The Greens are seen as a legitimate part of the political spectrum, with a fairly transparent agenda. And yet, their electoral legitimacy, in terms of percentage vote and lost deposits is the same or sometimes less than the BNP, and their pull ahead of the Greens becomes more apparent as we move forward in time, especially since New Labour gained power.
Here are some of the facts based on General Election Data:
BNP fielded 2 candidates and lost both deposits
The Greens fielded 134 candidates and lost ALL deposits
Percentage of votes in contested seats was Green1.35, BNP, 0.53%
BNP fielded 13 candidates and lost all 13 deposits
Greens fielded 253 candidates and lost all 253 deposits
Percentage of vote in seats contested, Green 1.27%, BNP 1.05%
BNP: fielded 56 candidates and lost 53 deposits
Green: fielded 95 candidates and lost ALL deposits.
The two parties' percentage of the vote in contested seats was roughly equal, the BNP doing slightly better:
Percentage of vote in seats contested, Green 1.344%, BNP 1.358%
It is interesting that, with all their resources and apparent activist base, The Greens have failed to make an impact during general elections. Not even a tiny one.
From here, after the election of New Labour, it starts to get interesting!
BNP fielded 33 candidates and lost 28 deposits.
Greens fielded 145 and lost 135 deposits
Percentage of vote in seats contested, Green 2.747%, BNP 3.917
BNP fielded 119 candidates and lost 85 deposits.
Greens fielded 203 candidates and lost 179 deposits.
Percentage of votes in seats contested, Green 3.29, BNP 4.19
The Greens increased their percentage of the National Vote by 0.4%
The BNP increased their percentage of the National Vote by 0.5%
My contention, in answer to the strapline, is Yes. The Greens are either stagnating or going backwards and the BNP are gaining by the year. They have done this with less than half the expenditure and less than half number of candidates.
All of this has taken place during a Labour Administration. Make of it what you will.
(Data compiled from http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/ge05/results.htm)
An anonymous commenter has reminded me of a factor I missed completely, and that is the almost blanket daily coverage of Green Issues and the hysterical MSM obsession with Climate Change (Remember they used to call it Global Warming, until the last ten year's figures showed that the Earth was actually cooling down?) A fringe Party has never had so much free coverage and done so little with it, and conversely, Issues that the BNP build their power base on, such as the rise of Islamic influence and immigration get sod all.
Meanwhile, Tom Harris is bemoaning the mere presence of the BNP in the political spectrum. All for democracy, eh, Tom? Unless you happen to disagree with it?