How David Lammy has exaggerated the BNP’s popularity

In a posting today on LabourList, David Lammy has talked up the popularity of the BNP by misquoting and misinterpreting evidence about how many people visit their website.

The MP for Tottenham wrote:

[The BNP] it attracts more than half of all internet traffic to political party sites, according to the online monitoring firm Hitwise.

But that’s not true.

I think what has happened here is that the popularity of the domain compared with,, and so on has been confused with “all internet traffic to political party sites”. (Thanks to Hitwise for confirming to me that looking at just these national domains is indeed how they put their data together.)

It’s true that if you look at traffic to just the central party domains, and their subdomains, then the BNP site is the most popular. But – to take the example of the Liberal Democrats – and its subdomains are only part of our “national” web presence and actually only a small part of our overall web presence. At national, regional and local level we have literally hundreds of sites in total that are not part of Their total traffic is several times greater than that to By contrast, the BNP’s website traffic is overwhelmingly concentrated on that domain.

In other words, if you really looked at “all internet traffic to political party websites” you get a completely different picture.

This sort of exaggeration of the BNP’s popularity (quite possibly accidental in this case, though deliberate in others such as the Labour leaflets in the Downham, Lewisham council by-election which talked of the possibility of a BNP win) only helps the BNP. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.

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This entry was posted in News and Online politics.


  • David Heigham 28th Feb '09 - 7:05pm

    Labour have a long history of exaggerating electoral threats from the far right. I think that by now shouting “Wolf” has become a reflex.

    Which is a pity when the BNP is making an electoral showing stronger than that of any extreme nationalist party that I can remember. The old rule that apart from occsional fits of exasperastion with a local mainstream party, the fascists and their successors had a ceiling of 10% of the vote, and they could only reach that in their traditional areas, seems to be in abeyance.

  • Paul

    Like you I sometimes visit the BNP to see what the ******s are up to; I very rarely visit the main party websites. To interpret this as support is ludicrous.


    Sadly, Labour has a poor record of “talking up” the BNP and thus helping them (consider Margaret Hodge in Barking & Dagenham at the last LGA elections). It is the WRONG approach.


    re the initiative being Labour rather than Lib Dem see the above comment.
    By my reckoning the BNP do NOT “just need 7% to get an MEP elected on June 4th” – under d’Hondt 7% might be enough, or might not.

    For example [if my calculations are correct] a vote share of Con 31.6% Lab 22.2% LD 16.3% Green 8.4% BNP 8% UKIP 6.7% would mean 3 Con 2 Lab 2 LD and 1 Green. There are other scenarios where 7% COULD mean a seat.

  • “In Swanley St Mary’s Lib Dems did not stand, although they had done in the 07 all out.”

    Not so as you can find from the Sevenoaks DC website. Swanley St Marys is a 2-member ward and in 2007 there were 2 Labour, 2 Tory and 1 UKIP candidate

  • David Heigham 1st Mar '09 - 5:46pm

    I agree with Mark and cregwyn that talking up the BNP will help increase their vote. I think that Labour do it because talking up a ‘fascist’ threat used to be a way of getting out their vote. Now that the people who run Labour have lost contact with their voters. they do not realise that talking up the BNP is likely to get out the people who used to be their marginal voters as BNP voters.

  • I do not intend to respond to Chris Paul at the length he managed !!


    1. I agree with him that Lib Dems should not stand down in wards being contested by the BNP – it merely feeds their rhetoric of a LibLabCon conspiracy, and elevat6es their status as being the non-establishment choice.
    2. As explored by Mark Pack “talking up” the significance of the BNP is grist to their mill.
    3. I was (reasonably) involved in the NW in the 2004 Euro Elections – don’t recall Lib Dem nazi rhetoric. Perhaps just a tiny bit overstated?

  • Captain Renault 2nd Mar '09 - 7:07pm

    Chris Paul,…, overstated?

    I’m shocked! Shocked!

  • If you visit the BNP website, at the bottom of the home page, you will see the alexa ratings, which rank in order of traffic to the political websites.
    You will find that the worldwide rankings of our political websites currently stand at:

    BNP: 48099
    Conservatives: 199673
    Labour: 238018
    LibDems: 255684
    UKIP: 806489

    The numbers do seem to indicate much greater interest in the BNP than all the other sites, wouldn’t you say?
    Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

  • “How David Lammy has exaggerated the BNP’s popularity”

    Do you think so?

    Brits’ are finally going to vote for a Political Party that will give the U.K. back to us, and stop all the handouts to
    every ETHNIC Tom,Dick,& Harry who asks for money for some crazy scheme or other.

    THE BNP just tell the truth- I know this is very strange in this day and age,and remember:-

    THE BNP DID NOT GET US INTO THE MESS WE ARE IN with respect to Financial Situation and other the other problems too numerous to mention. Q.E.D

    Regards W.A.S.P

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