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Life after Griffin

The BNP may have failed in the May election, but the future is still bright for the far right

By Matthew Goodwin   July 2010

During the 1979 election, Margaret Thatcher talked tough on immigration, crystallising many voters’ anxieties. The far-right National Front fielded more than 300 candidates, but the party’s expected breakthrough failed to arrive and it descended into bitter infighting. Fast-forward to 2010, when BNP leader Nick Griffin did less well than expected against Labour’s Margaret Hodge in Barking, and his party lost all 12 of its councillors on the local council. Already the BNP has fallen into factionalism, which some hope might mark the end of the far right’s recent successes. As historian Richard Hofstadter wrote in 1955 of third parties in…

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