Published on Friday, 16 November 2012 18:44 Written by Sonia Gable
Kevin Carroll is celebrating his “historic” result in yesterday’s election for police and crime commissioner of Bedfordshire. The British Freedom Party candidate received 8,675 votes giving him 10.3% and fourth place out of five candidates.
But in an interview with Luton on Sunday, Carroll claimed the election was unfair and that since declaring he would stand he had been threatened, arrested by the police, had his car impounded, and had been excluded from almost all meetings relevant to the PCC role.
And a statement on the BFP website read: “In the face of a dirty campaign by the Labour Party (assisted by the SWP and UAF), hostile local media, criminal attacks on BF campaign advertising and exclusion from public hustings, Kevin Carroll captured 10.3% of the vote, retaining our £5,000 deposit and soundly beating the Muslim candidate into fifth place.”
As well as the UAF campaign, Hope Not Hate reported that it distributed up to 30,000 leaflets highlighting Carroll’s connection with the violent English Defence League. Nick Lowles of HNH, writing on 12 November, denied that campaigning against Carroll had given him publicity and that attitudes had turned against him as a result of HNH’s campaign. And HNH’s local campaign organiser, named only as Matt, said: “I won’t be happy unless Carroll and the BFP not only get trounced on Friday, but lose their £5,000 deposit too, which would be a financial disaster for them.”
In reality losing the deposit would not have been a financial disaster for the BFP as the money was collected by supporters’ donations, but retaining the deposit is a big bonus as it is money the party would not otherwise have raised that can be put towards future campaigns.
Carroll’s result was not the best for the far right in yesterday’s elections. David Allen, the English Democrat candidate in South Yorkshire, took 22,608 votes, amounting to 15.6%, and came second out of five candidates. “This is a truly fantastic result for our party which just goes to show the potential that we have in Yorkshire and throughout the country as a whole,” said a party spokesperson.
Elsewhere the other four English Democrat candidates all saved their £5,000 deposits. Robin Tilbrook, the party leader, took 6.9% in Essex coming last of six candidates, Paul Rimmer in Merseyside polled 5.7% also coming last of six, Stephen Goldspink got 8.1% in Cambridgeshire coming sixth of seven, and Steve Uncles came in with 5.3% coming fifth of six candidates.
The far right did less well in the parliamentary by-elections. In Manchester Central the British National Party polled just 3.0% coming sixth of 12 candidates, behind the UK Independence Party which came fourth with 4.5%. The BNP’s result is a fall of 1.1% compared to the 2010 general election, whereas the UKIP’s percentage increased by 3%.
In Corby the BNP candidate polled just 1.7% coming fifth of 14 candidates, a fall of 3% compared to 2010. However this time he faced competition for the anti-immigrant vote from an English Democrat candidate who took 1.2% coming sixth, and more significantly from the UKIP which polled a worrying 14.3% coming third. Neither the English Democrats nor the UKIP stood in the constituency in 2010.
Two results are not enough to draw a conclusion about a trend, but a tentative indication is that the UKIP is the beneficiary of the disarray of the BNP and the failure of any other far-right force to emerge in the BNP’s place so far. The BNP, English Democrats and the UKIP go head to head again in the Rotherham by-election on 29 November where they also face Clint Bristow, an EDL organiser, standing without a party description because the EDL is not registered as a party.