George Galloway wins by-election landslide

March 30, 2012 at 12:52 AM
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BRADFORD, England, March 30 (UPI) -- George Galloway, expelled from the British Labor Party, returned to Parliament with a by-election victory Thursday in what had been a Labor stronghold.

Galloway, the candidate of the left-wing Respect Party, won the Bradford West seat with almost 56 percent of the vote, The Guardian reported. Muslim immigrants appeared to have voted heavily for Galloway, ignoring the Labor candidate, Imran Hussein, who took only 25 percent of the vote, down 20 percent from the 2010 election.

The Conservative share of the vote dropped by 23 percentage points to 8 percent, and the Liberal Democrats were down 7 points to 5 percent. Respect barely registered in the 2010 general election.

"By the grace of God, we have won the most sensational victory in British political history," Galloway said. "Labor has been hit by a tidal wave in a seat they have held for many decades and dominated for 100 years."

Galloway was expelled from the Labor Party in 2003 because of remarks he made about the Iraq invasion. He won a narrow victory in the 2005 election and was defeated in 2010, running in London districts both times.

While Galloway's landslide is a blow for Labor leader Ed Miliband and a big step for Respect, political analysts are unsure whether it represents anything more than proof he can draw voters. Galloway predicted Respect, a coalition of left-wing groups, will surprise other parties in local elections in May.

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