Saturday, May 05, 2007

Overheard at the count

Local election count, somewhere in Birmingham, May 3 2007.
Very late.

Thick-necked BNP counting agent: So, what do we do here then?

Shaven-headed BNP election agent: Just wander up and down the table glaring at the counters.

I have a theory that the reason the BNP vote dropped like a stone by almost a third year-on-year was that posters were banned. Some of their voters might be actually that stupid that they need that visual cue to remember that there's an election on.


Anonymous said...

That would suggest the poster ban was worthwhile - if people weren't being told that "People like you" were voting BNP (i.e. it's O.K./respectable) they shied away from doing it.

In fact I think the fall in the BNP vote it is more likely due to the difference in political atmosphere from last year: back then we had "Cherie's hair bill", "Prescott's leg-over" and "Clarke's failure to deport foreign prisoners", all issues that made many working class voters feel "let down by Labour" and allow the BNP to portray themselves as their true representatives. The immediateness of those issues also made sure people were still angry enough to get off their arses and vote.

Of course the poster ban was more about Labour normally put on a better show than the others, especially the Tories who are stuck with their dull blue colour against Labour's bright yellow and red!

Brummie Tory said...

Excuse me anon its actually bue and green. lol

Simon said...

Anon - don't forget also the relative levels of press coverage for the BNP from last year to this. Last year they got lots of coverage because there were elections in London, and the national press only really notice council elections when they're happening in London, so there was a lot of build-up to the BNP's predicted successes in East London which filtered through to the rest of the country.

This year, by contrast, the BNP were actually complaining about their absence from the press, and suggesting some kind of co-ordinated conspiracy to ignore them. This is because they know how important it is to get their name in the papers.

Freddie said...

I tend to agree that the scrapping of posters helped to neuter the BNP. Another good reason for getting rid of them.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, what was the first good reason freddie?

Laban said...

I'm out of touch - what exactly was the 'poster ban' ? Presumably you could still display them on your own property - was it lamp-posts and other bits of public furniture that were 'de-postered' ?

PoliticalHack said...

Laban: Displaying posters on your own property remains legal (subject to planning permission if you want a permanent, large poster board, I suppose :-) ). It was the traditional lamp post posterboards that have been scrapped.

Praguetory said...

Are you now in favour of the poster ban? Doesn't appear to have affected turnout negatively.

TheSheep said...

I don't know the over all results for the city, but voting in my ward was down by 2%. So yes, there was an effect. On the doorstep I certainly came across many people who didn't realise the election was on (also many who didn't care...).

It was noticeable that the BNP (and Greens and Liberals) put up paper candidates in many areas, and I think that may explain part of their failure to win votes.