Extreme right footsoldiers, legacy effects and deprivation: a contextual analysis of the leaked British National Party (BNP) membership list

Matthew Goodwin, Robert Ford, David Cutts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite a vast pan-European literature on extreme right parties (ERPs), few studies speak convincingly to questions of party membership and activism. This article draws on a unique membership dataset to examine contextual predictors of membership of the British National Party (BNP), currently the dominant representative of the extreme right in British politics. We operationalize and test for the impact of both demand-side and supply-side factors, including the seldom examined effects of historical legacies, and of party activism and electoral success on membership levels. Aside from congregating in urban areas that are more deprived and have low education levels, we also find evidence of a ‘legacy effect’, whereby membership levels are higher in areas with a historic tradition of extreme right activism. This research is the first ever systematic investigation of national extreme right party membership.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-906
JournalParty Politics
Volume19
Issue number6
Early online date23 May 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

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