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  National Front
CountryUnited Kingdom
Last EditedRBH - December 01, 2019 03:06pm
DescriptionThe British National Front (often referred to as simply the National Front or the NF) is a far right-wing British Political party that had its heyday during the 1970s and '80s.

It was founded on February 7, 1967 under the chairmanship of Arthur K. Chesterton, a cousin of the novelist G.K. Chesterton and former leader of the League of Empire Loyalists, with the purpose of opposing immigration and multi-culturalist policies in Britain. It grew during the 1970s and had as many as 20,000 members by 1974. It did particularly well in local elections and polled an incredible 44% in Deptford (with a splinter group) almost beating the incumbent Labour candidate, who only won due to the split. Similarly it came third in three parliamentary by-elections, trouncing the Liberals.

Its electoral base were largely blue-collar workers and the self-employed who resented immigrant competition in the labour market. The party also attracted a few disillusioned Conservatives who gave the party much needed electoral expertise and respectability. The NF fought on a platform of opposition to communism, support for Ulster loyalism, anti-European Economic Community, was anti-liberal and most notoriously demanded the compulsory repatriation of New Commonwealth immigrants. The chief ideologue of the NF (and then editor of Spearhead from 1976-80) was Richard Verrall. A common sight in the 70s, it was well-known for its noisy demonstrations particularly in London where it often faced far-left and communist counter-marchers including the Anti-Nazi League.

Lead at first by Chesterton, it was led for most of the 1970s by John Tyndall and Martin Webster (except for a brief period when the populist John Kingsley Read became chairman in 1974).

1979 was a disastrous year for the National Front, it was totally eclipsed by the rise to prominence of the newly re-invigorated Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher whose tough right-wing stance on immigration plus law and order saw support haemorrhage. Many ex-Tories returned to the fold. Its leaders Tyndall and Webster split in 1980; a further blow to NF. The former went on to form the British National Party (1982) which has since pushed out the NF as the dominant far-right party in Britain. The party rapidly declined during the 1980s although it retained some support in Northern Ireland during this period. Its opponents view it as a skinhead party with barely concealed neo-nazi views something which the Front themselves has vociferously denied.

Schisms led to the foundation of several other right-wing political parties, including the British National Party.

The fortunes of the National Front have subsequently waned, although it still exists as a small party, and fielded 7 candidates at the 1997 General Election. The NF's current National Chairman is Tom Holmes.

Opponents of the National Front claim it to be a neo-Fascist organization, and its activities are often still opposed by far-left groups, most notably the Anti-Nazi League.

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05/04/2017 Aberdeen City Council - Tillydrone/Seaton/Old Aberdeen Dave MacDonald Lost 0.90% (-26.05%)
05/04/2017 Aberdeen City Council - Torry/Ferryhill Billy Watson Lost 0.18% (-23.70%)
10/20/2016 UK Parliament - Batley & Spen - By-election Richard Edmonds Lost 0.43% (-85.42%)
05/05/2016 Welsh Assembly - South Wales East Regional Vote British National Front Lost 0.22% (-38.12%)
05/05/2016 Greater London Assembly - Croydon & Sutton Richard Edmonds Lost 0.61% (-37.96%)
05/05/2016 Scottish Parliament - North East Scotland British National Front Lost 0.20% (-44.45%)
05/07/2015 UK Parliament - London British National Front Lost 0.00% (-43.69%)
05/07/2015 UK Parliament - Scotland British National Front Lost 0.01% (-49.96%)
05/07/2015 UK Parliament - Aberdeen North Christopher Willett Lost 0.42% (-56.01%)
05/07/2015 UK Parliament - North East British National Front Lost 0.02% (-46.88%)
05/07/2015 UK Parliament - Bridgend Adam Lloyd Lost 0.17% (-36.90%)
05/07/2015 UK Parliament - Carshalton & Wallington Richard Edmonds Lost 0.10% (-34.77%)
05/07/2015 UK Parliament - Linlithgow & Falkirk East Neil McIvor Lost 0.17% (-51.87%)
05/07/2015 UK Parliament - Rochdale Kevin Bryan Lost 0.95% (-45.19%)
05/07/2015 UK Parliament - Tyneside North Bob Batten Lost 0.41% (-55.53%)
05/07/2015 UK Parliament - Hull East Mike Cooper Lost 0.24% (-51.49%)
05/07/2015 UK House of Commons - Popular Vote British National Front Lost 0.00% (-36.80%)
06/20/2013 Scottish Parliament - Aberdeen Donside By-election Dave MacDonald Lost 1.07% (-40.91%)
11/29/2012 UK Parliament - Croydon North - By-election Richard Edmonds Lost 0.66% (-64.05%)
05/03/2012 Greater London Assembly - Greenwich & Lewisham Tess Culnane Lost 1.38% (-48.23%)