Lewis Bazley, In the News (London), October 24, 2009
More than a fifth of voters would consider supporting the British National Party after leader Nick Griffin appeared on Question Time, a new poll has revealed.
A YouGov survey taken in the hours after Mr Griffin’s controversial appearance on the BBC1 show found that 22 per cent of voters would “seriously consider” voting for the BNP in a future local, general or European election.
Some 15 per cent of that total was comprised of respondents who said they were “possible” BNP voters, with three per cent saying they would “probably” consider casting a vote for the far-right party and four per cent confirming they would “definitely” vote for the BNP.
However, two thirds of those surveyed said they would never vote for the party under any circumstances while the rest of respondents were unsure.
Welsh secretary Peter Hain said the poll vindicated his fears about the ramifications of Mr Griffin’s appearance on Question Time.
“The BBC has handed the BNP the gift of the century on a plate and now we see the consequences,” he commented. “I’m very angry.”
In response the a BBC spokesman told Sky News: “We have been very clear in setting out our reasons for having Nick Griffin on Question Time.
“The BBC’s obligation is around due impartiality. It is not our job to comment on the ebb and flow of opinion polls.”
Thursday evening’s show saw Mr Griffin criticising Islam and homosexuality, labelling the Ku Klux Klan “almost entirely non-violent” and insisting he was “not a Nazi”.
[Editors Note: As of 6:00 PM, though the link to the original story is written correctly, the page was not accessible on the Internet. It may be that the story has been removed, but the usual “page has moved” message does not come up.]