The Battle for Barking
Barking and Dagenham was fated to be a key constituency in the 2010 general election. The anti-immigration British National Party, holding 12 local council seats and coming off a strong second in the European elections, raised the ante by selecting their leader, Nick Griffin, to stand against Labour's Margaret Hodge. We follow Hodge’s uneviable task of campaigning hard to build a new coalition of supporters in what was once a safe Labour seat. With superb access to the BNP, the film contrasts their working class supporters with Labour's middle-class campaigners and suggests it was Hodge's appeal to minorities and her ability to translate that appeal into votes that delivered her the second-biggest gain of any Labour candidate, blowing the BNP off the map. For Hodge, recently widowed, and facing personal attacks aimed at her family's fortune and her religion, it was a personal triumph which offered hope in an otherwise grim election for her party.