“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” goes the old saying, and I think that familiar phrase is superbly fitting when analysing our local election campaign.
It boggles my mind to think that just eight months ago Britain First wasn’t even a registered political party.
We were out in the cold, unable to contest democratic elections.
Here we are in early May 2022 in various council wards having defeated the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.
It must be borne in mind that the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens are huge, mainstream political parties with millions of pounds in funding at their disposal and decades of political and electoral experience.
I think the best way to examine our performance in these elections is to look at the whole picture from different angles.
Firstly, how did Britain First results compare to other right-wing, patriotic, populist or nationalist parties?
UKIP has failed to make progress or achieve good results, hastening their decline into mediocrity.
Reform failed to make any breakthroughs or achieve anything of note, even in target areas such as Bolton.
The ‘For Britain Movement’, led by Anne Marie Waters, lost its only remaining councillor.
For Britain got less than 50 votes in half of the seats it stood in, getting as low as 2% of the vote in areas where they dominated several years ago.
As you can see from the For Britain accounts lodged with the Electoral Commission (which are available for public inspection), they are in rapid and steep decline as a party.
The For Britain elections officer, Eddy Butler, was quoted as saying, “The result was obviously poor”.
The stagnant English Democrats polled 8% in a seat in Essex, but that is all that I could find on them at short notice.
So, I am confident in saying that, when analysing these election results from the perspective of the overall “right-wing” landscape, Britain First performed very well indeed.
Moving on from the comparison to other “right-wing” political parties, how did Britain First compare to the mainstream parties?
In all but one of our target seats, we defeated the Liberal Democrats.
In Manchester, we defeated the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.
This is outstanding, considering every seat we stood in was a first time effort.
For a “new kid on the block” to come from nowhere and defeat the party of government, even on a local level, is very encouraging.
To defeat several mainstream parties that possess almost unlimited funding and media exposure is a triumph in itself.
Am I disappointed that Britain First didn’t make any breakthroughs?
Yes, of course, but, as I said previously, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we don’t live in an ideal world.
In the short time span of eight months, Britain First has built an electoral machinery that has produced a crop of encouraging results.
Anyone else in our position would be very happy with the results.
We now have an experienced and skilled army of canvassers.
We now have a dozen or so party officers and candidates that have experience with election paperwork, procedure and rules.
We know how to manage electoral registers, postal vote lists, mail-outs, and so on.
In Manchester, every door in the ward was knocked on twice.
Every household, except the no responses, received three leaflets.
The postal voters received a personalised letter the same day as their postal votes arrived.
Every positive response on the doorstep received a personalised letter the day before polling day.
On polling day, every positive response received a “last chance” leaflet through the door.
In our Manchester ward, we databased approximately 1,500 positive responses on the doorsteps.
When the polls closed, only one-third of those actually voted for Britain First.
So, the million-dollar question is, why didn’t they all go out and vote for us, like they said they would?
If they did, we would have won, hands down.
The answer must be our lack of established credibility.
The Silent Majority may have supported us on the doorstep, but they probably thought we would be a wasted vote, so only one-third of them actually bothered to make the trip to the polling station.
In future elections, we will seek to rectify this drawback.
The huge and widespread last-minute drop of smear leaflets by Labour and Hope Not Hate did not affect our vote, it seems.
What it did do, in our opinion, was to scare the Labour base into action.
Labour has been dominant in Walkden North ward for 40 years solid, since the creation of the ward in 1982.
They would have had a detailed database of Labour voters already in place and could mobilise that easily.
I don’t see any sign of electoral fraud or vote rigging in Walkden.
The Labour vote was pretty much what it was last time there was a council election in the area.
Britain First came from nowhere and was suddenly on everyone’s doorstep urging them to ditch Labour and vote for us.
That we came second place, defeating the Tories, the Lib-Dems and the Greens, in the context of all the above, was a very good first-time result that we can be proud of.
Ashlea has already decided that she will contest the same seat in the local elections next year.
She already has a huge database of Britain First supporters in the ward thanks to months of relentless canvassing, and now they can see that we have a real chance of winning, next time will be different.
One tactical mistake I felt we made in Manchester was that we didn’t retaliate when Labour and Hope Not Hate starting pumping out illegal smear leaflets.
I made sure we had a nuclear, devastating anti-Labour leaflet printed and ready to go should they start to fight dirty.
The problem was that Labour turned up en masse in the ward - with two incumbent MPs – only two days before polling day.
Had they done that a week earlier, we could have fought back, blitzing the ward with a leaflet that listed Labour’s paedophiles, rapists, expenses fiddlers etc.
Next time, the whole of Walkden North will be blitzed repeatedly with the truth about the rotten, degenerate Labour Party.
Further south, when I heard that a promising upcoming activist by the name of Nick Scanlon wanted to stand as a Britain First candidate in a small ward of South East London, I was very intrigued.
It is always better to select small council wards to fight, to be able to magnify our efforts and resources in a smaller area.
So, Eltham Page ward, in the borough of Greenwich, was perfect, or so we thought.
Eltham has a reputation as one of the last remaining enclaves of white London.
I immediately thought that this was worth a shot, a good candidate in a good area.
The entire ward was blanketed with a warm-up leaflet introducing our candidate.
Months into the campaign, we received the electoral register for the ward from Greenwich Council.
Ashlea set about doing the usual process of removing the foreign sounding names, and to our horror, she ended up removing around 40% of the entire electoral roll.
On top of this 40% was another 10-15% of ethnic minority voters who had English sounding names, some of whom we met on the campaign trail, and showed rabid hostility, including one black man who threatened us with a baseball bat.
The police have still not arrested this miscreant.
Months into the campaign, we realised that Eltham Page was over 50% non-indigenous.
We decided to plough ahead anyway, but we knew that the demographic situation was catastrophic for our prospects.
When canvassing this ward, we found that there were huge gaps in between each house that we knocked on, because the voters with foreign sounding names had been removed.
The number of indigenous English voters in the ward was depressingly low.
Even Eltham, the final enclave of white London, had fallen.
Every house in Eltham (the 50% or so remaining on the electoral register) received two knocks and three leaflets (except the no responses), plus a reminder leaflet on polling day.
Our candidate, Nick Scanlon, did a superb job managing the campaign and deserved a better vote, but the demographic situation was crippling.
With demographics like those in Eltham Page, all the patriotic white English families would have moved out long ago, leaving mainly trendy white liberals, so it’s no surprise that in this ward, we were beaten by the Green Party.
Nevertheless, we still managed to run a superb campaign, training a dozen or so South East activists in canvassing techniques.
We beat the Liberal Democrats in an area where they have traditionally been very strong.
In the future, we need to be very careful when selecting wards to contest, avoiding areas that are lost demographically, but more on that later.
Elsewhere, I was eager to stand candidates in South Wales, because I truly believe that it is a fertile region for patriotic politics and I wanted to “test the waters” in an area that wasn’t in England, our traditional zone of activities.
I urged our regional organiser, Carl Burgess, to stand as a candidate and he accepted.
The only issue was that he resided in a region that is completely unaffected by the problems of mass immigration, Islamism, multiculturalism etc etc.
It is a picturesque, peaceful region of the Welsh Valleys, with no immigration, no crime, no problems or issues.
But, it was the only option, so I decided we should go for it.
If we were to get a decent vote in such a nice area, we had to choose a ward that was very small, so we could concentrate and focus our slender manpower and resources.
Working with Carl, we chose a very small ward by the name of Brynna.
A few months into the campaign, the council informed us that Brynna ward had been merged with Llanharan ward next door, increasing the size of the ward enormously!
We set out to fight a very compact, very small ward, but now it had literally trebled in size.
We had been leafleting for several months, so I urged Carl to plough ahead and I would do what I could to provide extra manpower from elsewhere.
But the reality of the situation was that the new, enlarged “Brynna & Llanharan” ward was far too big for us to run an intensive campaign like those taking place in Manchester and Eltham.
We had searched the Rhondda Cynon Taff council website to select a suitable target ward, but they had no information available about the new, enlarged and merged super-wards.
This mishap had a detrimental effect on our campaign, as we had to cover a vast area with limited manpower.
After a few more months, we decided to abandon canvassing and focus on leafleting, as we simply wouldn’t cover enough of the ward if we continued with the slow pace of canvassing.
This makes me feel, at the time of writing, that this unfortunate sequence of events torpedoed our campaign and relegated us to last place come polling day.
The enlargement of the ward derailed the intense campaign we had planned.
Our candidate, Carl Burgess, did a superb job in difficult circumstances in a region that is not (yet) fertile for a party like Britain First.
After knocking hundreds of doors in Brynna and Llanharan villages, you could clearly see that the white residents were living in a liberal bubble.
In the future, we will focus on standing candidates in towns and cities that are affected by the problems that surround immigration and multiculturalism, like Cardiff, Swansea and Bridgend.
The picturesque Welsh Valleys aren’t quite ready for Britain First, yet.
Back to the analysis of the local election campaign, I truly believe that Britain First can hold its head up high right now, now that the dust has settled.
When Oliver Cromwell was being beaten by the Royalist forces in the English Civil War in the 1600s, he retreated to create and train the “New Model Army”.
Once this awesome fighting machine was perfected, he went on to conquer the whole of the British Isles, winning battle after battle.
With this in mind, I feel that over the last seven months of this campaign we have created our very own “New Model Army”.
We now have dozens and dozens of trained, experienced and skilled doorstep canvassers.
We know how to organise electoral registers, mail-outs and ward maps complete with polling districts.
Whereas only eight months ago we didn’t have a clue about elections, now we are a well-oiled machine.
We have established a modicum of credibility too, having beaten the Tories, Lib-Dems and Greens in various council seats.
The experience we have gained will be invaluable to our future success.
One of the biggest lessons from this election is that we know we have to pay very careful attention to the selection of seats that we contest.
The target seat in Eltham was far too multicultural, whereas the target seat in Wales was far too peaceful and indigenous.
The target ward in Manchester was perfect, but it was gigantic in size, comprising five large polling districts.
If it had been only 40% smaller, we could have organised a far more intense and in-depth campaign.
The general consensus among our supporters is that we did very well indeed in these elections.
The only negative sniping is emanating from our Labour and far-left extremist opponents, but who cares what they say.
Over the next few weeks, our leadership team will be confronted with several important questions about what we do next.
The most important of these will be, do we start to contest parliamentary by-elections to boost our recognition and public profile?
I am personally considering whether to stand for Parliament myself in the upcoming by-election in Wakefield, where the Asian Tory MP has been convicted of paedophilia.
More on this issue in due course.
Lastly, I want to pay tribute to the outstanding dedication of our candidates and activists.
Dozens and dozens of them knocked doors and spoke to thousands of voters, whether in the sun or the rain.
Their efforts during this election campaign were staggering.
Some weeks, they were out in our target wards four evenings - and the Saturday - pounding the streets.
At the onset of our local election campaign, I never expected so many activists to step up to the mark, with so much enthusiasm.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we have laid the foundations for an election winning machine over the last seven months.
Next week, we move into our new headquarters in Manchester and we are now freed up to spend the rest of the year getting back to high-octane, relentless activities around the country.
We can feel pride at what we have achieved, and we can look forward to a bright future fighting to take our country back.
Onwards and upwards.
Leader, Britain First