In a sensational result, George Galloway has won the Bradford West by-election for the Respect party. The former Glasgow and east London MP secured victory with more than half the votes cast, and a majority of more than 10,000.
The result will be a body blow for Labour leader Ed Miliband, who had appeared to have the Tories on the defensive in the past 10 days over the ‘Granny tax’, the resignation of Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas, and so-called #pastygate.
But none of these were enough to stop Labour losing a previously safe seat, though they will take some small consolation that both the Tories’ and Lib Dems’ vote shares also plunged. Lib Dem candidate Jeanette Sunderland came fourth, and the party narrowly lost its deposit.
The full result (with vote share and change since 2010 in brackets):
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%)
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.