, which not the case, and is missing the point.
    MPs live in a rarified atmosphere; chauffeur driven so that their feet harldy touch the ground let alone the the streets that the rest of us live in.

  • Comment number 63.


    You're support for Labour is getting the point of being ludicrous and not just comical. The idea that Gordon's travails are all because 100% postal voting was abolished for this election is breathtaking in its condescension towards a large chunk of the electorate. You clearly think that the lumpenproletariat would have duly delivered their votes to Labour if only they hadn't been required to make an arduous stroll to a polling station. They would not. Had they been required/allowed to postal vote, they'd just have thrown their ballot paper in the bin.

    You're actually part of a much bigger BBC problem, namely the notion that you're somehow superior to BNP representatives and their supporters. I find the BNP's racial policies as distateful as anyone. However, nobody can deny the fact that the BNP has engaged with significant numbers of electors. I found Dimbleby's interview of Griffin on BBC News last night almost embarrassing. Tripping out the usual mantra of BNP polices (eg "why don't you allow black people into your party?") just trivialises the BNP's success in certain areas. It was done with an attitude of "I'm superior to you because I don't have a problem with black people". The BBC (and others) ought to be concentrating on the BNP's analysis and how this translates into engagement with their target demographic. Griffin's points about large numbers of white people feeling disenfranchised ought not to be simply dismissed. What he said to Dimbleby about this was not that far removed from very similar points made by Trevor Phillips about the growth of a white underclass. I doubt Dimbleby would be as dismissive of Phillips as he was of Griffin.

    The fact is ALL mainstream parties have failed to address the growth of an underclass in the UK (white and non-white). They have no policies to deal with it. Griffin has confronted it but, unfortunately, has a very undesirable solution: one that wouldn't solve the issue if he ever got the chance to implement it anyway. However, if the BBC and mainstream politicians continue to concentrate on the BNP's solution rather than its analysis of the problems faced by a considerable number (though undoubtedly a minority) of the electorate, then the BNP will continue to attract support. What is really needed is to address why the BNP "worries the little stuff" for people (eg gets the drains fixed; challenges the police about anti-social behaviour etc), whilst the main parties treat people subject to these types of challenge in certain areas like they are something nasty on the sole of a shoe.

    I can understand why politicians aren't doing anything about this. The expenses affair has shown just how mercenary, self-interested, and cynically indifferent to the electorate they all are. However, I'm surprised that nobody at the BBC has picked up on how close Griffin and Phillips' analyses of the white underclass are, and then challenged mainstream politicians as to why they haven't come up with a better solution than the BNP. Indeed, why they don't appear to be engaging with the people involved at all.

  • Comment number 64.

    A lot of people who vote for the BNP probably would not vote for them if they had a better idea of what their policies are. One of the reasons that they don't know is because the 'politically correct when it suits them' media won't give the BNP a voice. If more BNP representatives were allowed to attempt to debate their loutish arguments on air, people would very soon see what they are really about. I hold the media partly responsible for the BNP vote.

    I once agreed with those who think that more people should be somehow legally obliged to vote, but now think that the votes of those who aren't interested or can't be bothered would do more harm than good.

  • Comment number 65.

    33. At 10:22am on 08 Jun 2009, JSlayerUK wrote:

    "Before we get more comments on all these foreigners wandering around the UK on benefits, it might be a good time to point out that the UK remains more than 90% white. Any suggestion that we are being overrun by immigrants is hyperbole."

    And 100% of the people in the UK are exactly that.


    I think we need to ensure that when we are talking about immigration we do not confuse it with discussions about race, or discussions about the colour of skin of people.

    We've had, over the years, massive waves of immigrants who were 'white' and who have now just merged into the population.

    If the problem is 'immigration', then that problem is manifested in white 'immigrants' no more or less than in 'immigrants' of any other skin colour.

  • Comment number 66.

    "41. At 10:35am on 08 Jun 2009, DisgustedOfMitcham2 wrote:
    Can anyone explain why the BNP is a legal political party? Their constitution is overtly racist, as it bans non-whites from joining the party. A rule like that would be illegal in most walks of life, and rightly so. We do we allow it for political parties?"

    I suggest you type "association of black" into your google search engine. You will find a large number of organisations which exclude non-blacks. So, in many walks of life, groupings along racial lines are allowed.

    You have brought out another of the problems here. You cannot LEGISLATE against racism. If you try, you drive people into the hands of such as the BNP.

    Once again, if you want to dismiss me as some jack-booted Nazi Stormtrooper, by all means do but then go back and read post 19.

  • Comment number 67.

    Her Majesty would not dissolve parliament.
    How dare you offer to write to her majesty and then order her, order our Queen to dissolve parliament!!!!
    Are you a lord or lady something or another?

    Hang your head in shame, it is her choice, if everybody listened to everything everyone is saying this country would be ruined 500 times over by now

  • Comment number 68.

    Your reaction is pretty similar to all the other commentators and politicians who spend their time in Westminster. You're all so far up your own rear ends that your reaction is to just say how terrible it all is that extreme parties are getting voted in.

    What you, Nick Robinson, need to do is accept your part in this development. Because the political journalists like yourself ignore the main issues that effect people - housing, competition for jobs, increasing population - the politicians get away with failing to deliver on their promises.

    Think about Gordon Brown when he first came in to power, promising to build more homes. Where's that promise now? What about his promise "British jobs for British workers". All of these promises are heard by the public and believed initially. When the promises aren't delivered, some people turn to the extremes.

    Last night, on the election coverage, housing and immigration were mentioned by the politicians there but you and Dimbleby failed to pick up on it - instead focussing on the racist element.

    Please do your jobs and start holding the politicians to account on their promises rather than focussing on the scoop, the headline and the gossip.

  • Comment number 69.

    HARMAN sounds like she's been brainwashed. BIT SAD!!

  • Comment number 70.

    Here's something to scupper your bold statement of the BNP supporters being racist:

    We have a wonderful Asian lady friend. She is well mannered, pleasant and she and her family are tax payers have their own home and integrated whilst retaining their own culture and religion. They admire us and have often said to us:

    Why are all these immigrants coming here in their droves from all around the world - you have only yourselves to blame, why have you let them all in?

    So, as Susan Croft has said before, the settled immigrant population have put their heads down, worked hard and feel privileged to be here.

    It is not the immigration per say, it is the sheer numbers of it. Nigel Farage had a go at Caroline Flint on Question Time - Labour said avbout 13000 a year would be coming but the figures are actually in millions but nobody actually really knows the extent of it.

    I do know that I live in a foreign town in England where the people do not speak English, do not work, all live on the Council estates and stare at us as if WE were aliens. Nice.

  • Comment number 71.

    If Labour can't control the immigration crisis how can they control the economic crisit?

    The foreigners actually say:

    Britain tries to save the world but cannot save itself.

  • Comment number 72.

    We live in a democracy and so long as the BNP is not a banned party then people are entitled to vote for whom they wish.

    You may be following the Labour Luvies line and trying to deflect analysis away from Nu Labour`s terrible performance last night; but the fact is that people genuinely disagree with Labour`s policies of immigration, EU etc. That is why they have voted for the likes of the BNP and UKIP in consdierable numbers, pushing Labour into third place.

    Until Labour starts listening and wakes up to what is going on around them, they are utterly doomed. They may buy a bit of time and stay in power for another 11 months; but after that its total annihilation. They will have no one to blame; but themselves.

    All the voters are seeing at the moment is a morally corrupt government clinging to power whichever way they can and it stinks.

  • Comment number 73.

    how many more posts/blogs/opinions/experts are going to carry on stating that parties who do not favour signing away powers to the european establishment, are "anti europe"?

    they are not anti europe, they simply want power kept with westminster (as MPs are the people we vote in and out) and want to trade with europe, not be governed by it.
    europe should have no say in how we fund our businesses, how we employ our people, how we run our lives, etc, as the british people have never voted on these powers being enforced upon us, by unelected, unaccountable MEPs.

    there is no point voting 70 odd people into a parliament in another country, who can be over ruled by a coalition that believes differently to how the UK would vote on any given issue.

    and no i am not a ukip or bnp voter. im sick of hearing them labelled with the "anti europe" label all the time

  • Comment number 74.

    12 - Stanilic
    Spot on.

  • Comment number 75.

    The Party controlled media and the main parties are just running scared that some other parties are breaking into their territory and upsetting their cosy little club called the House of Commons. It's about time you stopped being so patronising and judgemental, and started telling the truth.

  • Comment number 76.

    My best friend and her husband have retired to the South Coast. They are appealled to find hundreds if not thousands of immigrants sleeping in the streets and getting drunk in the pubs.

    Sorry, is that racist or is it fact? According to the Labour lot and BBC that is great for Britain. Some people may have an academic qualification but not a degree in common sense.

  • Comment number 77.

    I was watching the election on BBC and listened to the BNP when interviewed. I did not vote for them, however I took the point which is why do people get the sack for being members of the BNP when they are a democratically elected party. They said that because of this they currently only accept white people as members as their members are becoming victims of a race policies made by the government?

    I do not condone racism in any way shape or form, but I guess if you can have for example a "black womens group" then why not a "white womens group?".

    I am sure no one wants to go anywhere to the murmers of Nazi Germany, but I do think that if you are going to be democratic then it has to be fair to all, and that it is exactly those strong left wing groups which make people say well perhaps the BNP has some points?

  • Comment number 78.

    @55. No, he could just as easily have meant infer, meaning that he believes that the BBC, on all the evidence available to it, has judged that members of the BNP are thick. If it goes on to promote this view obliquely, it then "implies" that members of the BNP are thick. I should hasten that this is to clarify a grammatical question, not necessarily an assumption of views within or expressed by the BBC, or about BNP voters.

  • Comment number 79.

    If the Gnu-Labourers want to attempt a recovery of some of their losses they should stop blaming everything and everybody else for their misfortunes. Instead of giving more power to the King of Spin and blaming the MPs expenses they ought to be thinking that some of us are not so naive and the protest vote MAY HAVE (just may have) been caused by the resentment for the "U" turn on the referendum on the Lisbon CONSTITUTION or by the daily announcements on new immigration regulations which prove REGULARLY unenforceable

  • Comment number 80.

    In the 2004 Euro Elections the BNP polled 808,000 votes.

    In the 2009 Euro Elections, despite a large drop in voter turnout across the country, they managed to poll approximately 930,000 votes.

    If my GCSE 'C' grade is worth anything, i'd say that was more.

  • Comment number 81.

    I think the BBC's coverage of the events last night (this morning) and the range of commentators was excellent. Everyone in the studio there did a great job of keeping us informed.

    That said, I'm appalled at the amount of people who are aghast at the BNP gaining seats, yet refuse to do anything. Saw on BBC news this morning, 34% UK turnout? Terrible! Have we really become that lazy? If you have an opinion, you need to exercise it instead of blaming everyone else when something happens you didn't want to happen.

  • Comment number 82.

    The media always seem to tie themselves up in knots when discussing the BNP. Somehow we're expected to believe that thousands of people vote for them without understanding quite what they're voting for. The truth is society will always have bigots and racists and parties like the BNP will always be there to pander to them. It's an unfortunate aspect of human nature that but one that we need to face instead of pretending that everyone in our society is intelligent and well-meaning.

  • Comment number 83.

    A failure of all so called the decent electorate to go the ballot box , the BNP vote held firm from the last election but the major parties fell away , tough .
    I feel a fragmentation within the country with pockets of right wing strongholds now bieng established .
    Whilst we may never see a BNP councilor in say Esher ( not suprising ad the immigration has not hit areas like that ) inner cities where working class people feel disenfranchised with what this country and more importantly there local area has become will continue to attract a millitant right wing vote such as the BNP , the left wing do gooders had better get used to it

  • Comment number 84.

    The apparent success of the BNP at the "expense" of Nu-Lab,might cause all those in parliament in favour of PR to pause and reflect for a while.
    The electorate do NOT have a parliament that listens when it contradicts the view of the political elite...look at what is happening in Ireland with regards to the Lisbon treaty...I suspect that to tamper with the 1st past the post system without thinking through what the people actually want and care for ,could be the opportunity the extreme parties crave.
    The labour party are only considering it because it will probably be the only route for them to have a say in parliament in the medium term.The BNP already have local councillors,Mayors,and MEP's with PR it will have its 1st MP's as well.
    If Gordelpus was really in tune with the feelings of the electorate ,the last people he should have made part of his cabinet are ex EU representatives like Glenys Pillock and Petra Mandyson .

  • Comment number 85.

    Look at the BNP's track record where they gained council seats they achieved and contributed nothing. Now they have gained 2 MEP's let's see if they can contribute and deliver for the individuals that voted for them. I believe under the spotlight of European Parlaiment membership and the media glare they will be exposed as vacuous, devoid of policies and intellectual robustness.
    As for the position that all the jobs go to immigrants and all the immigrants are dependant on the welfare state, you just need to look at the facts as previuosly stated the UK remains over 90% white therefore the major dependants on the welfare state by population extrapolation are also white, you only need to walk through any major cities council estates to understand that.

  • Comment number 86.

    Who said British jobs for British workers but when addressing the issue of immigration the racism card is used all the time? Yep Gordon Brown and the Labour party. The main parties need to face the issue and not bury their heads in the sand. This is a sad day but there is hope they can resolve things and provide policy that they will deliver rather than empty words.

  • Comment number 87.



  • Comment number 88.

    Dear Nick, I thought last night's BBC coverage of the European election results was a shameful and disgraceful attempt by the media to discredit a legitimate, democratic party and with it, the votes of hundreds of thousands of ordinary working people disillusioned by the political elite. The British establishment (with the BBC at its core) has tried for years to prop-up this corrupt, filthy and morally bankrupt political regime. Hence current political debate in this country resembles that of an infant school play ground. "Isn't Mr Cameron nicer than that Mr Brown - yawn, yawn". The real issues like the illegal wars in Iraq and Afganistan, mass immigration, political corruption, attcks on freedom of speech and democracy are rarely mentioned and never debated in a free and fair way. If you don't agree with the Lib/Lab/Con conspiracy then you are an extremist, nasty, facist, neo-nazi etc...etc. The BBC is a disgrace and David Dimbleby should be fired for political interference. John Reith must be turning in his grave today!

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    BNP success - another sign of Labour chickens coming home to roost.

    For goodness sake Gordon, call an election whilst there are still some Labour supporters left!!

  • Comment number 91.

    Am I racist?

    Depends on your standpoint I guess.

    Do I want Britain to lose it's christian roots and because the first western state of Islam - No? Then I am racist.

    Do I trust Islam - No? Then I am racist

    Would I employ an underqualified Muslim AHEAD of a more qualified white person - No? Then I am racist.

    Do I think that the History, communities and foibles of the UK such as Morris Dancing are worth saving - Yes? Then I am a Racist.

    Do I believe That mass unfettered immigration into the UK should stop - Yes? Then I am a Racist.

    Labour has shut down all debate and all discussion and therefore they are reaping what they have sown, getting their reward for treating us like idiots. I am fed up with being told that everything British is rubbish or not worthy of protection. If Labour won't stand up for the UK then someone else will.

    I didn't vote BNP, but can thoroughly understand why so many did and more will next time if Labour and the BBC don't stop the stupid "They are all racist" kind of broadcasting. We don't have to love islam, nobody asked us if we wanted a multicultural Britain. Name one other country in the world who so willingly give up everything they are. We are told as children to stand up for ourselves and that is all that is happening here. If no-one else will stand up for you look to your own.

  • Comment number 92.

    I give you a reason Nick, PUMA LEP project, Britished staffed solution rejected , even though RAF what the British staffed version , BUT has been given to a comapany that is going to do the work in Romania on cost along, even through its inferrior solution that may well put Armed forces personal in danger.

    Therefore High class jobs are being put on the scrap heap whilst bankers are given massive rewards for failure,.

    A few cuts in the banker rewards would have allowed the job to go to british workers. We are only talking about a couple of million in the fix.

    GD+AD and Zanu_laobour refuse to support the working class worker of the UK.

    go research that ie do some reall jorno work and you will undeerstand
    the frustration and that is only one example

  • Comment number 93.

    I agree strongly with jon112uk (Comment number 6).

    I have been a professional market researcher for a number of years. I know the value of listening to the customer. When I heard the talking heads on the BBC election programme explaining why people vote for the BNP their explanations did not ring true. It was obvious that they do not know what these voters are thinking.

    Journalists and politicians need to familiarise themselves with these voters and understand their reasons. The best way is through immersion - living with families (and I don''t mean making reality TV programmes!) - and through 1-to-1 interviews. Just offering a microphone to passers-by in the street does not work.

    After the BNP successes I watched the commentators saying that BNP voters do not know the policies of the BNP. This is clearly ludicrous and staggeringly arrogant. If any commercial company took this attitude to their customers they would go out of business quickly. It is my experience that people do weigh their purchase choices for cat food and laundry detergent carefully. Still more their choices of who to vote for.

    For the record: I hate the BNP.

  • Comment number 94.

    poster 67

    Dont worry GORDY has done it 500 times OVER. . .

  • Comment number 95.

    Well, it's all doom and gloom at the BBC this morning. A stark contrast to the champagne bottles in the corridors of Broadcasting House after Tony Blairs first election.

    I think the BBC must look to itself. By focussing on parties and politicians that only reflected the BBCs liberal/left viewpoint and by marginalising others, something was bound to give eventually.

    The mainstream parties must adopt more mainstream views and not pander to the state broadcaster. Yes, its true that this will be an uphill struggle but there are other outlets such as Sky. Perhaps its about time the BBC was marginalised rather than the majority of the UK people.

    I blame the messenger.

  • Comment number 96.

    A quick look at the BNP's 2009 constitution, accessible on its website under the front page heading 'Resouces', reveals the following (Section 1: Political objectives, 2b): "The British National Party stands for the preservation of the national and ethnic
    character of the British people character of the British people and is wholly opposed to any form of racial
    integration between British and non-European peoples. It is therefore committed
    to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by
    legal changes, negotiation and consent, the overwhelmingly white makeup of the
    British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948."

    It also wants to repeal the Human Rights Act... no doubt that would aid its task of "restoring, by
    legal changes, negotiation and consent, the overwhelmingly white makeup of the
    British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948".

    One question that should always be asked of the BNP is what would happen to those of a different ethnic background who were born in the UK after 1948 who didn't want to leave?

    Journalists have been letting them off the hook too lightly.

  • Comment number 97.

    Glenys Pillock - love it!

    Gordon Brown vowed to reform the House of Lords. Is that why he is parachuting his mates in to bale him out such as Sugar, Kinnock and Mandy?

  • Comment number 98.

    I must have hit close to home with the BBC, my last post has been 'referred to the moderators', or to put it plainly, censored. My crime? I suggested that Nick Robinson might not be the most rigorous, impartial investigative political journalist ever.

  • Comment number 99.

    One thing the BBC and the BNP have in common is that they are both obsessed with the colour of peoples skin.

    Is this a case of the pot calling the black?

  • Comment number 100.

    #3. enigmajx wrote:
    ... The ultimate conclusion when people cannot be bothered to vote.
    60% of the British public never bother to turn up yet all have an opinion. Well, their opinions have no merit if they cannot be bothered to put a cross in a box.
    Maybe, attaching voting to tv ownership. Might concentrate a few minds!

    Reply: Thats because people realise what a waste of time First past the post really is.
    If you dont back the winner, then your vote is wasted.
    I dont usually vote in the General Elections precisely because of this, but came out to vote in the Euro Elections because I knew that, in the overall scheme of things, my vote for one of the (previously) minor parties really would count for something.
    If people vote for the BNP then why should they not be represented in some way, even if it is only a few seats?
    Anyway, shouldnt we be paying more attention to the real winners here, UKIP?
    Maybe its about time we had a referendum on PR for our Government in the UK.
    That way we might just get some kind of public reflection in Westminster.
    Heaven forbid.


Page 1 of 4

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.