General election 2010: BNP go backwards in Barking

By Catherine Stevenson

BNP leader Nick Griffin has failed in his attempt to oust Labour minister Margaret Hodge.

Ms Hodge increased her share of the vote by 4.7%, giving her a comfortable majority of 16,555. In contrast, the BNP’s share of the vote fell by 1.7%.

Barking has been in Labour’s hands since its creation in 1945 and in Margaret Hodge’s since 1994.

Nonetheless, the BNP’s popularity has increased substantially since 1997. This has been attributed to Labour’s perceived neglect of their core supporters, the white working class.

This social group, which a majority of the Barking electorate belong to, had been targeted by the BNP who purported to represent their views.

The result will be a blow to the BNP, who have had a very rocky election campaign, as well as to Nick Griffin’s position as the party’s leader.