Local elections 2010: BNP ‘wiped out’

By Ian Dunt

The BNP have been decimated in a disastrous night for the far-right party.

“We’ve been wiped out,” leader Nick Griffin admitted on the Today programme after discovering his party had lost all 12 of its seats on Barking and Dagenham council.

The loss in the area mirrored Mr Griffin’s drubbing at the hands of Labour MP Margaret Hodge who ran a “moral” campaign encouraging voters to stop the extremist party securing a parliamentary seat.

Mr Griffin came in third place, after the Conservatives, against Ms Hodge’s 16,000 vote majority.

“Get out and stay out,” Ms Hodge told her BNP opponent.

The Labour party has controlled Barking and Dagenham Council since 1964.

The far-right party modestly increased its share of the vote by 1.9%, gaining just over half a million votes. But analysts are now treating this as the high water mark of BNP support, with the political climate created by the expenses scandal and the recession unlikely to be replicated at a future election.

Despite putting up 300 candidates, the party failed to gain a single seat. In Stoke South, the party’s second target seat, deputy leader Simon Darby fell embarrassingly short, coming in fourth place.

In total, the party’s tally of councillors fell from 32 to 12.