I’m going to start a regular series tackling and breaking down myths relating to the BNP and the far-right in the UK.
One commonly repeated myth is that BNP voters are ex-Labour voters. This leads to several assertions that fit the writer’s prejudices but have little basis in fact or evidence. Such as:
- Therefore this shows Labour has abandoned working-class whites over their undying love for the fascist threat of ‘multiculti-nazism’.
- This shows the BNP is left-wing conspiracy because Hitler liked the term ‘National Socialism’ etc etc.
In this article on Political Betting, the writer goes through polling and demographic evidence to ask ‘Where BNP votes were coming from’.
Far from BNP voters being similar to Labour voters and drawn from the same demographic sectors, the data shows that BNP voters are much more likely to be C2DE than any of the three main parties.
Whatâ€™s the profile then of BNP voters from this brief analysis? We get a picture of a man or woman, most likely C2DE, who didnâ€™t vote at the 2005 election (though if they did vote they were most likely to have supported Labour). It appears therefore that rather than the BNP tapping into disaffected Labour votes, they have actually managed to mobilise a previously non-participating part of the electorate and persuaded them to go out and cast ballots.
In other words they are disaffected voters who have not shown a preference for any party for several elections.
The small percentage of people who do vote BNP are broadly from poorer backgrounds. Historically, this demographic has always had lower voting percentages and so it isn’t very surprising they’re politically apathetic.
Those are target voters for the Labour party, but not excluded from the Conservatives given that Cameron declared his party would be the party to help the poor. But the idea these people now voting BNP were abandoned by Labour is not borne out by voting records. It could still true to say that Labour has abandoned many working class voters who traditionally voted Labour – but that largely does not apply for BNP supporters.
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Filed in: Race politics,The BNP