Many recent elections around Europe have seen significant gains for the right wing. And Britain's voters aren't immune to casting their votes in that direction either. The dominant right-wing party is the British National Party (BNP), led by Nick Griffin, which is hoping to take over the Labour-controlled Barking and Dagenham area of East London. The portents are worrying for current Labour MP Margaret Hodge, as the BNP took in 17% of the vote in the 2005 election and took 12 of the 51 seats on the council in the following year's local elections.
Parties such as the BNP are campaigning on sensitive issues like immigration, with the party offering non-white Brits £50,000 ($76,000) to leave "overcrowded" Britain and return to the lands of their ancestors. The less extreme United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) believes it's on target to more than double its share of the vote: a spokeswoman said the party expects to get 5% of votes in the poll, up from 2.2% in 2005. But UKIP's policies are equally controversial: in addition to calling for a ban on the burqa, its candidate for Norwich North, Glenn Tingle, suggested blowing up Iran before it acquires nuclear weapons (He said,"We should blow them up first" when replying to a question about Iran's nuclear program) and described Afghans as "backward." UKIP said it regretted Tingle's remarks, responding that, "he has allowed his passion to get the better of good taste in terms of the language and black humor he has displayed."
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