The Glasgow North East by-election results were announced today and they totally defeated a prediction I made in the wake of the furore surrounding the results of the European elections a few months ago.
Such was the public outrage, I reasoned with a good amount of confidence that the next election would see a surge in the voter turnout. Instead, only 33% of people bothered themselves to mark their ballot paper. A record low. The BNP finished fourth and trailed the Conservatives by just 0.3% or 62 votes.
A staggering 41% of 16-25 year olds believe that immigration is not good for the country and these are exactly the views that the BNP are pushing. A separate poll shows that 22% would seriously consider voting BNP in the next election.
The more credible political parties clearly need to stop simply dismissing the BNP and answer the concerns that the populace so obviously have. The recent appearance of Nick Griffin on Question Time was never going to be an ordinary broadcast. Eight million people – that’s quadruple the amount of regular viewers – were attracted to the circus. I have no idea of the BNPs proposals on education, taxation or healthcare but these were obviously never going to be addressed.
Either radical reform is needed where either casting your vote is as made easy as voting for your favourite contestant on a Saturday night talent TV show or, preferably, people are educated to start to care once again about who is running the country and their neighbourhood.