I have no idea whether a little fairy dies or racist attacks go up every time the BNP win a council seat. The problem is that the people measuring said attacks, fairy mortality etc tend to have their own agendas.
But I'm pretty sure that every time the BNP stand the turnout goes up. Vote fraud ? I don't know, but if so more likely to be by their opponents than by them, if only because they haven't the power and don't collect the ballot boxes. The 'no platform for fascists' student union types have the power thirty years on though.
People keep complaining about the lack of political engagement, that all the parties are the same etc. I'm sure there's truth in that.
You certainly can't say that one party is the same as the rest, when the others all combine to say how bad they are. And it does seem that political engagement goes up.
From Cllr Luke Akehursts blog some council by-election results to give thought to.
Bede Ward, Bedworth, which had been thought to be under threat from the Tories, who it had been a straight fight with in 2006:
Labour 658 (37.6%) (-17.3%)
BNP 546 (31.2%)
Con 301 (17.2%) (-27.9%)
LibDem 119 (6.8%)
Eng Dem 75 (4.3%)
Save NHS 43 (2.5%)
UKIP 8 (0.5%)
This is old coal-mining country, classic Labour territory. The BNP seem to be squeezing working-class Tory votes even more than Labour ones. 31% out of nowhere. Don't tell me David Cameron's new inclusive light-blue metrosexual white-line Tories have no appeal in Bedworth ? Note the UKIP vote.
The turnout ? A very respectable 36% on a filthy day.
4 hours ago