I appreciate that everybody is feeling very tired after this bruising campaign and some disappointing headline results. In fact, as you will see later in this message, behind the media's sneers, there is real concern about the progress that we have made in this extraordinarily hard-fought contest.
With the result now in, Britain faces its first "hung parliament" since 1974 and the next Government - if there is to be one and not a new election in a few months' time - will be a coalition of two of the main parties.
Ironically, this provides the British National Party (which spectacularly almost tripled its vote from 2005, jumping from 192,746 to a healthy 563,743 in yesterday's contest) with its best window of opportunity yet.
The kingmaker in any coalition will be the Liberal Democrats under Nick Clegg. Their key demand for participation in a coalition is electoral reform, and in particular the abolition of the current "first-past-the-post" election system. The reason why the Liberal Democrats oppose the first-past-the-post system is that it clearly puts a smaller party (which is what the Liberal Democrats are) at a hugely unfair disadvantage.
The figures tell the story: yesterday the Liberal Democrats won around 23 percent of the vote, but will end up with only 7 percent of the seats in Parliament. The BNP, which polled close to a million votes in June 2009, and over half a million yesterday (despite only fighting half of all the available 650 seats), will end up with no seats at all.
In effect, the first-past-the-post system simply throws millions of votes onto the rubbish heap where they are ignored. As a result, the Liberal Democrats have argued for the introduction of proportional representation (PR) in Britain.
Under a PR system, if a party gets 10 percent of the votes, it gets 10 percent of the seats in Parliament. If it gets 32 percent of the vote, it gets 32 percent of the seats, and so on.
It is an obviously fairer way of allowing all votes cast in an election be reflected in Parliament. In fact, a slightly amended system of PR is used in European Parliamentary elections, which allowed the BNP to win its two seats in that body in June 2009.
If the Liberal Democrats are involved in a coalition with either Labour or Conservatives, it is inevitable that they will set the demand for a PR system as one of the preconditions for their cooperation.
In fact, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has already made this demand in public - and both Labour and Conservatives have announced their willingness to consider it or, at the very least, hold a referendum on the topic.
What does this mean for the BNP? The tripling of the BNP vote on 6 May has some important implications.
Firstly, where we went head-to-head with UKIP and the Greens, we thrashed them. We outvoted UKIP in 178 seats and they beat us in 123. We outvoted the Greens in 134 seats for the Greens 23. UKIP had a huge budget and their campaign was backed by 13 MEPs, in it must not be forgotten that both UKIP and the Greens enjoy favourable treatment at the hands of the controlled media.
Secondly, while all minority parties were pushed out to the edge by the 'big boys', our vote not only held up but proportionately increased when compared to our June 2009 Euro election results.
When put into perspective, yesterday's result becomes even more interesting:
- In 1983, the BNP fought 54 seats and polled 14,000 votes.
- In 1987, the BNP fought 2 seats and polled 563 votes.
- In 1992, the BNP fought 13 seats and polled 7,000 votes.
- In 1997, the BNP fought 54 seats and polled 35,000 votes.
- In 2001, the BNP fought 33 seats and polled 47,000 votes.
- In 2005, the BNP fought 117 seats and polled 192,746 votes.
- In 2010, the BNP fought 339 seats and polled 563,743 votes.
Based on yesterday's impressive vote totals, the BNP would win in excess of 60 seats in Westminster under a PR system.
Some of the more perceptive Conservative journalists, such as Norman Tebbit, have already realised this as a possibility and have written about it in national newspapers.
In addition, many political commentators have already remarked that, on a night which saw all the smaller parties squeezed - including the Lib-Dems, who lost five seats - the strong showing and turnout of the BNP vote was "a source of great concern."
They have seen how the public hostility towards us is fast disappearing. I felt it on the streets and I'm sure you did too.
Compare this with a few years ago when we endured frequent confrontations and 'screamers'. This election we enjoyed a very friendly response on the streets and no aggravation (apart from the exception of activists from Labour's far left thuggish allies).
I have heard reports from all over the country, and have experienced it for myself, that the 'screamers' who used to pop out of the woodwork in almost every street, have all but completely vanished.
The shift in the public's perception of us now is really very encouraging. Unfortunately in this much hyped General Election, people voted for a change in government and have (some with gritted teeth) reverted back to the old parties.
Our adversaries recognised this probably before us and have done everything to keep us as a small fringe party. Under PR we could easily fill a bus with BNP MPs.
As the coalition negotiations begin, let those who might feel disappointed at the BNP's failure to secure a parliamentary seat yesterday reflect on what might happen in a short while.
The introduction of PR to Britain will dramatically change the face of British politics and propel the BNP into the mainstream political debate once and for all.
Unfortunately, the high turnout generated by the General Election hype meant that we were also squeezed severely in local elections nationwide.
Our vote remained rock solid but the percentages were against us.
Perhaps the most sobering reality we must now face is the demographic disaster unfolding all over the country, but especially in Barking & Dagenham and London generally. The simple fact is this: we have been swamped by immigrants.
Labour is carrying out a policy of gerrymandering through immigration. This has meant the death of the old East End and by the time of the next General Election, London will be completely unassailable, colonised and in truth no longer part of Britain.
We need to develop a new strategy to protect our dispossessed and marginalised people in these 'occupied territories.' As our people are pushed first into political impotence and then into absolute minority status, to continue fighting first-past-the-post elections and securing an ever-dwindling vote is simply a recipe for demoralisation and failure.
We will instead develop a new strategy for these areas, based on civil rights agitation and legal challenges to the authorities whenever they marginalise our white minority.
I know how hard everybody worked and I know there is a positive change in the public's attitude towards the BNP. You must have felt it too. This tended to lead to raised expectations which, while they have not been this time in the ballot box, do truly reflect the undercurrent of ever growing sympathy for our party and our message. We all know the feeling is there and growing.
At the end of the day, we tripled our vote and we can now build on the huge experience we have gained through fighting two national elections in less than a year.
The glaring item lacking in the BNP armoury is our underdeveloped Elections Department. This will now be the focus of a huge overhaul and re-structuring, bringing it into line with the very best and almost futuristic election machines of Labour and the Lib-Dems.
The BNP has the courage and determination and some of the best politically motivated people of all the parties. However, our methods, tactics and electioneering apparatus are basically 20 years out of date.
This was discussed at a leadership meeting in February and while we recognised the urgent need for modernisation, there was no way we could start to reform and modernise before the election.
Through a substantial investment in administration, fundraising and logistics, the BNP possesses a finely tuned administrative regime. As an example of what the administrative staff can do is illustrated by the fact that all of the 8,000 inquiries received centrally in the six weeks of the campaign, have already been sent information packs.
Some 6,000 have already been databased and passed on to the regional organisers so that follow-up work can start immediately. This is a very rapid and efficient turnaround of an absolutely crucial job.
We do however need to acknowledge that there were very serious problems in the campaign, particularly in the Publicity Department. The new team which took over - Clive Jefferson, Alwyn Deacon and all others involved - did a fantastic job under the most difficult of circumstances in rescuing that situation by the skin of our teeth.
Now we need to focus all of our attention and energies in harnessing and utilising the very best in modern electioneering practices. This will start immediately and this month will see the first event in our new training programme being rolled out.
We need to grasp the huge potential in exploiting postal votes, tele-canvassing and other modern methods and techniques. We also need to equip ourselves to perform well in community politics.
Although the Greens were practically wiped out in this election, they still managed to secure their first MP. How did they do this? They invested heavily on the ground by being fully involved in local community politics. This afforded them 'credibility' through an effective presence in community politics. Minority parties can overcome obstacles by producing effective councillors. To do that we need to invest heavily in training for our people who are at the 'coalface '
We are now stronger than ever and have proven ourselves capable of planning, fighting and financing two national election campaigns on the largest scale ever, one after another.
We will now focus on a massive overhaul of our political machinery.
External attacks disguised as internal friction will be a common feature as our political enemies spin their web of lies and deceit designed to prevent us from reaching our true potential. Our enemies' weapons will be disharmony, conflict, misinformation and never-ending legal warfare.
They will not succeed, but we all must remain ever vigilant. If someone tells you a piece of 'shocking' internal gossip which clearly is aimed at undermining the people now working to propel the party forward, then you need to treat such lies with the contempt they deserve. Don't believe, let alone pass on, any such disinformation without telling the target about the allegation and hearing the truth. Our enemies have huge resources at their disposal and will exploit the slightest chink in our armour to inject their poison amongst us.
So let us build on the lessons of the last two years of spectacular growth and advances. We have all worked incredibly hard and I know the price our families pay. Take a break; spend time with your family - because we will have all this to do again in a very short time.
This election has been a shambolic farce for our democracy. However, this is an opportunity for us and now is the time to re-structure, modernise and invest in this party's election machine and that's exactly what we ARE going to do.Yours sincerely,
Nick Griffin, MEP
Leader, British National Party