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.