While Boris Johnson’s close victory to become mayor is the big news, the Greater London Authority results are also interesting. Conservatives up 2 to 11, Labour up 1 to 8, Lib Dems down 2 to 3 (not a good result for Nick Clegg), Green’s stable on 2, and BNP gaining their first seat.
So good for the Tories, scant consolation for Labour hurting over Ken Livingstone’s loss. Bad news for the Lib Dems, just as they become second party in vote share nationally.
But when the Johnson celebrations are over, expect much hand wringing from the main parties about the BNP sneaking a seat on the top-up list. Numerous commentators, especially in the Guardian, begged people to get out and vote to stop the BNP, and all the mainstream parties condemned them. However I guess your potential BNP voter (apart from a core) is one who is disaffected with the mainstream, and doesn’t read the Guardian.
What will be most interesting is not how Richard Barnbrook, the BNP’s candidate, does, though of course a BNP member in such a position will get a high profile. I think the most interesting thing will be the response of the other parties and politicians. His election will certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons.