More than 1.5% of  votes cast in Liverpool's first directly-elected mayoral contest went to the two candidates standing on far-right platforms.

 

Although this left the BNP and National Front in the bottom two places, it was a result which one rival candidate described as "very worrying".

 

The British National Party's Mike Whitby and the National Front's Peter Quiggins shared over 1,500 votes but finished 11th and 12th respectively out of 12 candidates, as Liverpool voted overwhelmingly to elect Labour's Joe Anderson as its first mayor.

 

Tony Mulhearn, the Trade Unionist And Socialist

Coalition candidate who came fifth with over

4,700 votes, said the result in Liverpool was

cause for concern. He told JMU Journalism: “The

far right does not exist in the UK to the same

extent as it does in other European countries.

 

"However, these results are very worrying and

unless the situation improves on issues such

as housing and unemployment they could end up

playing a greater part in British politics in the future.”

 

The campaign was notable for the controversy

surrounding the two far-right candidates who

were both arrested in the days running up to the

election.

 

Mr Whitby was arrested and bailed for alleged

electoral fraud, and Mr Quiggins was arrested and

charged with a public order offence at a high-profile

trial at Liverpool Crown court a day before the

mayoral election.

 

As Anderson was confirmed mayor, a small group

of mainly National Front supporters and a few BNP

supporters made their discontent clear by loudly

heckling and shouting insults at Anderson during

his victory speech.

 

Before the election results were confirmed Whitby

explained that he expected to get a low score

because of what he alleged was "a smear campaign

by the Liverpool Echo" that had damaged his

reputation. He earlier told JMU Journalism: "We

only expect about 5% but we want to show voters

there is an alternative."

 

Although nowhere near the 17.9% vote share

received by France's National Front candidate,

Marine Le-Pen, in the French presidential election

recently, or the rising poll numbers of far right

candidates Greece, it is still a relatively high

total for Liverpool.

 

One of the other nationalist candidates Paul Rimmer, from the English Democrats, which in the past has been linked to the BNP, finished with 1,400 votes accounting for over 1% of the 101,301 votes that were cast in total.

 

After the results were announced Rimmer told JMU Journalism he was pleased with his showing: “I basically stood as an unknown candidate. I just appeared a few times on the radio and the TV obviously people liked what I had to say. I have come in the top 10. I have more votes than the BNP which is a household name.”

 

 

 

Far right finish bottom two in mayor bid

By Christopher Cunningham, JMU Journalism Liverpool Life

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The British National Party's Mike Whitby claimed his votes were low because of a "smear campaign"

Mayor vote 2012 campaign

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LIVERPOOL MAYOR VOTE 2012 RESULT

 

Votes cast 101,301 (31.7% turnout)

 

1) Joe Anderson (Labour) 58,448 votes

2) Liam Fogarty (Independent) 8,292

3) Richard Kemp (Liberal Democrat) 6,238

4) John Coyne (Green Party) 5,175

5) Tony Mulhearn (TUSC) 4,792

6) Steve Radford (Liberal Party) 4,442

7) Tony Caldeira (Conservative) 4,425

8) Adam Heatherington (UK Independence) 2,352

9) Paul Rimmer (English Democrats) 1,400

10) Jeff Berman (Liverpool Independent) 1,362

11) Mike Whitby (British National Party) 1,015

12) Peter Quiggins (National Front) 566

 

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