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BNP beat LibDems in Assembly elections

PUBLISHED: 16:50 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:52 12 August 2010

A FAR-RIGHT party became the third most popular party in four constituencies in the Greater London Authority (GLA) elections.

A FAR-RIGHT party became the third most popular party in four constituencies in the Greater London Authority (GLA) elections.

The British National Party (BNP) came third, beating Liberal Democrats, in Bexleyheath and Crayford, Eltham, Erith and Thamesmead and Old Bexley and Sidcup, in the May 1 London elections.

In Orpington, the Labour Party took just 9.33 per cent of the GLA vote, being beaten by the Liberal Democrats and almost by the BNP's 7.62 per cent.

However, BNP votes cast in the rest of Bromley were low compared to their neighbouring borough.

The Times revealed (May 1, 2008) that the BNP would could be close to beating the Labour Party in the area after conducting a straw poll of 90 people in Bexleyheath.

In Erith and Thamesmead the BNP picked up a vote for almost every two Tory votes.

Orpington Labour Party member Chris Purnell, who stood for the parliamentary seat in 2001, said his party had suffered because of poor social housing and unemployment. He said: "Labour has lost touch with ordinary working people.

"While the working class have, as a whole, don well under Labour, there are areas that they have been neglected."

The BNP are now picking up these votes, said barrister Mr Purnell, who thinks the trend is likely to continue and grow.

He said: "The fact is that the Nazi party only had two per cent of the vote in 1928 and were in power by 1933.

"If the BNP came into power in this country, I feel they would destroy democracy."

Bromley Conservative Neil Reddin said the constituency figures were good news for Tories.

In his south-east London blog, he wrote: "The LibDems, formerly a force in the politics of our four boroughs, only have the consolation of coming a distant second in Orpington.

"They also suffer the indignity, however, of being knocked into fourth place behind the BNP in Bexleyheath & Crayford, Eltham, Erith & Thamesmead and Old Bexley & Sidcup.

"However, it would be fair to say that such protest votes would possibly not recur in the cold reality of a general election."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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