Tagged: Council Elections

Far-right candidates in the local and general elections

from antifascistnetwork.org

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Regardless of the results, next week’s general and local elections are already good news for anti-fascists. The far-right has collapsed electorally and is not mounting a serious challenge in any constituency in the UK. This is a very different from 2010, when the BNP stood 338 parliamentary candidates. This time round they are standing 8. Despite an influx of former BNP members to other far-right groups, notably the English Democrats, other fascist groups have not been able to pick up the slack. Electorally, the far-right is at its lowest ebb for a generation, although this is partly because the vote won by groups like the BNP has swung toward UKIP.

We hate to kick a man when he’s down, but this represents a golden opportunity for anti-fascists to push these racist groups out of the political arena completely.

 

Some points of interest:

The English Democrats are standing 32 general election candidates. Of particular interest are ex-BNP national organiser Eddy Butler standing in Harlow and ex-BNP Barnsley organiser Ian Sutton standing in Barnsley central.

The BNP are again standing a respectable number of candidates in the local elections in Worcester. This is the third year on the trot they have done this when the party elsewhere has collapsed. The British Democrats are standing a handful of candidates in Leicestershire.

English Democrat local election candidates are concentrated in Barnsley and Liverpool. Most of the Liverpool candidates are names familiar from the now defunct Liverpool BNP branch.

Far-right general election candidates

British Democratic Party

Bradford East – Jim Lewthwaite

British National Party

Braintree – Paul Hooks
Boston & Skegness – Robert West
Charnwood – Cathy Duffy
Dagenham & Rainham – Tess Culnane
Hornchurch & Upminster – Paul Borg
Kingswood – Julie Lake
Old Bexley & Sidcup – Nicola Finch
Rotherham – Adam Walker

English Democrats

Barnsley Central – Ian Sutton (ex-BNP Barnsley organiser)
Barnsley East – Kevin Riddiough
Bath – Jenny Knight
Berwick-upon-Tweed – Neil Humphrey
Bexleyheath & Crayford – Maggi Young
Bradford West – Therese Hirst
Brentwood & Ongar – Robin Tilbrook
Bury South – Valerie Morris
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich – Tony Holyoak
Dagenham & Rainham – Kim Gandy
Dartford – Steve Uncles
Don Valley – Louise Dutton
Doncaster Central – Dean Walker
Doncaster North – David Allen
Erith & Thamesmead – Graham Moore
Faversham & Mid Kent – Gary Butler
Harlow – Eddy Butler (ex-BNP national organiser)
Kettering – Derek Hilling
Monmouth – Stephen Morris
Nuneaton – Steve Paxton
Penistone & Stocksbridge – Colin Porter
Rother Valley – Sharon Pilling
Rotherham – Dean Walker
Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough – Justin Saxton
Sheffield Central – Elizabeth Breed
Sheffield Hallam – Steve Clegg
Sheffield Heeley – David Haslett
Sheffield South East – Matthew Roberts
Southend West – Jeremy Moss
Stevenage – Charles Vickers
Wentworth & Dearne – Alan England
Weston-super-Mare – Clive Lavelle

Liberty GB

Birmingham Ladywood – Timothy Burton
Lewisham West & Penge – George Whale
Luton South – Paul Weston

National Front

Aberdeen North – Chris Willett
Bridgend – Adam Lloyd
Carshalton & Wallington – Richard Edmonds
Hull East – Mike Cooper
Linlithgow & East Falkirk – Neil McIvor
North Tyneside – Rob Batten
Rochdale – Kevin Bryan

Patria

Bournemouth West – Dick Franklin
Chichester – Dr Andrew Emerson

Independents

Stoke North – Craig Pond (former BNP Stoke branch secretary)

Far-right local election candidates

British Democratic Party

Bradford, Wyke – Liam Kernaghan
Charnwood, Loughborough Ashby – Kevan Stafford
Charnwood, Thurmaston – Chris Canham, Julia Green, Paul Newman
North West Leicestershire, Hugglescote St Johns , NW Leics – Graham Partner
Pendle, Waterside – Gary Topping

British National Party

Allerdale, Ellenborough – Clive Jefferson
Allerdale, Ewanrigg – Dawn Charlton, David Oloughlin
Burnley, Rosegrove with Lowerhouse – John Rowe
Charnwood, East Goscote – Cathy Duffy
Derby, Chaddesden – Paul Hilliard
East Northamptonshire, Irthlingborough Waterloo – Marc Whitestone
Manchester, Moston – Gareth Black
Pendle, Vivary Bridge – John Rowe
Salford, Barton – Wayne Tomlinson
Salford, Irwell Riverside – Carl Lawson
Worcester, Bedwardine – Jennifer Whitwam
Worcester, Cathedral – Andrew North
Worcester, Nunnery – Carl Mason
Worcester, St John – Alan Draper

English Democrats

Barnsley, Central – Colin Porter
Barnsley, Darfield – David Burnett
Barnsley, Darton East – Sharon Sutton (ex-BNP)
Barnsley, Darton West – Ian Sutton (ex-BNP)
Barnsley, Hoyland Milton – Justin Saxton
Barnsley, Rockingham – Kevin Riddiough
Barnsley, St Helen’s – Dean Walker
Bury, Besses – Stephen Morris
Doncaster, Bentley – Keith Hewitt
Doncaster, Bessacarr – Barbara Hewitt
Doncaster, Conisbrough – John Brennan
Kirklees, Dewsbury South – Shaun Maddox
Leicester, Braunstone Park & Rowley Fields – Oliver Healey
Leicester, Thurncourt – David Haslett
Liverpool, Knotty Ash – Derek Grue
Liverpool, Princes Park – Steven Greenhalgh (ex-BNP Liverpool organiser)
Liverpool, Riverside – Michael Lane
Liverpool, St Michaels – Paul Rimmer (ex-BNP)
Liverpool, Warbreck – Steven McEllenborough (ex-BNP)
Peterborough, Stanground Central – Nick Capp
Walsall, Blakenall – Chris Newey

National Front

Calderdale, Todmorden – Chris Jackson
North Tyneside, Howdon – Bob Batten

Far-right council candidates in this month’s elections

Analysis of far-right council election candidates from Anti-Fascist Network

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The annual council elections lets us take a snapshot of the far right groups futilely chasing electoral success (in the same way that counting 100 sorry looking blokes standing behind a wall of police outside a Wetherspoons gives a good indication of the dismal state of the EDL).

Council elections have a particular significance for the BNP. For many years, the party’s strategy has focused on steadily building up support in local council wards as a way of legitimising the party in the eyes of voters and as a stepping stone to winning seats at a regional or national level, such as in the London Assembly, European Parliament or the House of Commons. The relatively low number of far right candidates this year indicates that, for the time being, this strategy is a non-starter for the fascists.

It’s a numbers game

Hope not Hate has produced a list of most far right candidates, but have unhelpfully grouped the couple of hundred fascist candidates with the 2,000+ UKIP candidates which makes it difficult to use. The list is also missing some BNP council candidates. We will post a full list of far right candidates on our website shortly.

The Hope not Hate list does give a reasonable overview though and confirms that the BNP have virtually collapsed as a functioning electoral machine. There are only 112 BNP candidates in this election compared to around 740 candidates in 2010 when these seats were last contested. That’s quite a drop.

It’s clear that the BNP has been unable to rebuild its organisation following the bitter internal struggles and splits in the last few years. They have proved incapable of taking advantage of the favourable political climate and have been comprehensively outmanoeuvred by UKIP.

However, it also indicates that the party has halted some of its decline. They are standing slightly more candidates than they did in the 2013 council elections – when they had 104 candidates – even with the additional strain of standing in the European elections this year.

Is there something in the water in South-East London?

The list of candidates also provides a good snapshot of the remaining areas of strength.

The largest group of candidates by far is in Bexley in South East London where there are 21 candidates standing. Bexley must have one of the largest BNP branches in the country as many others do not even have enough active members anymore to stand this many candidates.

Former prominent BNP member Michael Barnbrook (a delusional man who genuinely believes he uncovered the parliamentary expenses scandal) is also standing an independent in Bexley. We are not aware that he has disavowed his fascist past or politics.

Outside Bexley, there are five candidates in Greenwich and three in Bromley.

Elsewhere in London the picture is rosier for anti-fascists. London BNP organiser Steve Squire has managed to scrape together six candidates in his home borough of Enfield but he’s not managed much else.

The party has disintegrated in its former strongholds in East London and there are only four candidates in Barking & Dagenham where the BNP were the official opposition on the council until 2010. The neighbouring borough of Havering has two candidates, despite regular BNP activity in the area and the party’s much publicised foodbank.

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It’s grim up north

It looks like the BNP has realised that the party does not have the capacity to mount a campaign to defend Nick Griffin’s North West seat in the European Parliament or regain the Yorkshire seat held by retiring far right MEP Andrew Brons (who left the BNP in a huff in 2012).

Apart from seven candidates in Stockport and five in Salford, there are few candidates anywhere else and none in places where the party was previously able to garner worrying levels of support. The networks of local activists who supplied hundreds of candidates across the region in 2009 and helped win two seats in the European Parliament have thankfully crumbled away.

There are no BNP candidates in Oldham, Kirklees, Leeds, Rotherham or Bradford. All of these places had elected BNP councillors in recent years. Equally disastrous for them, there are only two candidates in Burnley where the party was at one time the second-largest group on the council.

Another reason to cheer for anti-fascists: Brian Pendle is defending his council seat in Pendle and will almost certainly lose. This will leave the BNP with only one elected councillor in the entire country (Cathy Duffy in Leicestershire).

Few and far between

The other areas where the BNP appear to have retained some strength or organisational competence are Coventry where there are 13 candidates and Worcester where are eight candidates. The number of candidates in both of these places is odd as there has been little support for the far right in either city in recent years. They may have competent local organisers. Places to keep an eye on.

Outside the areas already mentioned, there is really only a smattering of candidates. Particular highlights include one candidate in the entire South West (Chris Stone in Exeter, is it a bit lonely down there Chris?) and only two candidates in Birmingham where the BNP used to be able to stand a full slate of 40 candidates with ease. This is yet another former stronghold where the party has withered.

There are two candidates in Larne in Northern Ireland. This may be a good thing as anytime the BNP has attempted to get involved in Northern Irish politics in recent years the ensuing results have been chaotic and damaging.

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Any other time-wasters?

No other fascist party has achieved noticeable electoral success in the last 20 years apart from the BNP. Still, a small collection of slow learners from other, smaller far right groups have decided to try their luck again this year.

Those paragons of white unity the National Front torpedoed their own, admittedly slim, chances by splitting into two rival factions (hilariously, this is not even the first time this has happened). The one that has retained the right to use the National Front name is standing five candidates in Essex plus party leader Ian Edward in Hillingdon. They are going nowhere fast. The other faction is standing three candidates as independents across London including veteran fascist and former BNP’er Richard Edmonds.

Even though party leader Andrew Brons is not defending his seat in the European Parliament, the British Democratic Party are still trying to make a go of it with a collection of rejects from the BNP. They are standing three candidates in Newcastle (including former BNP North East organiser Ken Booth), two in Bradford (including former BNP councillor Jim Lewthwaite), one in Leeds (former Leeds BNP organiser Kevin Meeson) and one in Redbridge (former BNP councillor Julian Leppert).

No room for complacency

It is gratifying to see that the BNP has effectively collapsed in so many places where they once posed a real threat. This isn’t the time to kick back and relax though. With the far right in a weakened state, anti-fascists have been presented with a golden opportunity to put then out of business for a generation.

This happy state of affairs is unlikely to last. The success of UKIP is once again pushing the political consensus toward the right and the social issues the BNP previously successfully exploited are still there. The emergence of a new group, a more effective leadership or some chance, unexpected electoral breakthrough could reinvigorate the fascist right, and leave us once again on the back foot. We shouldn’t waste the opportunity we’ve got.