Is BNP surge a one-off event?

Sage McLaughlin writes:

I wonder about the progress the BNP has made when basically everybody who isn’t a supporter forthrightly and casually refers to them as a fascist, racist party. (For the record, my opinion is that there’s plenty to be said for the first epithet, but not much for the second.) It’s easy to lose sight of how extraordinary the circumstances of this last election were. Can the BNP count on another gift from on high of the scale of the present expenses scandal? Can they build enough legitimacy and broader support to improve on or even maintain their latest electoral results? I’m not so sure.

I’m not throwing water on the whole idea that the BNP has made significant gains. But putting their wider respectability into perspective is going to be important as well. Griffin has made some hard choices and made some good moves politically, but it’s going to be a real surprise to me if they don’t suffer losses in the next round.

LA replies:

Here’s the question: is the defection of voters from the major parties (mainly from the Labor Party) to the BNP a one time event, driven only by disgust at the expenses scandal, or does it represent a permanent, or at least an enduring, defection? I think that in the minds of much of the British public the expenses scandal represents much more than itself. It represents the comprehensive irresponsibility of the British establishment, its palpable lack of concern for the well being of the British people, indeed, its defection from Britain as a country. These are grounds for concluding that voters’ defection from the establishment is going to last beyond this recent election at least through the next parliamentary elections.

LA writes:
The British expression “one-off,” which is used as both a noun and adjective, is explained here.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 09, 2009 10:36 AM | Send

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