BNP attracts more clicks than all other major parties

Statistics show Tories and Labour now lagging online

The British National Party is outperforming the major parties online, according to a new analysis of the far-right strategy in the run up to next month's European elections.

Fresh evidence suggests that the BNP is outdoing Labour and the Conservatives in luring visitors to its website, where it outlines policies such as halting immigration, the reintroduction of corporal punishment and the return of the death penalty.

The statistics came as the Archbishops of Canterbury and York urged voters yesterday not to let the ongoing MPs' expenses scandal convince them to vote BNP in June.

Dr Matthew Goodwin of Manchester University and editor of The New Extremism in 21st Century Britain, argues that the BNP is engaged in an "unprecedented" cyber-campaign. Figures from Alexa, which measure the level of traffic to internet sites over the past three months, reveal the BNP is far ahead of the other mainstream parties' websites. The BNP's site is ranked globally as the 46,000th most popular site on the internet.

The Conservatives sit in 165,000th place, the Liberal Democrats are 198,000th leaving Labour way back about 248,000th. The relative popularities are confirmed by Google Trends for websites, which reveals online interest in the BNP persistently spiking ahead of the mainstream parties.

The figures from Alexa also show the BNP registering more traffic than highly publicised political blogs such as Guido Fawkes. They also reveal that once logged on, surfers spend twice the amount of time checking out the BNP's ideas compared to those on the Conservative website – 6.3 minutes a day compared to 2.7 minutes. But the figures don't take account of the fact that Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem blogging and internet sites are far more profuse.

Dr Goodwin argues that the BNP under Nick Griffin is now augmenting grass roots support through the electronic media. For example text messages sent to random numbers seek a small donation to party funds and ask recipients to forward the plea to family and friends. Voters who make inquiries are directed to a party call centre. Dr Goodwin says: "The BNP's shift to an Obama-style online strategy enables it to circumvent the tactics used by other parties to starve it of publicity and also shows up the dangers of that approach."

He concludes that the BNP is "sidestepping a hostile press by delivering its message direct to the desktop". Meanwhile, a leaked BNP "education and training" document circulated among activists and seen by The Independent gives detailed advice to its supporters to exploit "the growing power of cyberspace media".

It warns against linking unofficial blogs with the main party website, promoting "barking mad" conspiracy theories and poor standards of English. It concludes: "We should use such sites to 'bring the horse as close as possible to the water' and once they find that they agree with our policies, hopefully they'll drink."

Dan Hodges of the anti-racist group Searchlight said the web traffic figures massively overstated the true level of interest in the far-right party and accused the BNP of massaging the numbers.

"On the basis of their web hits they are more popular than all the mainstream parties combined but that is just not the case. It does not reflect the level of support," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'