`Direct contact with migrants deters people from supporting BNP’
19th April 2010: The British National Party has all along been claiming an increase in support base because of its anti-immigration stand, but recent analysis by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) suggest higher immigration to an area is not driving the voters “into the arms of the party”.
The study for exploring the roots of the party’s support says nine out of the top 10 areas for BNP votes actually has a lower than average percentage of recent migrants.
The report, in fact, says the areas which have higher levels of recent immigration are unlikely to vote for the BNP.
The study establishes that Stoke-on-Trent, Thurrock and Barnsley, graded second, third and fourth in the list of the top 10 BNP share of the vote areas, all have lower than average immigration.
In contrast, the three local areas with the lowest levels of social flexibility in the country, Sandwell, Barking and Dagenham and Stoke-on-Trent, are all found in the top 10 for BNP votes.
The researchers’ analysis adds that the more resilient a community is, it is less likely to vote for the BNP. The calculation, based on the 2009 European election results, shows that the top 10 most resilient communities in the UK cast fewer votes for the BNP put together than the average UK local authority.
The researchers say that the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, argues that in many working-class and lower middle-class areas immigration has brought in so many people that they "totally swamp the existing people …wiping out their communities" and leading them to support his party.
In fact, the more immigration an area has experienced, the lower its support for the far right. Apparently, direct contact with migrants deters people from supporting the BNP.
Barking and Dagenham, having significantly higher levels of recent migration, is the exception rather than the rule, say the researchers.