Sunday, June 07, 2009

Green Day?

On their website, the BNP have been talking up their chances of getting some seats in the European elections. Having analysed the local election results and assuming local votes will also translate into European votes (with a couple of other caveats), they believe they will get between 1 and 4 seats (one or two in the North West, one in the North East and one in the West Midlands).

For the West Midlands:

Average BNP vote: 12.6 percent. Result: One possible Euro BNP seat. (This result could be boosted by the fact that the best BNP-supporting areas in the West Midlands - Stoke, Sandwell, Dudley and others - did not have local elections on Thursday, meaning that large numbers of BNP voters are not reflected in this average figure.)
Leaving aside the facts that an increased UKIP vote, local votes do not necessarily translate into european votes and there were no local elections in BNP stronghold areas, the signs look ominous. Will the fascists really win four seats on the anniversary of Winston Churchill's "Fight them on the Beaches" speech?

Possibly not. I reported on the political betting website that turnout seemed to have been good in Sparkbrook, a predominantly Muslim area. This was despite the fact that Respect were not standing in the European elections and there was no council election (Respect have all three councillors in Sparkbrook). Newsnight also interviewed some Sikhs on election day who came out to vote to stop the BNP. Anecdotal evidence suggests that BMEs may have come out to vote in higher numbers in an attempt to stop the BNP.

The Green party may be key. Salma Yaqoob has called for Respect voters to vote for the Greens in the absence of a Respect candidate. The combined Respect/ Green total at the last European election would have beaten the BNP by .1%. The Green Party had "Say no to Racism" as their strapline on the ballot paper. I am pretty confident that Labour, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP will get one seat each in the West Midlands constituency, with the Conservatives getting two. I believe the final seat will be a tossup between a third Conservative, second UKIP, or maiden BNP or perhaps possibly Green. It will be very close. I just hope that people exercised their right to vote.

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