Friday, June 12, 2009

The BNP, the Left and an Opportunity

Interesting post by Left Luggage on the implications of the recent BNP electoral successes. Some highlights of the piece:

  • policies (denial of benefits to migrants, death penalty, increased police powers) held by the BNP are also held by 15-20% of the UK population according to a recent MORI poll
  • to prevent the far-right turning this potential support into actual votes, there is a need to fill "the political vacuum left by Labour’s desertion of the working class", a topic commented on in a recent review of Colin Crouch's book Post Democracy here.
  • the BNP draws its support primarily from older manual working class voters and those on state benefits
  • the left has been "unable to approach" the issue of immigration effectively
  • "voter volatility is at a post-WWII high" meaning that the British electoral market is more open to new entrants than it has been in modern history. LL concludes, however that "there is no 'new entrant' from the Left to speak of and the BNP are proving effective at filling the vacuum from the far-right."

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