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Is the BNP really going to save its deposit on Thursday?

November 9th, 2009

..or is Labour using the threat to get its core vote out?

Towards the end my conversation with Kevin Maguire on Radio 4’s “The Westminster Hour” the question arose of how the BNP would do in the Glasgow NE by election on Thursday.

This followed reports that Labour officials have been telling the the media that the BNP might come third? But just how likely is this given that the BNP has never really got a foot-hold north of the border?

Thus the PB Angus Reid poll on Friday was reporting a national share for the far-right party of 4% – while the detailed data points to almost zero support in Scotland. Of the 149 respondents in the Scottish sub-sample just one person – 0.07% 0.7% – opted for the far-right party.

It strikes me that the “talk up the BNP” approach is part of a strategy designed to energise activists and to get more of Labour’s core vote out – and this might be a pointer to what they’ll do in selected seats at the general election

The only danger of “talking up the BNP” is that Labour might end up doing exactly that – and is this outcome what they really want? They could be playing with fire.

In the betting all the money as been going on Labour and certainly Kevin Maguire seemed very confident on the programme last night.

Glasgow North East betting

  • PaddyPower 1/4 Labour: 15/8 SNP: 50/1 John Smeaton: 80/1 bar
  • Ladbrokes 1/4 Labour: 11/4 SNP: 50/1 John Smeaton: 100/1 bar
  • William Hill 2/9 Labour: 3/1 SNP: 50/1 John Smeaton: 100/1 bar
  • Victor Chandler 2/9 Labour: 11/4 SNP: 33/1 John Smeaton: 100/1 bar
  • Betfair 0.25/1 Labour: 2/1 SNP: 200/1 bar
  • Mike Smithson