Private correspondence, May 6, 2010
It’s eve of poll.
We in the BNP have 337 candidates in the ring, according to the spreadsheet the Party itself will be using to record results (of which I have a copy). An unprecedented effort by the Movement in Britain, mounted by a small organisation. No mean feat.
Unlike the 1979 campaign, there are no candidates put up with no vestige of a campaign to make up numbers–everyone is supposed to have at least an A5 election address going out. Though I suspect a few campaigns have screwed up on this and I know the Post Office in some Red-ruled Sorting Offices has put spanners in the works, notably in Chelmsford where 45,000 addresses have been “lost”. Over 300 at least will have full election addresses put out to all voters and in at least half there will be some sort of decent campaign. But unlike 1979 all the candidates actually exist and all of them know who they are standing for! An unprecedented effort, in which the Party is punching rather above its weight.
The targets are:
1) Get at least one MP. Probability about 1 in 3 in Barking (according to Nick G and the bookies’ odds) and I’d say about 1 in 4 in Stoke Central. There are a few 1 in 10 chances, depending on exactly how the votes of the other parties break–we are in some 3-way marginals. Also polling figures consistently understate our support. I’d be surprised if we got a seat, but this is the first General Election in which the very idea is not ludicrous.
2) Take control of Barking Council–about a 40% chance here. The campaign has been hard-fought and vast effort put in. we could also win some other Council seats around the country.
3) Come 2nd in at least 1 seat–never done in a General Election. I will be disappointed if this is not achieved.
4) Get the highest ever Nationalist vote–topping the million-vote mark. More difficult because unlike the Euro-elections there are about 50% of seats where we can’t get any votes because we’re not standing. We could achieve all of 1-3 and still fail here (and if so I doubt anyone would care!)
5) Avoid a damaging morale collapse afterwards if the members are disappointed. I’d regard hitting 2 of 4 as a solid success, but they may despair if we don’t get (1). I hope not.
There is no doubt the public are pissed off with corrupt pols and issues like Immigration–famously provoking Brown to mutter about a “bigoted woman” when he thought the mike was dead–in fact she was a typical working-class Northern granny the bedrock of Labour’s core support. Assuming the media-created Cleggmania boosting the smarmy LibDem leader does not fool enough of the people enough of the time, we may yet see heartening surprises.
Keep an eye not just on Barking but the Stoke seats, and some in Yorkshire like Barnsley, Dewsbury, and Morley. The North-West may poll well in spots also. And maybe somewhere nobody expected.
We live in interesting times, times I long doubted I’d ever see.