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
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
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.”
By Christopher Cunningham, JMU Journalism Liverpool Life
The British National Party's Mike Whitby claimed his votes were low because of a "smear campaign"
Mayor vote 2012 campaign
JMU Journalism politics
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