Nationalist candidates swamped by Tory surge

NF candidate Steve Smith polled 2.4% in Burnley this year

UPDATE 9th May: click here for our extended analysis of the lessons to be drawn from this year’s local and regional elections

Candidates from the ‘old school’ nationalist parties were few and far between this year. Those that did stand were overtaken by a massive swing of White working class voters to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, as the governing party was rewarded both for the apparent success of its vaccination policy and for ‘getting Brexit done’.

The National Front had three council candidates. In Cliviger with Worsthorne, Burnley, Steven Smith – one of our movement’s most committed campaigners and organisers over the past twenty years – polled 2.4%. (This was a rare example of the Conservatives losing ground, as the seat was gained by the Greens, mainly due to a local planning/housing issue.)

Former BNP regional organiser Chris Jackson, who has been in the NF for the past eleven years after belatedly losing faith in Nick Griffin, polled 2.3% in Todmorden ward, Calderdale, which he has contested (most years) under changing colours since 1994. This is his second-worst result in all that time, and amounts to half the vote he obtained at the previous election in 2019.

Chris Jackson, seen here (above centre) addressing an NF rally alongside former party chairmen Dave MacDonald and Kev Bryan, polled 2.3% this year in Todmorden, half his 2019 vote.

The biggest obstacle in terms of Tory surge was faced by Tim Knowles, NF candidate in Langley Mill & Aldercar ward, Amber Valley. He polled just 1.5% in a ward that was gained by the Tories from Labour, part of a general pattern across the East Midlands and in many other traditionally Labour working-class areas.

The handful of active nationalists who remain in the BNP under the self-serving leadership of Adam Walker and Clive Jefferson, amounted to two local candidates this year. In Boothville & Parklands ward, West Northamptonshire, Ray Beasley polled only 2.5% despite the advantage of being his party’s sole candidate in a three-vacancy election.

Lacking this head-start, but contesting a ward with enormous nationalist potential, John Clarke polled 2.2% as BNP candidate in a by-election for New Addington ward, Croydon.

A far better result than any of the BNP or NF candidates was achieved by British Democratic Party chairman Dr Jim Lewthwaite, who took 6.2% in Wyke ward, Bradford, despite facing opposition from the post-UKIP party Reform UK, whose candidate took 1.6%, as well as a resurgent Conservative Party who gained the seat.

The fringe nationalist party British Resistance, founded by prolific online activist Jack Sen, once again had just one candidate – party chairman Carl Mason, who polled 1.3% in Nunnery ward, Worcester.

Full results from a range of other parties and independents linked to our movement will be published soon on this site. To read our initial analysis of the lessons to be learned from this week’s elections, click here.

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