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BNP targeting North Wales in 2011 Welsh Assembly elections

THE British National Party (BNP) is hopeful of obtaining its first seat in next year’s Welsh Assembly elections, according to the party’s national spokesman.

John Walker, a Hawarden community councillor and former BNP parliamentary candidate for Alyn and Deeside, said the far-right party was looking to improve on its share of the vote gained in the 2007 Assembly election.

The BNP picked up 4.3% of the vote in the regional section of the election three years ago, with 42,197 votes.

Mr Walker said: “Looking at the voting figures in the past, we were only a couple of thousand votes short.

“If our core vote holds out we are in with a chance of winning a seat in North Wales.

“We need to increase our vote by about 400 votes in each constituency around that area, which we think is achievable with a good campaign.

“Of course, it also depends on the voter turnout.”

Under the voting system adopted by the Welsh Assembly, while it would be unlikely for a candidate to win a constituency seat via the first-past-the-post system the BNP could obtain a seat via the additional member system.

This system, which counts for 20 of the 60 Welsh Assembly seats, relies on voters choosing a party as their second pick.

If the BNP attracts enough votes for a particular region one of its candidates chosen for that area would be elected.

Mr Walker said there would be a couple of issues the BNP would tackle in its campaign for votes.

“We will be looking at developing our share of the vote, campaigning on issues such as health care and the inequality gap existing between England and Wales,” he said.

Mr Walker said the BNP candidates would be announced in the new year.