A telling result in a historic Rotherham council ward

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, seen here with his billionaire wife, is struggling to achieve any credibility with British voters

There have been some doubts as to whether Labour’s revival under Sir Keir Starmer would extend into White working class areas of the North, and tonight’s by-election gain for Labour in a working-class Rotherham council ward hasn’t quite resolved those doubts.

It now seems pretty clear that Sunak’s Tories are in big trouble in the ‘red wall’ (formerly solid Labour areas where the party declined sharply in or before 2019). But neither Reform UK, nor any of its civic nationalist rivals, nor (needless to say) any racial nationalist party, has yet even laid the foundation for a serious electoral challenge any time soon.

Tonight Labour gained Keppel ward, Rotherham, from the rebranded local branch of UKIP, the Rotherham Democratic Party,

For our readers, this is a ward that will evoke poignant memories.

Marlene Guest fought excellent campaigns in Keppel ward from 2004-2007 for the now defunct BNP.

The late Marlene Guest fought Keppel ward three times for the BNP, polling 16.4% in 2004, then finishing a close second to Labour in 2006 and 2007 with 27.7% and 28.5%. A few years after the collapse of Griffin’s party, UKIP were the beneficiaries, gaining the ward in 2014 and 2015, and holding on to two of its three seats in the 2016 all-out election.

Following Rotherham council’s well publicised problems and reorganisation, Labour took two of the three seats in May 2021, but the third was retained by one of the surviving UKIP councillors now rebranded as a Rotherham Democrat.

This Rotherham Democrat was thrown out for non-attendance at the end of last year and his party didn’t even field a candidate in this week’s by-election.

Neither was there a candidate from any other civic nationalist party, though an ex-Labour councillor stood as an independent and the Yorkshire Party (regionalist populists) had a candidate who took 15%. The Brexit Party polled 17.2% in the Rotherham constituency in 2019, but its successor Reform UK again showed no interest in contesting a local by-election, even in such a promising area.

Labour ended up with a majority of 300 tonight, with an Asian Liberal Democrat in a surprisingly close second. The Tories also put up an Asian candidate and slipped to fourth place with a truly appalling vote, down from 24% to 5.8%.

Lab 36.1% (+4.6)
LD 21.6% (+14.7)
Ind 18.5%
YP 15.2% (+3.5)
Con 5.8% (-18.2)
Grn 2.9%

Sunak’s Tories start 2023 in deep trouble – but Reform UK’s challenge is weaker than it looks

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak needs all the prayers he can get, whether in his own Hindu faith or any other!

Five opinion polls have been taken since Christmas, and all show Rishi Sunak’s government in deep trouble with British voters. Traditionally the Tories might expect to benefit from industrial unrest: strikes famously helped Margaret Thatcher win her first general election in 1979 and weakened Labour in the run-up to her third victory in 1987. But Sunak seems to be failing in his main (political) task of restoring the Conservative Party’s reputation for economic competence.

From H&D readers’ point of view, the big question is whether a civic nationalist party is capable of making the sort of breakthrough that Nigel Farage’s parties achieved during the 2010s: first UKIP, and then the Brexit Party – making such an impact that the Tories were forced to allow British voters a referendum on EU membership in 2016, then forced to deliver Brexit against the wishes of most Tory grandees.

For reasons we have examined repeatedly in the magazine (and which we re-examine in the January-February 2023 edition that has just gone to press) Farage’s latest (and probably last) party, Reform UK, does not seem capable of achieving similar results.

Nigel Farage and Richard Tice of Reform UK are now TV entertainers rather than serious political leaders.

Reform UK (presently led by Farage’s right-hand man Richard Tice) has failed badly at six successive parliamentary by-elections (most recently polling 2.7% in Chester and 3.5% in Stretford & Urmston). None of these lost deposits suggest that its nationwide opinion poll scores (much hyped by some academics and by the GB News channel where Farage has a regular show) are anywhere near accurate.

The most recent polls differ widely in this respect: for example the new company People Polling (commissioned by GB News) gave Reform UK 8%, and showed Sunak’s Tories falling to just 19%, 26 points behind the Labour Party; while a rival firm Redfield Wilton gave Reform UK 5%, but again showed the Tories losing heavily, this time 20 points behind Labour. Three other polls taken during the first week of 2023 show Labour leads of 21% or 22%, with Reform UK scoring anywhere between 4% and 8%.

Part of the explanation for this disparity might be straightforward, involving: (a) prompting of voters with the name of Reform UK included in the initial question, rather than held back for a supplementary question; and (b) a different method of adjusting the raw figures, taking less account of previous voting preference. Most pollsters use this method in an attempt to tease out ‘shy Tories’; if People Polling do not, or use it less radically, it could account for their lower Tory and higher Reform and Green vote shares.

Whatever the technical reason, H&D would be very surprised to see Reform UK poll higher than 2% of the nationwide vote at a general election. For ideological and other reasons, Faragism is finished as a serious political force. If Farage himself stands, then he along with Tice and a handful of others might manage 10% or more and (most crucially) help push the Tories to defeat in a small number of marginal seats, but in most of the country Reform UK will remain an irrelevance.

Dr Jim Lewthwaite (far left), Chairman of the British Democrats, with some of his fellow speakers at the 2022 H&D meeting in Preston: Keith Axon, Peter Rushton, Isabel Peralta and Laura Towler.

Which leaves the big question – if not Farage and Reform UK, then who and what will present the badly needed challenge to the UK’s failing political mainstream.

Recent polls suggest that 20% or more of those who voted Conservative at the last general election three years ago are now answering “Don’t Know”. Even the People Polling survey that seems to exaggerate Reform UK’s strength suggests that it is taking 12% of that previous Conservative vote, and little or nothing from the other parties; while 17% of those Tory voters have switched to Labour.

Sunak might yet win back some of those ‘Don’t Knows’, but many of them ought to be persuadable by a credible racial nationalist party (if and when such a party gets off the ground).

The British Democrats presently seem to be the best organised and most realistic option for those seeking a racial nationalist challenge at the ballot box, but even they are only just getting started in most of the country. 2023 will be an important transitional year for our movement, as Faragism is finally buried and the Brit Dems gradually build up a nationwide branch structure. Meanwhile Patriotic Alternative is building a broader political challenge away from the electoral arena (PA is not yet a registered political party and shows no sign of becoming one); the British Movement continues to maintain the core ideology that exposes the roots of British and European decline since 1945; and the National Front keeps the flame alive for the first UK party to present a serious electoral challenge to multiracialism during the 1970s.

Whatever nationalist party or group you belong to, or if for the time being you are working independently for our cause, H&D wishes you an active and successful New Year!

Stretford & Urmston by-election: another episode in the slow death of Faragism

Reform UK leader Richard Tice (above right) with his party’s ill-fated by-election candidate Paul Swansborough, campaigning in Stretford & Urmston

The result of the Stretford & Urmston parliamentary by-election was declared a few minutes ago. Predictably it resulted in a massive majority for Labour, but for H&D readers the more interesting aspect was another shockingly poor result for Reform UK, the latest vehicle for the political ideas of Nigel Farage, who was once among Europe’s most successful populist leaders.

Farage was most famous for his decade as leader of UKIP. He had a year out of office from 2009-2010, but was otherwise leader from 2006 until the Brexit referendum victory of 2016. Having made a huge contribution to the UK voting to leave the EU, Farage returned to electoral politics from 2019-2021 as leader of the Brexit Party, so as to ensure that the political establishment was unable to frustrate the referendum result.

In 2021 the Brexit Party was rebranded as Reform UK and Farage retired in favour of his close political ally Richard Tice, but he has remained a powerful voice in support of the party and has hinted that he might return to the arena at the next general election.

The problem is that Reform UK (despite being hyped recently by academics and journalists) seems to have very little public support and little ideological coherence.

Would you-buy a second-hand ideology from these men? Former UKIP and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (above left) with his Reform UK successor Richard Tice.

At yesterday’s by-election in Stretford & Urmston (a socially and racially divided constituency west of Manchester), Reform UK’s candidate Paul Swansborough polled only 3.5% (650 votes), an equivalent percentage but far lower numerical vote than the Brexit Party achieved in the same constituency in 2019: 3.5% (1,768 votes).

At its peak in 2015, UKIP polled 5,068 votes (10.9%) here.

This is the sixth successive parliamentary by-election at which Reform UK have lost their deposit, despite in this instance spending lavishly on their campaign and busing in activists from elsewhere in the region.

What makes it far worse is that the Tory vote predictably collapsed at this by-election, but disillusioned Tories stayed at home, unpersuaded by Reform UK even as a protest vote option.

One insuperable problem is that UKIP and the Brexit Party had a clear message that attracted large numbers of otherwise politically diverse voters: i.e. leaving the European Union.

That battle has been won – not even the most diehard pro-European nor the most paranoid Brexiteer believes that the UK will re-enter the EU in the foreseeable future. The issue is now settled, and the issues on which Reform UK is choosing to fight are mostly ones that cannot possibly enthuse the White working class who delivered the Brexit victory.

Reform UK have failed to capitalise on the unpopularity of Rishi Sunak, seen here hosting a Diwali reception at Downing Street soon after his accession as Tory Party leader and Prime Minister.

Reform UK are essentially a post-Thatcherite, right-wing version of the Tories – tax cuts, shrink the state, free market capitalism, ‘Singapore on Thames’.

They talk a good fight about immigration, but their devotion to international capitalism means that at root their ideological commitment is to the very force that drives migration and ‘One Worldism’.

In short, they have nothing to offer to White working-class voters, and unlike the Brexit Party are unable to disguise that fact. Moreover many voters are waking up to the reality that Brexit is failing to deliver the changes that were once expected, especially regarding immigration.

Civic nationalism, Brexitism, Faragism – all these populist forces are now dead or dying. It remains to be seen whether racial nationalism, which unlike Faragism is a coherent programme for national renewal, can revive and unite behind a serious political party. The British Democrats are on the way to achieving that, just as Patriotic Alternative are on the way to creating a broader challenge outside electoral politics, but there is a very long way to go before we can say that racial nationalism in the UK is back on its feet.

Civic nationalism fails again in Chester by-election

Last night’s by-election result in the City of Chester constituency gave further proof that the Farage era is over – a fact that will not surprise regular H&D readers but might be news to others.

During recent weeks there had yet again been media hype (encouraged by some academic observers) suggesting that civic nationalism of the Nigel Farage variety might again be on the rise in the UK.

Farage is no longer a party leader, but is closely associated with Reform UK, led by his close associate Richard Tice and backed by some of the same donors who financed Farage’s previous ventures, the Brexit Party and UKIP.

Nigel Farage has been hinting at a return to frontline politics with his old party Reform UK, led by his close ally Richard Tice: but Farage’s ideology now has nothing to offer.

Pollsters and academics have recently argued that Reform UK might be the beneficiary of public disgust with the Conservative governments of Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, and Farage has hinted he might make a comeback to assist Tice.

Yet as regular H&D readers will know from our detailed analyses of local elections across the UK, the truth is that Reform UK barely exists at grassroots level. It hardly ever contests local elections, and when it does the results have been dismal.

Parliamentary by-elections are a different matter, because Reform UK is lavishly funded by Eurosceptic tycoons, so its lack of activists can be masked by throwing money at glossy leaflet and poster campaigns.

Even so, the ballot box is pitiless in revealing the truth about a dying party. Reform UK’s candidate Jeanie Barton polled only 773 votes (2.7%), losing her deposit and finishing a distant fifth.

Richard Tice, leader of Reform UK, has access to lavish funds from Eurosceptic tycoons but cannot buy electoral success for his dying party.

In Chester yesterday the circumstances should have been ideal for a ‘right-wing’ protest party. Everyone knew the Tories couldn’t win this by-election, so the ‘wasted vote’ argument that often damages smaller parties did not apply. Moreover, Sunak’s Conservative Party is unpopular in any case. We are facing an economic crisis with many households struggling to make ends meet. And in the very week of the by-election, UK census figures were released that should have alarmed every racially-conscious voter. Nigel Farage did his best to make immigration an election issue, but voters simply aren’t interested in Reform UK.

And there’s a good reason for that lack of interest. You can’t fool the voters for ever, and it’s now obvious to even the uneducated that Farageism is simply a form of ultra-Toryism. Reform UK is dedicated to the values of global capitalism: the very values that have driven mass immigration for decades. Its ‘free market’ ideology would (as Liz Truss showed when she attempted a milder version) be disastrous for most Britons.

Since last December when Tice himself spent a fortune in the Old Bexley & Sidcup by-election and polled 6.6%, his party has contested a further five parliamentary by-elections and lost its deposit each time, with its highest vote being 3.8% in North Shropshire almost a year ago.

Reform UK’s latest lost deposit reflected its utter irrelevance in the eyes of almost all Chester’s electorate, and similarly dire results can be expected at the next parliamentary by-elections, again in North-West constituencies, at Stretford & Urmston on December 15th, and West Lancashire on a date yet to be fixed in January or February.

Farage’s former party UKIP now barely exists and its candidates are often well-meaning but lightweight student politicians.

The only good news for Tice and Farage is that their party finished well ahead of its two populist rivals (which is scarcely surprising since they are equally irrelevant to the concerns of most voters, and have far less money than Reform UK to spend on their campaigns).

UKIP – the party Farage led in its heyday – now barely exists. Its candidate Cain Griffiths finished seventh with 179 votes (0.6%).

And the anti-lockdown, anti-vaccination party Freedom Alliance finished bottom of the poll with only 91 votes (0.3%) for its candidate Chris Quartermaine. There are many H&D readers who sympathise with Mr Quartermaine’s interest in what might politely be termed fringe science and contrarian attitudes to the CoVID pandemic. These things are of course open to debate, but frankly only a fool would now believe there is any electoral potential in CoVID conspiracy theories.

It’s time for nationalists to cut the crankism and return to the basics of racial nationalist politics. While there is a long hard road ahead to achieve either an ideologically credible movement or an electorally credible party (or ideally both), the recent Census results have emphasised that only racial nationalists – not civic nationalists or conspiracist cranks – have answers to the UK’s long-term crisis.

Gains for Denmark’s divided anti-immigration parties – but overall victory for left

Inger Støjberg, leader of the new anti-immigration party Denmark Democrats

In today’s Danish general election, the country’s bitterly divided anti-immigration parties made substantial gains.

As expected, the largest anti-immigration party in the new parliament will be the Denmark Democrats, formed only four months ago by Inger Støjberg, a former government minister who quit the liberal Venstre party last year. Venstre is liberal in the classical European sense, i.e. ‘right-wing’ on economics, but liberal in its social attitudes. As with such parties across Europe, this ideology has proved incapable of coping with the new era of ‘identity politics’ and the challenge of mass immigration by non-Europeans.

Støjberg’s party had already built a bloc of MPs in the old parliament who had followed their leader in defecting from other parties. In today’s election they polled 8.1% and won 14 seats.

The election was a disaster for Støjberg’s rival Morten Messerschmidt and his Danish People’s Party

The Denmark Democrats had already won defections not only from the mainstream right but also from the existing anti-immigration party, the Danish People’s Party – a right-wing populist party which unlike Støjberg has ‘left-wing’, big-state ideas on economic policy, but like many European nationalist parties is fanatically pro-Israel. Largely due to the failings of its leadership, the DPP had a disastrous election, falling to 2.6% and winning only five seats, compared to eleven at the previous election in 2019.

Yet another anti-immigration party, the New Right, polled 3.7% and won six seats (a gain of two since 2019).

The New Right, led by Pernille Vermund – another conservative who broke away from the mainstream right on the issue of immigration, advanced from four seats to six.

The election’s big losers were the mainstream conservative Venstre party who just about remained the largest opposition party but lost almost half of their seats, down from 43 to 23.

Incumbent social democrat Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen seems certain to stay in office and will now have a choice of coalition partners: she can opt to rely on a range of left-wing and green parties, or attempt a more stable coalition including the centrist ‘Moderate Party’. The other big losers were Frederiksen’s former coalition partners, the Social Liberal Party, who had precipitated the election by bringing down her previous government in a row over the forced culling of mink during the CoVID pandemic. The Social Liberals lost nine of their sixteen seats.

What seems certain is that Danish resistance to the consequences of mass immigration will grow: what remains unclear is whether any united anti-immigration front will be possible.

‘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.

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