YouGov have carried out an experiment for Sky News, asking two groups of people if they agreed with a list of BNP policies. The first group were not told they were the policies of the BNP, the second group were. Unsurprisingly, it found that public perceptions of the BNP drove down support for policies when they were identified as being from the BNP. On average 6% fewer people supported a policy when it was attributed to the BNP, and 6% more people opposed it.

The survey found strong support for BNP policies on accepting fewer asylum seekers (supported by 77%, or 74% when associated with the BNP) and giving priority to British families in allocating council housing (83% support, or 77% when associated with the BNP). There was overwhelming support for making criminals serve their full sentences (91% and 87% support). The question of whether all immigration should be halted provided the strongest contrast – 59% supported the policy, but when it was presented as a BNP policy support fell to 48%.

There was a more mixed view on Europe – 35% of people supported withdrawal from the European Union, with 36% opposed (the 1 point gap grew to a 10 point gap once the policy was associated with the BNP).

There was however strong opposition to more extreme policies on race – asked if they agreed that non-white people were inherently “less British”, only 16% of people agreed, with 68% opposed. When identified as a BNP support dropped to 11%, opposition grew to 76%. A majority also opposed the government encouraging immigrants to leave Britain (52% opposed, rising to 58% opposition when associated with the BNP).

Finally, YouGov asked people if they would seriously consider voting for a party that supported all these policies. In the unattributed group, 37% said yes, 48% said no. In the attributed group the figure is lower, 20% say they would seriously consider voting for the BNP (a figure comparable to the ICM survey in JRRT report that found 18% of people saying they might vote BNP), 66% said no.

What does this tell us? Firstly some of the BNP’s policies – particularly on crime and prioritising housing – are very popular indeed. Despite that a majority of people would not consider voting for a party that allied these policies with the BNP’s stance on race and repatriation. If you actually mention the BNP by name, with all the negative connetations that come with it, the proportion of people willing to support it falls even further.


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