Our findings suggest that areas that have higher levels of recent immigration than others are not more likely to vote for the BNP. In fact, the more immigration an area has experienced, the lower its support for the far right.

ippr conducted regression-based analysis to see whether or not high levels of immigration do raise communities' support for the BNP, or if other variables - such as political disengagement - are important. Rather than immigration, the evidence points to political and socio-economic exclusion as drivers of BNP support.

We therefore urge mainstream politicians to strongly resist the notion that people have been driven into the arms of the BNP by the harm immigration is causing to their communities. Instead, they must focus on building strong communities and strong education systems, and on rebuilding trust and confidence in democratic politics, so that marginalised people do not feeling so disconnected. This should allow them to both better serve the interests of these communities, and undercut support for the BNP.