Far-right supporters in the UK appears to believe violent conflict between different ethnic, racial and religious groups is inevitable (Reuters)
Far-right supporters in the UK appears to believe violent conflict between different ethnic, racial and religious groups is inevitable (Reuters)

A study has found that 40 percent of BNP supporters believe armed conflict between ethnic, religious or racial groups could be justifiable to protect "the national way of life".

The report, based on a YouGov survey, also found that more than 90 percent of them believe that violence between different groups was "largely inevitable".

The study, From Voting to Violence? Rightwing Extremists in Modern Britain by Matthew Goodwin of the University of Nottingham and Jocelyn Evans of Salford University, explored the views of far-right supporters towards violence and group relations.

More than 2,000 supporters of right-wing groups such as the BNP, UKIP and EDL were questioned. It revealed a hostile inner circle of supporters preparing for active conflict.

"Within the BNP group, there is clear evidence of an inner core of activists who are both expecting, and endorse, violence," says the report.

The YouGov survey also reveals that 64 percent of the 2,152 BNP supporters agreed that violence might be needed to "defend their group from threats".

The report comes ahead of the trial of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who admitted to the murder of 77 people in Norway in July. Breivik said he had contact with far-right groups in the UK.

The study claims it is shining a light on the potential violence posed by far-right groups. "Our knowledge of far-right extremism is lacking," it warned.

The BNP has rejected the findings. BNP MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central Simon Darby told Channel 4 News: "We don't believe in violence - we believe in a democratic political system. The whole idea of being involved in the BNP is to provide nationalists with a democratic platform.

"What I would say is that there are a number of people out there who are increasingly seeing the British political system as rigged and inherently biased against anyone opposing mass immigration and its consequences. Political parties voted in on these issues don't deliver on their promises."

The study follows a report from the home affairs select committee earlier this year that concluded that too little was known about far-right extremism and its potential for violence.