Morality is basic to socialist politics. But moralism is no basis for socialist analysis. The reasons why people vote for the BNP are complex and multi-faceted. In this respect this piece of excellent research commissioned for Channel Four is a good way in. Among the points about BNP voters' attitudes to race and immigration (which, unsurprisingly are more negative than the national average), there is a large minority for whom such concerns are secondary. But these concerns are not new. They have been part of the British political landscape for a long time, predating even the significant influx of Afro-Caribbean and Asian workers after the war.
But when you couple this with the relative lack of security they feel and their relatively low socio-economic status, scandalous media coverage of race and immigration, and the (correct) belief Labour and the other mainstream parties have abandoned working class aspirations, it's small wonder people are prepared to vote for a party that appears to speak to these concerns - whether they have the mark of Cain or not.
And here in lies the difficulty for mainstream anti-fascism. Searchlight's Hope Not Hate campaign was the largest and most sophisticated operation it had ever launched. Whatever criticisms one has of this strategy, the scale of the mobilisation will have had an effect. One cannot say with any precision how many would-be BNP voters were put off, but the numbers must be significant. However despite its efforts and those of Unite Against Fascism/LMHR there are substantial numbers for whom their approach - which almost exclusively plays up Holocaust denial, their Nazi sympathies and general unpleasantness - will have zero effect. Some rethinking has to be done to take this reality into account - paying more attention to their piss poor records in office and being more intelligent about no platform is a good place to begin.
But as a political party they need to be defeated politically - a task that demands the left gets its act together and starts pulling together in the same direction: to refounding independent working class political representation.