Photo: Wikimedia Commons/David Hunt
The UK’s Labour Party has just been dealt a massive blow.
While they’ve been crowing about the Conservative government’s handling of the budget and the ongoing fuel panic and strike threats, George Galloway, a former party member and current leader of the far-leftÂ Respect Party (which stood fifth in the elections last year) has snatched a parliament seat that Labour has held for the last 40 years from under Ed Miliband’s nose, the Guardian reports.
Galloway secured 18,341 votes in the by-election — a majority of 10,140 — as opposed to second-placed Labour, who could only manage 8,201 votes, The Daily Mail reports. “It was an incredibly disappointing result for Labour in Bradford West and I am determined that we learn lessons of what happened,” Miliband said.
Labour performed so poorly that they even lost their election deposit, according to The Telegraph.
Galloway, on the other hand, was over the moon. “By the Grace of God, we have won the most sensational victory in British political history” he tweeted.
Galloway’s overwhelming victory could be because of his pro-Palestine and anti-Iraq war stance, which may have appealed to Bradford’s sizable Asian and Muslim presence. If this is true, Galloway played it much better than Labour, who fielded Imran Hussain, a Muslim candidate.
The defeat has capped what could have been a great month for Miliband, who seems to have failed to capitalise on putting the Tories on the backfoot in an attempt to portray Labour as the party of the people. It has also possibly increased the chances of him being replaced as party leader before the next elections. Bookies have now cut the odds on him not leading the party at the next General Election from 5/2 to 9/4, The Daily Mail says.
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