‘Post-fascist’ party wins Italian election

Liberal and leftist commentators around the world have been horrified this week by the victory of Fratelli d’Italia (‘Brothers of Italy’) in Italy’s parliamentary elections and the imminent elevation of Fratelli‘s leader Giorgia Meloni to become her country’s first female prime minister.

Fratelli polled 26% of the vote (up from 4.4% in 2018 – one of the most rapid electoral advances in European history), winning 119 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 65 in the Senate.

Meloni will now form a government at the head of a ‘right-wing’ coalition that includes Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigration party Lega (formerly the regionalist Lega Nord) who polled 8.8%; Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing conservative party Forza Italia who polled 8.1%; and the ‘Moderates’, an alliance of small conservative factions, who polled only 0.9% nationwide but won seven seats in constituencies.

(above left to right) Matteo Salvini, Silvio Berlusconi and Giorgia Meloni, leaders of the main three parties involved in the new governing coalition.

This is more than simply a pendulum swing between ‘right-wing’ and ‘left-wing’ coalitions. The true significance of the result is the changing balance of forces within the ‘right’ and the fact that the most ‘extreme’ of its four components is now by far the largest. At the 2018 election Salvini overtook Berlusconi to become leader of the ‘right’, but now Meloni has overtaken Salvini.

Fratelli was founded in 2012 as part of the restructuring of ‘right-wing’ politics in Italy, but its origins are in the ‘neo-fascist’ Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI – Italian Social Movement), whose youth wing Meloni joined in 1992.

MSI in turn grew out of Mussolini’s fascist party and (as its name implied) out of the German-backed Italian Social Republic during the last days of the Second World War.

The extent to which Meloni’s politics still resembles racial nationalism, or is simply anti-immigration conservatism, is debatable. Undoubtedly she benefited from having distanced Fratelli from Russian dictator Vladimir Putin since his invasion of Ukraine. Salvini had been much closer to Putin and his credibility has been damaged by that association, to such an extent that his continued leadership of Lega is in question.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán visiting soon to be appointed Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni

Some H&D readers will undoubtedly regard Meloni as a traitor to our cause for having trimmed in the direction of mainstream conservatism. However her own and her party’s ideological roots mean that Fratelli‘s victory is potentially more significant than other European populist successes of recent years.

This is not (yet) a victory for racial nationalism, but it is a giant step in the right direction, in the process of freeing European minds from their post-1945 paralysis.

Historic victory for Swedish nationalist party

Jimmie Åkesson of the Sweden Democrats leads what is now his country’s second-largest party

After several days on a knife edge as votes were counted, the Swedish election has ended in victory for a coalition of ‘right-wing’ parties including the Sweden Democrats, a strongly anti-immigration party which has for years been ostracised as ‘racist’ and ‘nazi’ by the political mainstream.

Sweden’s left-wing Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson conceded defeat a few hours ago after it became clear that her coalition of socialist and green parties had won 173 seats, whereas the combined forces of the right-wing have 176 seats.

Most importantly, the largest party on the right is now the Sweden Democrats, who with almost all votes counted have 20.5% and 73 seats (up from 17.5% at the previous election), ahead of their allies the Moderate Party (roughly equivalent to the British Tories or US Republicans) on 19.1%.

Crucially – and unlike the USA or UK – Sweden’s liberal party, known as the Centre Party, is loosely allied to the right-wing coalition. They polled 6.7%.

The Moderate and Centre parties had tried to ‘borrow’ some of the Sweden Democrats’ anti-immigration policies, wrongly believing that voters would choose a milder version of such policies – whereas in fact more Swedes chose the real thing rather than a pale imitation!

The collapse of Sweden’s multiracial experiment has included race riots.

What this result truly demonstrates of course is the failure of multiracialism, even in a country where the political consensus had for decades been left-of-centre. In fact Sweden was frequently held up to the British left as a model of how socialists could become the “natural party of government”. What is often forgotten is that the Swedish left achieved hegemony in a White Sweden: its welfarist policies are simply unsustainable in a multiracial context.

Despite the Sweden Democrats’ success, their Moderate and Centre party ‘allies’ are likely to try to form a government that excludes Sweden Democrat ministers, while relying on parliamentary support from its MPs.

H&D readers might think this ‘undemocratic’, but in fact it would be a very good thing from the point of view of the Sweden Democrats and their leader Jimmie Åkesson. Racial nationalist parties of whatever variety are better off staying out of coalition governments unless they lead them. The effective exercise of power depends on putting racial nationalist principles into effect, not surrendering them for the perquisites of office.

It would be tempting to criticise Åkesson and his colleagues for ‘selling out’. Their party was founded in 1988, with roots in national socialism: among the party’s founders and senior officials was Gustaf Ekström who had first joined the Swedish national socialists in 1932 and volunteered for the Waffen-SS in 1941. Yet in recent years Åkesson’s party has purged ‘extremists’, renounced national socialism, and aligned itself with a conservative bloc in the European Parliament.

Gustav Ekström, bottom right, with national socialist comrades. He went on to be a co-founder of the Sweden Democrats and a leading official of the party before his death in 1995.

Nevertheless, there are reasons to believe that the Sweden Democrats are far more principled than most European populists. Crucially they are not a reactionary conservative party promoting ‘free’ markets and globalism. Their economic and welfare policies would place them on the left in US and even UK terms, with the important difference that they believe in a strong welfare state for Swedes, not for foreigners.

It seems inevitable that whatever ‘right-wing’ government takes office in Sweden this week will be short-lived, and there is likely to be another election soon, especially because the Centre Party will split rather than support any serious anti-immigration policy.

We hope that the Sweden Democrats will be true to their ideological roots and will reject the compromises demanded by globalists, reactionaries and ‘free market’ economic liberals. Tomorrow belongs to racial nationalism!

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.

Huge gains for Le Pen as Macron government loses majority

Voting has ended across France in today’s decisive second round of elections for the National Assembly.

Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (previously the National Front) achieved perhaps the greatest election result in the postwar history of European nationalism, advancing from eight seats in 2017 to 89 seats today.

At previous Assembly elections the two-round electoral system tended to favour ‘centrist’ candidates. The big exception was in 1986, when Socialist President François Mitterrand deliberately introduced a proportional representation system to divide the conservative vote, boosting the RN’s predecessor Front National, led by Marine Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie. The FN gained 35 seats at that 1986 election but immediately slipped back two years later when the PR system was abolished.

Today’s election reversed that usual pattern, with heavy losses for both President Macron’s party and for the French conservatives, now known as ‘Republicans’.

Le Pen’s RN won 89 seats today and will be the third-largest block in the new Assembly, where President Macron’s coalition has lost exactly a hundred seats and will be 42 seats short of a majority.

One early result was the defeat of Macron’s health minister Brigitte Bourguignon, who lost her constituency in Pas-de-Calais by just 56 votes to Le Pen’s candidate Christine Engrand.

Similarly the President of the National Assembly, Macron supporter Richard Ferrand, narrowly lost his seat in Finistère to a far-left candidate. Other members of the government losing their seats to leftists included ecology minister Amélie de Montchalin and sports minister Roxana Maracineanu (a silver medallist in swimming at the 2000 Sydney Olympics). Ms Maracineanu lost her seat in a Paris suburb to an African woman who was famous for leading a cleaners’ strike at one of the French capital’s biggest hotels.

Lame duck presidents? Emmanuel Macron (above right with Joe Biden) waves goodbye to credible government.

Exit poll projections were highly accurate in predicting excellent results for both the RN and for the left-wing coalition formed by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, which will be the main opposition in the new Assembly. This left-green coalition won 142 seats, with another thirteen won by assorted left-wingers who don’t accept Mélenchon’s leadership. Other MPs from tiny parties include the Eurosceptic Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, easily re-elected in the constituency he has represented now for 25 years, who on many issues will vote with the FN.

Today’s result is a remarkable boost for Marine Le Pen, who as recently as February seemed likely to be ousted from her leadership of French nationalism by an alliance of her niece Marion Maréchal and controversial journalist Éric Zemmour. The new Zemmour-Maréchal party Reconquête crashed out of the Assembly elections last weekend, failing to qualify for a single second-round contest, whereas Le Pen’s RN has achieved the greatest result in the history of French nationalism.

Five years ago mainstream commentators confidently predicted a new era of ‘centrism’ under Macron, but the French Fifth Republic now increasingly resembles the German Weimar Republic of 1919-1933.

The July-August edition of H&D will reflect on the progress (or otherwise) of nationalists across Europe, including these French elections as well as local elections in Italy whose second round was also held today, and an important regional election in Andalusia, southern Spain.

(NOTE: Some commentators give a figure of 88 rather than 89 RN Assembly members elected today. This is because of the ambiguous status of Marie-France Lorho, re-elected in a southern constituency based around the town of Orange. Technically, Mme Lorho was elected as a candidate of the League of the South, a tiny breakaway party founded in 2010 by former FN mayor Jacques Bompard. However while Bompard was affiliated with Zemmour this year, Mme Lorho is aligned with Marine Le Pen and can be counted as the 89th RN Assembly member.)

French nationalist divisions contrast with leftist unity as Le Pen’s party slips to third place

Posters for rival nationalist candidates in Montpellier

The first round of elections to the National Assembly yesterday delivered a sharp setback to the ‘centrist’ President Emmanuel Macron and modest advances for Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National. This follows the presidential election two months ago when Macron defeated Le Pen, despite the latter achieving the best nationalist result in postwar European history.

Le Pen’s Rassemblement National finished in third place with 18.7% of the first round vote. This compares to 13.2% at the previous Assembly election in 2017 but is well down on her 23.2% in the presidential election’s first round two months ago.

A feature of this Assembly election is that the far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon has managed to rally most French socialists and greens into a united slate. This leftist slate known as NUPES finished with 25.66% – less than 0.1% behind President Macron’s slate which polled 25.75%. (The newspaper Le Monde calculated the results slightly differently, showing the NUPES slate a fraction ahead of the President’s.)

It was a bad night for both the conservative Republicans and for Marine Le Pen’s nationalist rival Éric Zemmour.

The Republicans polled just 10.4%, even worse than polls had predicted: a historic defeat for the French centre-right which raises serious questions about its future viability.

An election leaflet distributed in Bedous, close to the French border with Spain, for Margaux Taillefer, one of the leaders of the Zemmour campaign’s youth wing ‘Generation Z’. The leaflet highlights Zemmour’s alliance with Marion Maréchal.

Meanwhile Zemmour’s party Reconquête which once seemed set to overtake the RN as the main party of French nationalism polled 4.2% – less than a quarter of the RN vote. The big losers from such a dismal result are not only Zemmour himself but also his ally Marion Maréchal (Marine Le Pen’s niece) who now has much work to do if she is to re-establish herself as the future leader of French nationalism. Another significant Reconquête defeat was in Maréchal’s Provençal region Vaucluse where Stanislas Rigault – 23-year-old president of Zemmour’s youth wing ‘Generation Z’ – was a distant fourth with only 10.5%.

Maréchal was Rigault’s ‘substitute candidate’ – a French system designed to avoid National Assembly by-elections. If an Assembly members dies or quits to accept executive office, the substitute takes his place. To add insult to injury for Rigault and Maréchal, Le Pen’s candidate topped the poll and will go into next week’s second round against a pro-Macron candidate.

It seems that the Zemmour faction has recruited many of the best and brightest of young French nationalist activists, but has not convinced voters. A bad situation for the movement overall.

In his own constituency east of Toulon on the Mediterranean coast, Zemmour was knocked out in the first round after polling 23.2%, a shade behind Le Pen’s RN candidate on 24.7% and a pro-Macron candidate on 28.5%. It will be a bitter pill for Zemmour to swallow, but presumably he will endorse the Le Pen candidate in next week’s run-off, and frankly he no longer has much of a negotiating position. (Unsurprisingly the other seven Reconquête votes across Zemmour’s Var département were even worse, and all of the Var constituencies will face second round run-offs between RN and pro-government candidates.)

Another high-profile Reconquête candidate was Damien Rieu, founder of the anti-immigration youth group Generation Identity, standing in France’s most south-eastern constituency which runs from Nice to the Italian border. Rieu finished fifth with only 10.7%; his RN rival Alexandra Masson topped the poll and will go into another of the second round contests between Le Pen and Macron supporters which will be a feature of the Provence, Alpine and Côte d’Azur region next Sunday.

The crushing defeat of Stanislas Rigault (above left), president of the youth wing of Zemmour’s party, in Marion Maréchal’s home region was a blow to Ms Maréchal’s long-term ambition to lead French nationalism

By contrast Marine Le Pen easily won her home constituency in northern France, which includes the town of Hénin-Beaumont, with 54% of the vote. However due to the low turnout (which meant even this vote was only 22.5% of the electorate) she faces the formality of a run-off against the left’s candidate next week.

In all but five cases there will be a second round next Sunday, as only candidates who achieve more than 50% and more than 25% of their constituency’s electorate are elected outright in the first round. One of the very few to be elected on the first round today was far-left candidate Alexis Corbière who polled 62.9% (!) in his part of Seine – St Denis, which includes the notorious multiracial suburb of Montreuil. (This is sometime called Mali’s second-largest city, as it includes so many immigrants from the former French colony.) Nationwide a total of four leftists were elected on the first round, and one of President Macron’s ‘centrists’.

Any candidate who achieves 12.5% or more of the electorate in the first round can qualify for the second: on a low turnout election such as this one, this in practice means only the top two candidates from the first round. There will only be eight ‘triangular’, three-way contests in next week’s second round, and 564 two-way contests. Of these, 278 feature Macron’s party against the left; 110 Macron’s party against Le Pen’s RN; 62 the left against RN; 29 conservatives against RN; 29 conservatives against the left; and 22 conservatives against Macron’s party.

Former education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer was one of several ‘centrist’ technocrats backed by President Macron to be knocked out in today’s first round

The first result declared – from a constituency in the Loire Valley of central France – showed the incumbent ‘centrist’ defeated after being pushed into third place. The second round run-off in this constituency next week will be between a veteran Communist (backed by the united left-green slate) and the candidate of Marine Le Pen’s RN. The ‘centrist’ vote fell from 33.3% in 2017 to 22.6% today, and the conservative candidate was a distant fourth with 12.3%.

In another Loire Valley constituency further north, another of Macron’s candidates – former education minister and typical Parisian technocrat Jean-Michel Blanquer – was ousted, creating another run-off between the left and the RN.

Many more results such as these, and France will be approaching Weimar Republic territory! Various analysts have projected that after next week’s second round Macron’s coalition will either lose its majority in the Assembly, or have a sharply reduced majority, with the main opposition now coming from the left, but with Le Pen’s RN holding something between 20 and 45 seats, compared to just eight seats won under the old FN label in 2017.

France is roughly split into four camps, each with about a quarter of the electorate. One quarter backs the President and his ‘centrist’ allies; another backs Mélenchon’s left-green alliance; another backs a nationalist (either of the Le Pen or Zemmour stripe); and the final quarter is an assortment of folk who for various reasons do not fit into any of the above (including dissident leftists, regionalists, and various protest votes). These fringe candidates include those who (as in the UK) persist in the strange belief that there is some electoral mileage in wild conspiracy theories about the CoVID pandemic and rhetoric about ‘freedom’. Such candidates (as in the UK) achieved little more than joke votes even when they were minor celebrities: for example ‘radical’ singer-songwriter and anti-vaccination campaigner Francis Lalanne was in eighth place with 2.2% in the Charente region of south-western France.

Former President François Hollande (above right with Benjamin Netanyahu) denounced the left-green alliance for ‘anti-semitism’ and backed his own slate of ‘centre-left’, pro-Israel socialists, all of whom were heavily defeated.

Perhaps the worst humiliation was suffered by the rump of the once-powerful French Socialist Party that refused to go into Mélenchon’s left-green alliance. These sad remnants of the 1990s centre-left were endorsed by former President François Hollande, who like his contemporary Tony Blair has still not grasped that their project of business-friendly, pro-immigration, pro-New World Order social democracy has been rejected by the working-class voters they despise and by most of the younger, educated generation they once courted. Every single one of these ‘moderate’ socialists was decisively defeated in yesterday’s first round.

Bear in mind that around half of the electorate did not vote at all in the first round, despite the apparently wide ideological choice offered!

Unlike the UK, France has eleven constituencies for French citizens living abroad. The third of these is made up predominantly of French citizens living in the UK (though also including far smaller numbers living in the Baltic States, Scandinavia, Iceland and Greenland). This constituency will face a run-off between the pro-Macron candidate who polled 38.5% and the leftist alliance candidate (in this case a green) who polled 31.5%.

Unsurprisingly among this group of business folk and academics, Le Pen’s RN polled very badly indeed – only 1.7% – and was well-beaten even by Zemmour’s candidate who managed 3.5%. Pretty much the only demographics where Zemmour’s party is stronger than the RN are among very affluent nationalists and young intellectual nationalists. For example in the socially exclusive 7th arrondissement of Paris, Zemmour’s candidate polled 8.7% and Le Pen’s candidate only 3.2%.

The unfortunate situation for the French right is that such unrepresentative elite folk are not by themselves a basis for winning an election, but it’s difficult to build an effective movement without an elite cadre.

It will be up to the bitterly divided RN and Reconquête leaders to resolve this problem quickly.

Post-Brexit civic nationalists face High Noon in Yorkshire and Devon by-elections

Disgraced “gay Muslim Tory” MP Imran Ahmad Khan, whose criminal conviction prompted the Wakefield by-election

Nominations closed this afternoon for two parliamentary by-elections to be held on 23rd June in the West Yorkshire constituency of Wakefield and the Devon constituency of Tiverton & Honiton.

Each of these by-elections follows scandals that disgraced the previous Conservative MP. In Wakefield a homosexual Muslim Conservative – overseas readers might think we are making this up but it’s absolutely true – resigned after being convicted for sexually assaulting a teenage boy. He has since been imprisoned.

In Tiverton & Honiton, the local Conservative MP resigned after he admitted viewing pornography on his phone while at work in the chamber of the House of Commons. Readers will appreciate that parliamentary proceedings can be boring, but this was probably not the best way to relieve the tedium.

Each by-election has attracted a range of civic nationalist, populist and/or anti-Islam candidates.

In Wakefield voters can choose between:
Ashlea Simon of Britain First, an anti-Islamist party backed by former BNP official Paul Golding – as reported in the current edition of H&D, Miss Simon achieved the best nationalist vote at the recent local council elections, polling 21.6% in Walkden North, Salford;

Jayda Fransen, Mr Golding’s former partner both in Britain First and in private life, who is now based in Northern Ireland where she works for Christian businessman Jim Dowson and his political frontman Nick Griffin – they call their outfit the British Freedom Party but it is not in fact a registered political party, so Ms Fransen is listed as Independent on the ballot paper;

Nick Griffin and Jayda Fransen promoting the ‘British Freedom Party’: the only problem is the party doesn’t exist, so Ms Fransen has to stand as an Independent

Chris Walsh, a Wakefield gym owner and the most local of the civic nationalist candidates, representing the Reform UK party backed by former Brexit Party and UKIP leader Nigel Farage;

Therese Hirst, a frequent candidate in Yorkshire elections for the English Democrats, a party led by Essex solicitor Robin Tilbrook which campaigns for an English Parliament – Ms Hirst (a Theology graduate of Durham University) finished runner-up at the Batley & Spen parliamentary by-election in 2016, polling 4.8%;

Jordan Gaskell, who at the age of 19 received UKIP’s best vote at the recent local government elections: 10.4% in Hindley ward, Wigan – like Ashlea Simon he has what might prove a big disadvantage of coming from the wrong side of the Pennines, though unlike Jayda Fransen he is at least based in England.

Other anti-establishment parties contesting Wakefield include the CoVID-sceptic ‘Freedom Alliance’, the Christian Peoples Alliance, the Yorkshire Party, and the left-populist Northern Independence Party.

Wakefield’s Conservatives have (perhaps surprisingly) selected another Asian candidate. There is also an Asian independent standing, as well as the ‘Monster Raving Loony Party’, and the usual Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green parties.

The by-election is almost certain to be won either by Labour or the Conservatives, but an unusually poor or good result might either finish off one of the crowded field of nationalist or semi-nationalist parties, or give one of them the boost required to raise their profile.

At present none of these parties has anything like the profile achieved by the National Front in the 1970s, the BNP in the 1990s and 2000s, or UKIP and the Brexit Party in the 2010s.

Frankie Rufolo (above right) with For Britain Movement leader Anne-Marie Waters

Tiverton & Honiton in contrast to Wakefield is almost certain to be a battle between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

Here there is a slightly different range of civic nationalist candidates:
Frankie Rufolo is Exeter organiser of the For Britain Movement, the anti-Islamist party founded by former UKIP leadership candidate Anne-Marie Waters. Mr Rufolo has stood several times in Exeter City Council elections, most recently polling 7.7%.
Andy Foan, a former Royal Navy and RAF pilot, is standing for Reform UK.
Ben Walker, also a Royal Navy veteran, is standing for UKIP, for whom he was once a councillor in South Gloucestershire. In 2019 he was fined more than £11,000 for breaking building regulations.
Jordan Donoghue-Morgan is standing for the Heritage Party, which has absolutely no connection to H&D and is a splinter from UKIP.

Since UKIP were runners-up with 16.5% in this constituency in 2015, there is a fairly substantial civic nationalist or populist right-wing vote to share between these candidates, especially given the Conservative Party’s recent problems.

As in Wakefield, an especially good or bad result for any of the above four candidates could propel their party either into significance or into extinction.

Other candidates in Tiverton & Honiton are the usual ‘big four’: Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Labour and Green.

Neither of the two fastest-growing nationalist organisations in Britain is contesting either of these by-elections. Patriotic Alternative is not yet a registered political party so cannot yet appear on ballot papers. The British Democratic Party has decided (probably wisely) not to enter a crowded field that is likely to turn into a media circus.

Nationalist results at 2022 local elections

Britain First candidate Ashlea Simon (above centre) with her campaign team at the Salford election count.

Votes have been counted across most of the UK in local council elections, as well as crucial contests for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

As previously explained in H&D, there were much reduced numbers of candidates this year from the UK’s various racial and civic nationalist parties. The once-mighty BNP now seems totally defunct, having no candidates anywhere in the country and no longer even a functioning website.

By far the best result so far was achieved by Ashlea Simon of Britain First, who finished runner-up in Walkden North, Salford with 508 votes (21.6%). H&D has been very critical of Britain First’s leader Paul Golding on both ideological and personal grounds, but we have to admit this is a very good result and a credit to Ms Simon and her campaign team.

The other nationalist party making progress this year is the British Democrats, and even they only had four candidates nationwide. Lawrence Rustem achieved 117 votes (13.7%) in Shepway South ward, Maidstone. Last year Mr Rustem polled 25 votes (2.6%) in the same ward as a For Britain candidate.

British Democrat leader Dr Jim Lewthwaite finished third of six candidates in Wyke ward, Bradford, with 214 votes (7.1%), slightly up from 6.2% in the same ward last year.

Among other Brit Dem candidates, Chris Bateman polled 100 votes (4.6%) in Laindon Park, Basildon. This was the first ever British Democrat campaign in Basildon. Similarly breaking new ground for the Brit Dems was former BNP candidate Michael Jones who polled 253 votes (5.7%) in East Wickham ward, Bexley.

By contrast the For Britain Movement seems to be going backwards: its leader Anne-Marie Waters was heavily defeated in De Bruce ward, Hartlepool. Click here for our analysis of that result.

What had been For Britain’s strongest branch in Epping Forest was marking time this year with token campaigns. Eddy Butler polled just 11 votes (1.3%) in Loughton Alderton, and former BNP councillor Pat Richardson 16 votes (2.0%) in Loughton Broadway.

Former BNP activist Gary Bergin polled 57 votes (1.7%) as For Britain candidate in Claughton ward, Wirral, down from 1.9% last year, while in nearby Shevington ward, Knowsley, Christine Dillon managed only 18 votes (1.0%). One of the party’s few substantial branches is Exeter, where organiser Frankie Rufolo polled 192 votes (7.7%) in Exwick ward. Mr Rufolo’s Exeter colleagues fared a lot worse: Eric Bransden polling 35 votes (1.2%) in Topsham ward, and Chris Stone 25 votes (0.9%) in St Thomas.

Among the other early results was Langley Mill & Aldercar, Amber Valley, where the National Front’s Tim Knowles polled 28 votes (2.6%), a fraction down from 2.7% in 2018. Another veteran NF candidate Chris Jackson (once North West regional organiser for the BNP) yet again contested his home ward of Todmorden, Calderdale, polling 101 votes (3.1%), up from 2.3% last year.

On the civic wing of nationalism, Reform UK – the main faction of the old UKIP, backed by Nigel Farage and led by Richard Tice – is fading badly. In Chipping Ongar, Greensted and Marden Ash ward, Epping Forest, Reform UK’s Peter Bell finished bottom of the poll with 26 votes (2.7%), behind Robin Tilbrook of the English Democrats with 72 votes (7.5%).

Other English Democrat results included 8.3% for Maxine Spencer in Dearne North, Barnsley and 5.5% for her neighbour Janus Polenceusz in Dearne South.

Alan Graves was one of two Reform UK councillors re-elected in Derby

Reform UK seems now to have just one strong branch – Derby, where they held on to the two council seats they were defending – plus one semi-strong branch, Bolton, where as in Derby they had a full slate of candidates, three of whom managed above 10%. In the rest of the country the party barely exists.

The remaining fragment of UKIP – which was the country’s largest party at the 2014 European Parliamentary elections – had only seventeen candidates for English councils plus eleven candidates for Scottish councils. Only Jordan Gaskell in Hindley ward, Wigan with 10.4% achieved a remotely credible vote.

Two UKIP splinter groups still just about function. The Heritage Party, led by half-Jamaican former London Assembly member David Kurten, had fourteen English council candidates and one Welsh, plus one candidate for the Northern Ireland Assembly. Their best vote was 7.9% for Nick Smith in Cippenham Green ward, Slough, while most others polled tiny votes. An even smaller UKIP splinter is the Alliance for Democracy and Freedom, the best of whose five English council results was 7.3% for Phillip Moulson in South ward, NE Lincolnshire.

Gary Butler – who has contested elections during the past twelve years for the National Front, BNP and English Democrats – this year polled 49 votes (3.3%) as an Independent in Heath ward, Maidstone. His wife Melanie Butler polled 94 votes (5.8%) in Shepway North, Maidstone.

Graham Williamson – a leading activist in the National Front during the 1980s – has long since abandoned racial nationalism in favour of ‘community politics’. He was easily re-elected in South Hornchurch ward, Havering, for his ‘Rainham Independent Residents Association’.

Click here to see full breakdown of nationalist / UKIP type candidates and their results.

Is this the end of ‘For Britain’?

Anne-Marie Waters gambled on an alliance with anti-Muslim hooligan Tommy Robinson (above right) but failed yesterday in her attempt to win a council seat.

Anne-Marie Waters – founder and leader of the For Britain Movement – was heavily defeated yesterday in her attempt to win election to Hartlepool Borough Council. Ms Waters had moved to the area and campaigned intensively for a couple of years, believing that various local scandals including the ‘grooming’ of young girls by Asian Muslims would push voters towards her anti-Islam party.

Karen King won Hartlepool’s De Bruce ward in 2019 to become one of For Britain’s first elected councillors, alongside Julian Leppert in Epping Forest. Boundary changes then led to an all-out election for the entire Hartlepool council in May 2021: Anne-Marie Waters and Ms King both contested De Bruce ward, where each elector had three votes. Ms King lost her seat by only 15 votes, though Ms Waters finished much further down the field.

This year Ms King chose not to stand and Ms Waters was For Britain’s only Hartlepool candidate, again in De Bruce ward, but was again badly beaten, finishing third of four candidates with 203 votes (14.5%), down from 479 votes (22.2%) last year.

In the run-up to this year’s campaign, Ms Waters forged a high-profile political alliance with Tommy Robinson, founder of the English Defence League. Several activists quit For Britain because they didn’t wish to be associated with Robinson’s hooliganism and criminality.

It seems that the gamble of admitting Robinson to For Britain has failed. Only the prospect of electoral success had held Ms Waters’ party together, as there are fundamental disagreements between the party leader (whose views on many issues are liberal and multiracialist) and the ex-BNP activists in Epping Forest who control her only substantial branch.

During today and tomorrow we will report on other nationalist or semi-nationalist election results from across the UK.

Lancaster leftists outraged by democratic discussion

In most parts of the United Kingdom there are campaigns under way for elections to be held on May 5th.

Among the areas that do not have elections this year is Lancaster, but some political activity did take place there last week – and characteristically local politicians are outraged that anyone should dare to exercise their democratic right to a dissenting view.

Members of the pro-White pressure group Patriotic Alternative distributed leaflets in several parts of the city pointing out that on present demographic trends White Britons are set to become a minority in our own country.

Instead of discussing this question rationally – whether by challenging the statistics or by arguing openly that White extinction would be a good thing – local left-wingers complained to the police.

Quite disgracefully, Lancaster Police took it upon themselves to make a political statement that the leaflets were “inflammatory”. Such political debating terms are no business of the police. If there is any question about the leaflets’ legality, there are laws and courts to resolve the matter. We do not yet live in a country where it is acceptable for police officers to bully political campaigners.

Patriotic Alternative is not yet a registered political party, and as stated above there are no elections to Lancaster City Council this year. But when voters in Lancaster next visit the ballot box, they should feel secure that their local police are securing the integrity of the political process, not undermining it by seeking to suppress dissenting voices.

Huge increase in Le Pen vote – but another defeat

Marine Le Pen conceding defeat this evening

Marine Le Pen – leader of the nationalist party Rassemblement National (formerly the National Front) –has lost the French presidential election to former banker and ‘centrist’ Emmanuel Macron by a margin of 58.5% to 41.5%.

More than 13 million French voters backed Le Pen. This is by far the strongest vote for a nationalist candidate in postwar French history – up from 33.9% (10.6 million votes) in the equivalent second round in 2017, and 17.9% (6.4 million votes) when Marine Le Pen was knocked out in the first round in 2012.

When her father and party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen reached the second round in 2002, he polled 17.8% (5.5 million votes). His daughter Marine took over as leader of the Front National in January 2011, then renamed the party as Rassemblement National (National Rally).

Nationalists in France and elsewhere will naturally be disappointed by Marine Le Pen’s third presidential defeat, and there will be much speculation as to whether she can credibly campaign for a fourth time in 2027.

The initial challenge will be to present a unified nationalist campaign at the National Assembly elections in two months’ time. As with the presidency, the two-round electoral system is weighted against nationalists, because even if they ‘win’ the first round, RN candidates tend to face a united front of liberals, leftists and ‘moderate’ conservatives in the second round.

Marine Le Pen with her father and party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen: their views of nationalist strategy eventually diverged

One of Marine Le Pen’s greatest strengths has been her ability to build RN support among working-class voters in depressed post-industrial areas such as her home constituency of Hénin-Beaumont in the northern French region of Pas-de-Calais.

However her determination to ‘dedemonise’ her party led to an obsession with avoiding allegations of ‘racism’ or ‘antisemitism’. The RN became utterly determined to remove any racial component to its nationalism, and to denounce the wartime government of Marshal Philippe Pétain (even though in his time Pétain was supported by an overwhelming majority of French citizens).

This rewriting of history and redefinition of French identity provoked many traditional French patriots this year into rejecting Marine Le Pen in favour of rival nationalist candidate Éric Zemmour. Among those to endorse Zemmour was the RN leader’s own niece Marion Maréchal, as H&D‘s Tony Paulsen explained in an article for this website.

Eventually Zemmour’s presidential campaign collapsed and he polled only 7.1% in the election’s first round two weeks ago, compared to Marine Le Pen’s 23.2%.

Marion Maréchal (above left) endorsed Éric Zemmour in the first round of this year’s presidential election. Will she be able to repair relations with her aunt Marine Le Pen? And is Marion Maréchal still the eventual successor as leader of French nationalism?

Will there now be a swing in favour of the new Zemmour / Maréchal party Réconquete? And will that party be able to strike electoral pacts with RN candidates at the Assembly elections in June?

Most critically, what will the new balance be within French nationalism? Marine Le Pen’s social nationalism aimed at repairing the extreme inequalities in post-industrial France, or Zemmour’s focus on reassuring the middle-class? Zemmour’s outspoken engagement with racial questions, or Le Pen’s multiracial civic nationalism?

H&D will focus on these and related questions in our next edition to be published early in May, and will have further analysis later in 2022 of the choices facing European nationalists.

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