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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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: Multi Trade Operative

£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An established, family owned de...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exciting position has risen for a Customer ...

Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

Recruitment Genius: Fundraising Manager / Income Generation Coach

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A smart software company locate...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project