Are the English Democrats poised to replace the British National Party? Will they overtake UKIP? If you listened to internet chatter from their ranks you might think so! But look at the facts and you'll see the real picture:
Massively in debt already, the English Democrats had a truly disastrous set of election results and now face even more internal turmoil.
In 2008, the English Democrats stood 13 candidates in the London constituencies.
This time, unable to afford the £1,000 deposits they managed just one. He was a BNP renegade called Mark Twiddy. Going from 13 candidates to one is not generally a sign of advance, but of collapse.
Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they wanted to concentrate their resources and thereby achieve a good vote. Did that work for them? Even standing just one candidate the English Democrat vote collapsed. In 2008, Leo Brookes of the ED's polled 6487 votes (3.94%) in Havering and Redbridge.
In 2012, turncoat Mark Twiddy polled 2573 votes (1.81%) in the same seat. Does that seem like a Party riding the crest of a wave to you? <.p>
Thrashed by the BNP
The British National Party candidate easily beat them with 3.7% and UKIP (benefiting from disillusioned Tories scored 6.7%).
These figures confirm a general pattern that where the EDs face BNP or UKIP candidates they get far fewer votes. Generally it is only where they are the only repository for Nationalist votes that they get even half decent results. As UKIP and the financially revived BNP stand more candidates, they will be squeezed out.
How did the EDs fair in the contest for London Mayor? Last time they sort of had a candidate for mayor in Fathers4Justice leader Matt O'Connor. He resigned one week before the poll, citing dishonesty and chronic incompetence. Despite that setback, they still secured the backing of 2.99 per cent of voters.
Although well below the British National Party it was not a bad result. Yet this time they didn't stand a Mayoral candidate. Why? Simply because they couldn't afford it.
No candidate for Mayor in London, only one candidate for the constituencies - perhaps they were concentrating their fire on the top-up list. Here, surely the Great non-White Hopes of the English Democrats would make their mark?
Well, no, not really. They could only scrape up 22,025 votes, at 1.1% even lower than they managed in 2008. They were easily beaten by both UKIP and the BNP.
Just three days before the election, the BBC gave ED leader Robin Tilbrook a big plug, allowing him confidently to predict that they would wipe out the BNP. As usual, when the BBC promotes a rival of ours, sensible people know what's going on and take it all with a pinch of salt.
Certainly the result shows that the EDs are finished as a party of big elections.
EDs in decline
The picture in local elections is similar. They got a couple of decent results only where they had no BNP or UKIP opposition. Where they did they were generally beaten by both.
In a number of areas the ED vote declined.
To give one prominent example, Chris Beverley (a former BNP member who works for Andrew Brons as his Constituency Manager and who has plenty of time to campaign for the EDs) saw his vote in Morley South decline by 4.5%. Again it does not indicate a Party sweeping all before it, does it? If Mr Beverley thought that turning his back on the BNP was going to help him get an extra salary as an English Democrat councillor, he made another big mistake!
Indeed, not only did the EDs not win any seats, they also lost the two council seats they were defending.
Two seats they had never won under their own colours.
In East ward, Peterborough, Cllr Stephen Goldspink (who had been elected as a Conservative in 2008 but defected to the EDs the following year) was unable to stand again this year because he doesn't live in Peterborough and no longer has a qualifying business interest there.
Curiously no ED candidate contested his ward this year.
In Ashridge Ward, Three Rivers, Cllr Seamus Dunne (who won the seat as a BNP councillor in 2008 but quit our party in 2010 and joined the EDs in 2011) was defeated in his bid for re-election.
Standing as an ED in Fairmead, which the BNP had won in the days before his lying and scheming caused it so much damage, leading BNP renegade Eddy Butler could only muster a derisory 69 votes, 11% of the vote. Despite a big effort on the doorstep, party leader Tilbrook could only manage 13% in another carefully chosen ward. Part of this, of course, is a reflection of a widespread increase in voter apathy and people who in the past have voted nationalist gritting their teeth and voting Labour to punish the LibDems and Tories.
This external trend hit our vote too this year. But the fact remains that, out of all the parties which appeal to patriotic voters, our vote held up the best. Far from being finished, the British National Party is the only sound base on which to build a nationalist electoral revival.
Coming under pressure,this election also saw the EDs start to come under attack from the usual suspects on the Left. Hope Not Hate stated their reasons clearly:
"I have been asked by a couple of people to explain why we are also targeting certain English Democrat candidates in these elections as it isn't a traditional far right party.
That is true, the English Democratic Party (EDP) is not a far right party but so many BNP members have gone over to them that the very composition of the party has changed and so now it has become a legitimate target.
It has been claimed that almost 43% of their candidates in the forthcoming local elections have recently been in the BNP (http://www.facebook.com/groups/97541711484/).
I don't know if this is the correct figure but it could well be true.
EDP leader Robin Tilbrook has repeatedly said that in joining the EDP these people have accepted their new party's policies and political outlook. He might believe that and if we were talking about one or two people then he might be right. But we are talking about dozens, perhaps hundreds.
If 40 former BNP members are prepared to stand as EDP candidates, there must be many more who have made the switch without wanting to go public.
Two of those standing still work for Andrew Brons."
It's difficult to fault their logic. With their earlier membership dropping out over concerns about the quarrelsome extremism of their new colleagues, the English Democrats are increasingly little more than a flag of convenience for a small minority of BNP malcontents who couldn't abide the majority decision to back Nick Griffin as leader but who were left high and dry by the dithering and cowardly refusal of their factional leader to form a new party.
Have they suddenly changed their views on a wide variety of core issues? If so, few have explained how or why.
It seems likely that the EDs are being used by them just as the Left have concluded. How the remaining more genteel members of the EDs will react to the kind of smears and pressure to which they will now be subjected - and to their electoral wipe-out - only time will tell.
Rocking the sinking boat
Given the personality type involved it is also inevitable that these toxic people will cause trouble within the EDs.
Even as Eddy Butler was urging people to join the EDs, he was explaining that they were "ripe for a takeover" Now there are public calls from amongst them for the ED Leader to resign! Didn't take them long! Such gratitude to their new comrades!
Given that there were only fifty people at the last ED Annual Meeting you have to wonder how long it will take for these professional malcontents to take over the English Democrats. That is certainly their aim. Those people caused us terrible trouble in 2010, and we're very glad to have got rid of them. Indeed, the biggest danger to us of the coming implosion of the English Democrats is that they have been very useful to us as a dustbin.
British National Party moving forward
Whatever fate befalls the EDs, the British National Party is here to stay. We are united again, and determined to move forward. To that end we will be stepping up our efforts this summer to develop new tactics to attract sympathy and fresh members, and we will be investing much more in training our good people - old hands and welcome newcomers alike.
At the same time, we will continue to contest seats against all comers, including phoney civic nationalists like the EDs.
As they face an increasingly well financed BNP with a re-energised activist base employing new election techniques, the ED fantasists will be unable to dupe anyone - perhaps not even themselves.
When the electoral cycle moves in favour of nationalism again - as it certainly will - we will be ready and better equipped than ever to take advantage of the opportunities.
The EDs by then are likely to be nothing more than a footnote in the political history that we will write.