Half of Britain ‘would vote for far-Right parties if they gave up violence’


UPDATED: 21:40 EST, 26 February 2011


Almost half the country would back a far-Right party if they gave up violence, an astonishing new poll revealed today.

A total of 48 per cent said that they would support a group that vowed to crack down on immigration and Islamic extremists.

They would also restrict the building of mosques and order the flag of St George or the Union Jack be flown on all public buildings.

Potentially popular: Extremists like the English Defence League (pictured) could receive more support if they shunned violence and fascist imagery

Potentially popular: Extremists like the English Defence League (pictured) could receive more support if they shunned violence and fascist imagery

Anti-racism campaigners said the findings were a clear sign that Britain’s mainstream parties were losing touch with many voters on the issue of race.

There has been a recent wave of support for extremists such as the English Defence League and the British National Party.

And the poll, which will spark fresh fears of racial tension, suggests that the level of backing for a far-Right party could equal or even outstrip that in countries such as France, the Netherlands and Austria.

France’s National Front party hopes to secure 20 per cent in the first round of the presidential vote next year.

The Dutch anti-Islam party led by Geert Wilders attracted 15.5 per cent of the vote in last year’s parliamentary elections.

The revelations will spark fresh fears of racial tension in Britain amid a new wave of support for extreme right-wing parties like the British National Party and the English Defence League.

Findings of the survey, the largest of its kind and involving 5,054 people, are in a major report called Fear and Hope – the New Politics of Identity, which examines views on race, immigration and multi-culturalism.

Concern: Labour MP Jon Cruddas, who fought against the BNP in his east London constituency, said the poll findings pointed a 'very real threat'

Concern: Labour MP Jon Cruddas, who fought against the BNP in his east London constituency, said the poll findings pointed a ‘very real threat’

Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband and campaigning Left-wing Labour MP Jon Cruddas will officially unveil the report, produced for the Searchlight Education Trust, tomorrow.

They will also launch Searchlight’s Together project to tackle extremism among white and Islamic -communities with the slogan: ‘A plague on both their houses’.

Mr Cruddas, who fought a successful campaign against the BNP in his Dagenham and Rainham constituency in east London, told The Observer that the findings pointed to a ‘very real threat of a new potent political constituency built around an assertive English nationalism’.

The report identified a resurgence of English identity, with 39 per cent preferring to call themselves English rather than British. Just 5 per cent labelled themselves European.

In one of the most revealing questions, pollsters Populus asked people if they would back a party that ‘wants to defend the English, create an English parliament, control immigration and challenge Islamic extremism’.

A total of 48 per cent said they would either ‘definitely support’ or ‘consider supporting’ a party with such an agenda, if it shunned violence and fascist imagery.

The results will alarm both PM David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband, who are worried about the rise of right-wing extremists.

In the 12 months to last September, 238,950 migrants were allowed into Britain, the highest figure since records began. 

Sixty per cent of people thought immigration had been ‘a bad thing’ for England, against 40 per cent who said it had been ‘good’.

Thirty-four per cent said immigration should be stopped permanently or until the economy improved. The report also found opposition comes from all races, not just ‘white Britons’.

‘And 52 per cent of Britons agree that ‘Muslims create problems in the UK’.

Searchlight director Nick Lowles told the Sunday Mirror: ‘The harsh truth is we are in danger of losing touch with the public on race, immigration and multi-cultural¬ism.’




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Ron , Peterborough, 2 years ago

IF these figures are correct or even if they are only partly correct, when and if the new way of voting(AV) , it will really show up in our new MPs!!! As for an ”ENGLISH” parliament, would it consists of English MPs?? By this, I mean, looking at the Scottish, Welsh, ”Parliaments” , How many English members are there in them? Not many ! But I bet in an English assembly, there would be a fair number of Scottish and Welsh and others!


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The Voice of sense, London, England, 2 years ago

The people of England are frustrated that nothing is done to sort these problems out. In typical government fashion we wait until crisis point is reached. Why cant the government forstall these problems and act before real violence begins?


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Stefcho, United Kingdom, 2 years ago

How is wanting to protect your own culture a form of extremism?


David Middlemiss, Scotland, 2 years ago

I live in Germany, and what hits me is how directly it is possible to talk about immigration here, compared with the stifling effect of the UK’s thought crime laws, that demand ‘respect’ for all other cultures and religions. The expectation on immigrants to Germany is that they integrate into German culture. If that does not happen, then it is seen as a problem. So when Turkish Muslim immigrants have lower levels of education, lower numbers entering University, higher crime rates, and unwillingness to learn German, you can properly describe the reality, and look for reasons, and for ways to improve the situation. This is not ‘racism’ but a collection of factors that are easily measured. I saw this described in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago, and it said Turkish Muslims had been ‘Attacked’ for not integrating. It’s not an attack; it’s a description of reality that can easily be backed up with data. Freedom of speech is far stronger in Germany than in the UK.


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jasper, essex, 2 years ago

Just do it. Nothing will change unless you do.


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AM, England, 2 years ago

I suggest the general public take a look at the BNP website & see for themselves if they really are “far right” as suggested in every newspaper article published in the UK. Read on, once you have, I defy anyone to tell me that they are not more than a common sense right wing party, & a far cry from the far right as they are made out to be.. a true national party, which is waht a growing percentage of the population want along with their country back and some representation of their needs and aspirations. – Brit in Dubai , UAE, 27/2/2011 3:14 ================================================================ It’s the people that support them currently that are the problem. You’ve only got go out on the campaign trail to see the type of “soccer hooligan” thug that follows them around.


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Man Gaz, Up North, 2 years ago

This country really has gone to dogs. Violent Racist thugs will never change.


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DavidD, Fordingbridge, 2 years ago

I would certainly vote BNP if they were represented in my constituancy. I do not think they are as violent as the students who recently demonstrated against higher univewrsity fees. All of our major political parties have sold out to the EU and treat the English people as lower than the Welsh, Scottish and immigrants. Let us have a truly English party and an Engish Parliament whoi will look after English interests


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derek , durham, 2 years ago

And why not vote BNP they cant be any worse than the odious lot of the Libs, Con`s and Labour .


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Kim, Aberdeen, UK, 2 years ago

Can you enlighten us as to where the people who responded to this survey live? Your headline claims that “half of the country” would support far-right parties- which country would that be? Sounds like England to me, given the examples of the questions that were asked, therefore it’s hardly representative of the United Kingdom .as a whole. Sloppy journalism from the DM.



About grdflynn@yahoo.com

Journalist - Newsweek, Gothamist, City Limits, The Villager, etc. Tracking the rise of nationalist movements in Europe since the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York. Twitter: https://twitter.com/gerdflynn?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
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