Signifcant advances for the BNP

THE far right British National Party last night shook the political establishment, gaining one seat in a local government by-election and gaining a significant number of votes in three others.

Graham Dines

THE far right British National Party last night shook the political establishment, gaining one seat in a local government by-election and gaining a significant number of votes in three others.

Its gain came in the Swanley St Mary's ward on Sevenoaks district in Kent, normally a Labour fiefdom in a Tory dominated council.

The successes for the BNP have been put down to the row over foreign workers being brought into the country to work on major building and infrastructure projects as UK unemployment fast approaches two million.

Results in detail:

Swanley St Mary's, Sevenoaks district: BNP 41% (up 41), Labour 34% (down 21), Conservative 25% (no change). UKIP did not stand, having previously secured 20%. BNP gain from Lab

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Downham, London Borough of Lewisham: Liberal Democrat 40% (-11), Labour - 24% (-2), Conservative 24% (+8), BNP 11% (+11), Green 2% (-5). Lib Dem hold.

Bilton, Harrogate borough: Lib Dem 50% (-2), Conservative 38% (-7), BNP 9% (+9), Labour 3% (no change). Lib Dem hold

Thringstone, North West Leicestershire district: Labour 36% (-7), Conservative 31% (-1), BNP 28% (+28), Liberal Democrat 5% (-20). Labour hold