Hmmm... OK, maybe calling this "Victory for the BNP" is reaching a bit too far. But, let's have a look at the actual numbers and you will see what I mean. You will need to click on the results to enlarge them...
So the unlikely BNP candidate Carlos Cortiglia got 1.3% of the vote. That has more than halved the result of the BNP's 2008 candidate, Richard Barnbrook, who got 2.84% of the vote. The actual number of first preference votes were 69,710 in 2008 versus 28,751 this time.
The reasons for this collapse in support are two-fold. Firstly, Carlos is an immigrant, not a native Londoner. He is generally well-regarded in the Party it must be said, but still, selecting him as BNP candidate was political correctness taken to the extreme and the BNP paid the price. The second reason is simply down the change in demographics in London: the immigrants and ethnic "minorities" are now in charge. The natives have been pushed out, unable to afford housing against benefit-financed newcomers, and unwilling to tolerate the high level of crime and disorder that living amongst immigrants/ethnics entails.
The BNP now considers our capital city lost to the native British.
It's worth noting that Carlos did get another 73,353 second preference votes. This means a total of 102,104 electors expressed some sort of support for him, out of a total turnout of 2.2 million valid ballots cast. So close to 5% of voters are brave enough to put an X against the BNP in one column or the other.
Working out who these 2nd preferencers for the BNP are is quite challenging. The most obvious answer, that they are 1st pref UKIP voters cannot be a complete answer because there were only 43,000 approx of those. They are very unlikely to have been Labour, LibDem or Green 1st prefs because those are all effectively socialist parties. Likely they voted for Boris as the first pref, which is a shame - their votes would have been just as effective overall had they put Boris second (as this blog recommended) and the BNP first. This would have given the BNP a much bigger platform to work from. It seems the London electors still do not truly understand the 1st/2nd pref voting system and think their 2nd pref does not count as much as their 1st pref when in fact the 2nd pref counts equal with others 1st pref once the minority candidate has been eliminated.
So, where's the silver lining? What justifies the "victory for BNP" remark? Well, at the end of the night, when the dust had settled, it turned out that Boris only beat Ken by a measly 60,000 approx votes. In all probability Boris only won because BNP supporters put him either as first or second preference. Without the BNP it would be Ken as mayor of London right now. Labour wiped the board on election night: in the council elections, in the Greater London Assembly, Labour were ascendant - only the BNP's (and probably UKIP's) tacit support enabled Boris to win against the odds. So a victory of sorts for the BNP.
And that's pretty much the beginning and end of the good news. The BNP used to have a member on the Greater London Assembly. Well, no more, the results are below, again click to enlarge...
As you can see the BNP lost its one member on the GLA. The Party got 2.1% of the vote on the London-wide list, and it needed 5% to get someone onto the 25-member Assembly. Sadly, that's a fail.
It cannot have helped that the BNP's previous member on the GLA, Richard Barnbrook, left the party under rather mysterious circumstances mid-way though his term. The electorate do not like voting for one party and ending up being represented by a different party, or in Barnbrook's case, by an independent.
It's worth noting that some BNP constituency candidates for the GLA did much better than the Party average. Donna Treanor in Bexley and Bromley achieved 4.5% support and Paul Borg in the City obtained 4.1% of the votes.
The lessons for the future are pretty simple. Keep plugging away, but do not expect too much from London - it's a foreign land now.