Lib Dems highlight return of BNP to bolster Assembly vote

Lib Dems hope to take the BNP's seat on the London Assembly. Photo: MayorWatch
London’s Liberal Democrats are seeking to bolster their vote in May’s London Assembly elections by raising the prospect of a second term at City Hall for the BNP.

At the 2008 election the BNP won a seat on the 25 member Assembly, the highest profile electoral gain for the party.

With their party’s Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick polling far behind Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone, some City Hall Lib Dems have expressed concerns that they could lose one or more of their three Assembly seats.

The party lost two seats at the 2008 election when its share of the Mayoral vote fell to its lowest level of the three Mayoral contests.

However other sources close to the campaign suggest that a smaller number of parties contesting seats could allow the party to retain its three London-wide ‘list’ seats even with a smaller share of the vote.

The 11 list seats are allocated based on the vote share across the whole of London, taking into account any constituency seats parties have already won in order to achieve a proportional share of seats.

Members are elected in the order they appear on each party’s published list of candidates.

On Thursday the Lib Dem campaign sent out a mailing in the name of its fourth placed candidate Shas Sheehan asking members “Do you want me or the BNP?”

The mailing claims it would “only take a small increase in the Liberal Democrat list to elect myself – and to push the BNP below the threshold for winning a seat”.

Separately, the party is lobbying against changes to the BBC’s election guidelines would see its share of coverage matched with the Green Party, rather than Labour and the Conservatives.


  1. says

    I noticed Paddick at last night’s uprise hustings say that people should vote lib dem on the list to deny the BNP a place.

    Now, personally, I think that’s a pretty dubious claim. The best anti-BNP vote is to vote for anyone who actually wins at least one place on the list which, assuming the Lib Dems perform well enough to get one, includes them but hardly singles them out.

    More importantly the BNP in London is an entirely spent force and will be all but invisible during the campaign. This means the only advertising they’ll get will be from anti-BNP people who will, ironically, generate BNP votes as they reinforce in certain people’s minds that the BNP are *the* anti-establishment party.

    I hope Brian doesn ‘t keep going on about the BNP because we have an opportunity to consign them to history if mainstream politicians don’t talk them up.

  2. Damian Hockney says

    Jim is correct…and it is also not necessarily the case that fewer votes (ie below the 5% threshold) for BNP will actually or necessarily mean more LibDems. The melee could just as easily benefit the Tories or Labour, as the results in 2008 showed. Or another party that might achieve 5% (unlikely it is true but you never know). In fact, this is a dangerous tactical game for the LibDems to play because it could in the event benefit their real arch rivals…the Greens…

  3. Bryan Paul Tomlinson says

    You know the Libdems are in trouble when they use the BNP bogeyman to try to gain votes. The Libdems are also a spent force and should change their name to Tory Lite.
    Apart from lying about tuition fees and acting as protective shields for Tory anti worker policies, who and what are the Libdems ?
    Ignore the BNP and Tory Lite, break up the cosy political cartel, and vote UKIP.