BNP vote increase - reality check

British National Party leader Nick Griffin has claimed that votes for his party during last week's European elections increased by 17% in a response to a statement from Chancellor Alistair Darling which says that their share actually fell.

There is truth in both statements. Over the country as a whole, the BNP received approximately 943,000 votes; whereas in the 2004 election the figure was 808,000. However, while not implicitly saying as much, Mr. Darling seems to be referring to those constituencies where the BNP now have elected representatives - North West England (Mr. Griffin's constituency) and Yorkshire and The Humber, where Andrew Brons won a seat, both of which are areas where the party has enjoyed higher-than-average support in the last few years.

Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons (not in photograph) were prevented from holding a press conference by egg-throwing anti-fascist campaigners this week.

In the North West, Mr. Griffin received 132,094 votes, compared to the BNP's 134,959 in 2004. That's 2865 fewer votes. Mr. Brons, meanwhile, got 120, 139 compared to 126,538 - 6399 fewer.

The arguements over whether or not a low turn-out at the polling stations affects the percentage of votes an extremist party can expect will continue, but either way these figures seem to prove one thing: in those areas where the BNP have held any sway whatsoever, people are turning their backs on them. Let's see how Messrs. Griffin and Brons do in 2014.

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