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By-election voters reject entire nationalist movement: time for a reboot

Boris Johnson’s premiership is in crisis after two by-election defeats: but voters also rejected the entire spectrum of nationalist parties

Two dramatic parliamentary by-election results tonight delivered a potentially fatal blow to the authority of Boris Johnson. But they also showed that voters even in strongly pro-Brexit constituencies have rejected the entire nationalist movement as presently constituted.

A wide range of different nationalist parties and independents were on the ballot papers in the West Yorkshire constituency of Wakefield, and the Devon constituency of Tiverton & Honiton, offering various combinations of UKIP-style politics; criticism of immigration; rejection of ‘woke’; traditional patriotism; opposition to Islam; racial or semi-racial nationalism; and/or conspiracy theories about the pandemic. Yet the voters were decidedly unimpressed.

On the issues listed above (with the likely exception of CoVID conspiracism which has niche appeal at best) there are undoubtedly many thousands of voters across the two constituencies (as elsewhere in the UK) who agree with civic or racial nationalist policies.

As recently as 2010, the BNP (which of course no longer even pretends to function as a proper political party) polled 2,581 votes in Wakefield (5.8%).

Yet this week all six of the nationalist or anti-lockdown parties in Wakefield added together polled only half this total: just 1,293 votes!!

Ashlea Simon (above centre) at the Salford local election count last month. That was a good night for Ms Simon and her party Britain First, but they came down to earth with a bump tonight in Wakefield.

In Wakefield the most active nationalist campaign was fought by Ashlea Simon of Britain First, who had achieved the country’s best nationalist result at last month’s local elections, polling 21.6% in Walkden North ward, Salford.

Wakefield is of course on the other side of the Pennines, but this West Yorkshire city has many of the same racial problems that led to strong BNP votes in the 2000s. And the fact that the by-election was caused by a homosexual Muslim Conservative MP being jailed for sexual abuse of a 15-year-old boy, ought to have been a gift for even a semi-racial nationalist party.

Ms Simon and her team (including Britain First leader Paul Golding) put in a serious effort, but polled only 311 votes (1.1%), finishing 8th of 15 candidates.

This wasn’t a great result, but the outcome for other nationalist contenders in Wakefield was truly dire. Jayda Fransen of the British Freedom Party was bottom of the poll with only 24 votes (less than 0.1%).

Ms Fransen had to stand as an independent because her party isn’t yet registered. She and the two men who pull the strings in her ‘party’ – Ulster ‘businessman’ Jim Dowson and former MEP Nick Griffin – talk a good fight online, but are effectively seeking to con potential donors that they are running a serious political force (rather than the farce that it truly is).

In a rational world, Fransen, Dowson and Griffin would never show their face again in any political forum, online or in person. But doubtless they are shameless enough to keep the con going.

Serial political conman Nick Griffin (above left) with the nominal leader of the ‘British Freedom Party’, Jayda Fransen, who last night polled one of the most embarrassing votes in British nationalist history.

The best of a feeble bunch of civic nationalist results in Wakefield was Reform UK – successor to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party – finishing sixth with 513 votes (1.9%). But given the comparatively vast resources expended by Richard Tice’s party, this is another shockingly meagre return. Tice’s donors must be running out of patience.

The rump of UKIP polled 124 votes (0.5%), beaten by the English Democrats with 135 votes (0.5%).

And while the anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination movement continues to make a lot of noise both online and in occasional demonstrations, their standard bearer in Wakefield – the Freedom Alliance – barely registered with 187 votes (0.7%).

Meanwhile in Tiverton & Honiton – a traditionally safe Conservative and strongly pro-Brexit seat in Devon – nationalist results were equally dismal.

Reform UK’s total here was even worse than in Wakefield: 481 votes (1.1%). UKIP again failed miserably with 241 votes (0.6%), just ahead of one of the splinter groups from UKIP, the Heritage Party (led by a half-Jamaican and focusing heavily on CoVID-scepticism) who took only 167 votes (0.4%).

The wooden spoon went to Frankie Rufolo of the anti-Islam party For Britain Movement, who polled 146 votes (0.3%). For Britain is led by a former UKIP leadership candidate Anne-Marie Waters, who is now allied to EDL founder ‘Tommy Robinson’ and claims that she is building towards winning a seat in Parliament at the next general election. On present trends she wouldn’t win a parliamentary seat if she lived for another millennium.

Frankie Rufolo (above right) with For Britain leader Anne-Marie Waters. The Tiverton & Honiton result was another in a recent series of disastrous results for their party.

Ever since the collapse of the BNP a decade ago there has been nothing even resembling a large-scale, successful racial nationalist party. The BNP no longer even pretends to function as a proper political party. Patriotic Alternative (the fastest growing racial nationalist force in the UK) is not registered as a party and so is unable to contest elections. And various smaller parties ranging from the British Democratic Party to the National Front are not yet a substantial presence in parliamentary elections.

Both of the constituencies that had by-elections yesterday were strongly pro-Brexit, and were won by Boris Johnson’s pro-Brexit Conservative Party in 2019. Yet the by-elections were caused by personal scandals forcing the resignation of Conservative MPs. So there ought to have been potential for various types of nationalist to attract voters who had previously backed the Tories.

In this context the Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton results were frankly an embarrassment not just for the parties concerned, but for everyone who calls himself a British nationalist.

Many of those who were active in these campaigns are decent patriots. Yet their political strategies and in most cases their entire party structures should be consigned to the scrapheap.

If we cannot now escape from crank ideas and personal bitterness; if we cannot now agree some form of realistic yet principled agenda and create a serious political movement (whether that movement is electorally focused, or at least for now concentrates on non-electoral politics) – then we deserve the contempt of our fellow Britons and we are unworthy of our ancestors.

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