BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 07:15 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 08:15 UK

BNP vote increases, but fails to win seat

Nick Griffin, BNP leader
The BNP contested 326 seats in total

After nearly 600 results, the BNP has increased its share of the General Election vote but failed to win a seat.

The party increased its share of the overall vote by 1.83% to 514,819, but despite fielding more than 300 candidates, has failed to return an MP.

In Barking, east London, a key battle ground for the BNP, the party's leader Nick Griffin slumped to third place.

He said his party was "resilient". Mr Griffin was told to "pack your bags and go" by Labour's Margaret Hodge.

Labour MP Ms Hodge held the mainly white constituency of Barking, taking 24,628 votes - more than 16,000 more than any other candidate.

'Stay out'

She said the message from Barking to the BNP was clear: "Get out and stay out."

She added: "This is really a great moment in our history, a never-to-be forgotten moment for both the good and decent people of Barking and Dagenham."

Mr Griffin was heckled throughout his speech with chants of "Off, off, off" and "Rubbish".

But, raising his voice over the jeers, he said: "I would say this to the people of Britain: it is going to be too late for Barking, but it is not too late for Britain.

The BNP has arrived and will be knocking on the doors of power sooner than some ever imagined!
Nick Griffin

"Get rid of our masters before they get rid of us."

In an e-mail to supporters he wrote: "This election, regardless of the results, is the watershed for this party.

"Our growth and resilience is truly inspiring.

"The BNP has arrived and will be knocking on the doors of power sooner than some ever imagined!"

Weyman Bennett, the joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism (UAF), said: "The BNP's vote has been paltry. This just shows that the party's increased exposure has exposed them for what they are.

"The BNP fielded more candidates than ever and yet the party has gone backwards."

The result comes after a year of increased national exposure due to Mr Griffin and colleague Andrew Brons being elected to serve as MEPs, and the leader's appearance on BBC's Question Time.

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