BNP hammered in Barnsley

barnsleyBarnsley BNP – which in 2009 polled 16.7% across Barnsley at the European elections, helping to secure the election of Andrew Brons MEP – was crushed at the Barnsley Central by-election on March 3rd.

BNP candidate Enis Dalton polled just 6%, narrowly saving her deposit, but had to watch UKIP run away with the glory of taking second place to the inevitable Labour victor.  While the BNP vote fell from 3,307 (8.9%) to 1,463 (6.0%), UKIP’s vote increased from 1,727 (4.7%) to 2,953 (12.2%).

The tragedy is that a good BNP candidate was sabotaged by her own party’s leadership, which is in the process of destroying its Yorkshire region, once the jewel in the party’s crown.

Barnsley is not the sort of town where you would expect UKIP to defeat the BNP.  Admittedly UKIP polled 18.7% in Barnsley at the 2009 European elections, but this was across the entire borough rather than just Barnsley Central.  This week’s parliamentary by-election, by contrast, was in the strongest BNP area of the town.  Moreover UKIP used to poll well in European elections – for obvious reasons – but fail to register in local and Westminster elections where their key issue has less resonance with voters.

That seems to have changed during the last year or two, and the biggest single reason for that is the failure of Nick Griffin to take the BNP forward.  In fact he has taken the party backwards, with his disastrous party management, his weak performance on Question Time, and his factional spite towards anyone who dares to disagree with him.

On the same day as Barnsley Central, there was a local council by-election in Walkden North ward, Salford.  This time the BNP was beaten not only by Labour and the Conservatives, but finished behind the English Democrats.  The EDs polled 7.0%, well ahead of the BNP’s 5.2%.

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