Matthew Goodwin

Nick Griffin supports the Golden Dawn in Athens as the BNP falls apart

One hundred and twenty eight days from now, British voters will head to the polls to have their say in elections to the European Parliament and local elections. Between now and then, much of the political debate will continue to focus on the UK Independence Party, which has mobilised the single most successful insurgency in English politics since 1945 (and one that we put under the microscope in a forthcoming book). Among pundits and politicians there is a consensus that 2014 will be another record year for the Ukippers.

But as one insurgent has prospered, another has fallen. While the elections in 2014 may see Ukip’s revolt on the right reach new heights, they are also likely to see the extremist British National Party thrown out of British politics altogether. While Nick Griffin has been back in the news after attending a Golden Dawn press conference in Athens today, the reality is that the past three years have been disastrous for his party. Since 2009, Griffin and the BNP have been edging ever closer to political irrelevance, having been torn apart by bitter infighting and consistently rejected by voters. While they hoped 2014 would see a change of fortunes, the first week of the New Year brought the  revelation that Griffin is now bankrupt. The news dealt yet another blow to the party’s distant hopes of mounting some sort of comeback in May. As things stand today, it is distinctly unlikely Griffin will retain his seat in the North West of England (the other BNP Member of the European Parliament in Yorkshire has resigned the BNP whip and set up a new rival party, the British Democratic Party).

Griffin’s bankruptcy was hardly surprising. Before taking control of the BNP in 1999, and then being elected to the European Parliament ten years later, he had almost certainly lived on a financial shoestring.

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