After a long day in the field yesterday, I am pleased to say that the BNP were comprehensively defeated in a County Council by-election in Rugby, Warwickshire (for a good analysis please see this article.) Despite the low turnout they managed to score only 14%. Rugby is a town that is very settled and comfortable with its diversity and despite a vigourous and aggressive BNP campaign they were successfully held off by both Labour and the Conservatives who succeeded in not being drawn onto the BNP's territory.
But there can be no let up. There is clearly a reservoir of discontent as reported by the BBC yesterday and extremists such as the BNP will prey on that.
It is up to the mainstream parties to not let that happen. How do they do it? Well, by becoming obsessed by the people they serve rather than by obsessing about the BNP. That means coming up with good local ideas, delivering them, communicating effectively, working hard. All the things that local parties should be doing anyway (but often do not.)
So last night's result in Lawford and New Bilton says great things about Rugby. But the work needs to continue and to intensify.