Respect celebrates while Labour reflects after shocking Bradford result

 

George Galloway and the Respect Party were celebrating an astounding victory this morning after taking the seat of Bradford West in a by-election last night, beating Labour by over 10,000 votes.

Supporters mobbed the anti-war campaigner as he left the sports hall in West Bradford where results were announced, causing him to initially retreat back inside. Chants of “Respect” and “we love you George” greeted him as he reappeared.

In what he described on stage as "the most sensational result in British by-election history bar none" Mr Galloway received 55.89 per cent of the vote with 18,341, compared to Labour’s Imran Hussain, who won 8,201 votes – a 24.99 per cent share. Conservatives secured just 8.37 per cent, with 2,746 votes.

Labour were initial favourites in the contest, which was sparked by the health problems and subsequent resignation of former Labour MP Marsha Singh, but by yesterday many bookmakers were closing stopping bets due to a late flurry of support for Mr Galloway.

A Labour source told the Press Association that Mr Galloway’s victory over his former party was down to such a “late surge” and that prior to this the contest had been “neck and neck”.

According to Ladbrokes, Mr Galloway's victory has sparked the biggest ever bookies' by-election payout in history, with some punters cashing in bets of £100,000 after beating odds of 33/1.

Voter turnout was higher than expected for such a by-election, with just over 50 per cent of the electorate making their way to polling stations.

In similar scenes to 2005’s general election, when he dramatically swiped the east London seat of Bethnal Green and Bow from Labour, Galloway targeted votes from the large Asian community in Bradford West. However, he was also successful in areas without large Asian populations.

Unlike in 2005, when Galloway said he only intended to serve one term, he said he hopes to be MP for Bradford for the long term.

West Bradford has been a Labour stronghold since 1983, and the party secured an increased majority of 5,763 in the seat in 2010, making this mid-term reverse the first for an Opposition since May 2000 when the Liberal Democrats took Romsey from the Tories.

After a week in which the Tories have come under fire for their handling of ‘pasty tax’ and fuel panics, Galloway’s win is likely to shift some attention back to Mr Miliband’s party.

Mr Galloway told Sky News: "It is a very comprehensive defeat for New Labour, it is a pathetic performance by the Government parties.

"The big three political parties have had a very salutary, unkind lesson this evening and I hope that they all take note.

"The people of Bradford have spoken this evening for people in inner cities everywhere in the United Kingdom."

Labour MP Toby Perkins called the result "desperately disappointing" and attributed part of Mr Galloway's win to his celebrity status - he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006. Mr Perkins did concede, however, that his party had lessons to learn from the way in which Mr Galloway recaptured the mood of the electorate, especially youths in the area.

He told the Press Association: "I think his celebrity was a very significant factor. There was a great deal of people, who in this city, voted for the Labour Party 18 months ago. A tiny number at that time were voting for Respect. Now since then, we have seen the Labour Party get more popular in the national polls, yet in the space of three weeks George Galloway was clearly able to capture the mood, particularly of the younger voters.

""We need to learn from that. It's a desperately disappointing result for us. Bradford is an important city for the party and it has come as a big shock the way that things have changed over the past few weeks."

Bradford West by-election full results

George Galloway (Respect) 18,341 (55.89%, +52.83%)

Imran Hussain (Lab) 8,201 (24.99%, -20.36%)

Jackie Whiteley (C) 2,746 (8.37%, -22.78%)

Jeanette Sunderland (LD) 1,505 (4.59%, -7.08%)

Sonja McNally (UKIP) 1,085 (3.31%, +1.31%)

Dawud Islam (Green) 481 (1.47%, -0.85%)

Neil Craig (D Nats) 344 (1.05%)

Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 111 (0.34%)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
Louis van Gaal
football
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own