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Friday, 30 March 2012

Labour crushed in Bradford West

The result (graphic courtesy of Skynews)

The Labour party is licking its wounds this morning after the Respect Coalition inflicted a huge defeat on them. During the campaign, when not talking about pasties and eating sausage rolls, Ed Miliband said "This is a chance for the people of Bradford West to deliver a verdict on a Budget which will force millions to pay more so that millionaires can pay less". So Ed says that but he and his party abstained on the "tax cuts for millionaires" and the people of Bradford West clearly didn't accept his opportunistic hypocrisy.

The Respect Coalition in 2010 finished 17,156 vote behind the Labour party. Bradford West bucked the national trend in 2010 with a 2.9% from the Tories to Labour. Also funnily enough in 1997 they bucked the trend also, with a swing to John Major's Tories from New Labour. Last night George Galloway increased Respect's vote by 52.8%. Labour's vote fell by 20.3% the Tories were down 22.7% the Liberal Democrats were down 7.1% UKIP went up 1.3% Green fell by 0.8%, the Democratic Nationalist vote fell by 0.1% the Monster Raving Loony party didn't stand in 2010.

Labour blogger Dr Eion Clarke claims that the biggest losers last night were the Tories, on the percentage vote he has a point, but not much of one. Since 1974 Bradford was rock solid Labour, they lost the seat for two years in 1981 but not through the ballot box but because the then Labour MP Edward Lyons defected to the then Social Democratic Party. The Labour party regained the seat in the landslide won by Mrs Thatcher in 1983.

This result is a disastrous result for Labour. Ed Miliband really needs to sort this mess out. His bandwagon jumping over the "pasty tax" over the last week seems to of backfired. Sally Bercow tweeted: "Perhaps the moral of the story is don't prioritise pasties over people? #bradfordwest

Labour Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, told Skynews "This is a very bad result". On the Today programme she said has said that Labour's performance in the Bradford West by-election is "very disappointing" but that the electorate jumped on the "bandwagon" in voting for the Respect Party's George Galloway. she went on "that there was "a particular problem in Bradford" which they have to understand and discuss locally in order to rebuild links for Labour in the area".

Salma Yaqoob, leader of the Respect Party, said that George Galloway won because "the three main parties are not connecting," and are all taking positions of austerity. But she said that Respect's message is that "an alternative is possible and achievable.". "People feel betrayed" in Labour's heartland, she said, adding that their message to the Labour party is "come back to your people".

Conservative party Chairman Sayeeda Warsi told the Today programme "what we should of seen last night is a huge Labour victory if Ed Miliband can't get is act together after a week like this, when is he going to get his act together. But instead we saw a 36% swing against Labour to the Respect party and the people of Bradford West saying you can't take us for granted we're not going to vote for you".

Ed Miliband's bandwagon jumping over pasties and the "pasty tax" but refusing to say Labour would reverse it. Criticising the government over tax cuts for the rich then doesn't vote against them in the Commons despite Ed Balls saying they'd do just that. What the people in Bradford see in the Labour party is a metropolitan bunch of elites who aren't interested in them. George Galloway has knocked Miliband down and if Boris beats Ken in early May - then its likely to be game over for Ed!