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Respect Party candidate wins Britain's Bradford West by-election

(Xinhua)

08:47, March 31, 2012

LONDON, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Respect Party candidate George Galloway took Labor Party's Bradford West parliamentary seat after winning over half of the votes in the by-election on Friday.

In the former safe Labor constituency of Bradford West, Galloway, who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) twice before, won with 18,341 votes, 55.8 percent of those cast.

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

Galloway is a maverick figure in British politics. He rose to prominence through the Labor Party in Scotland, and became the MP for a Scottish seat until he was ejected from the party in 2003 for urging British soldiers not to fight in the Iraq War.

He stood for Respect, a left-wing party with strong connections in the Muslim community, in a safe Labor seat in London in the 2005 election and won, only to lose again in 2010.

In Bradford West, Galloway stood on policies of opposition to any war against Iran, an immediate withdrawal of troops from the war in Afghanistan, and interventionist economic policies to reverse the effects of government austerity measures.

Respect leader Salma Yaqoob said in a radio interview on Friday that the result showed public dissatisfaction with the government's austerity cuts.

"This message really is an anti-austerity one," Yaqoob said.

The defeat has serious implications for the main opposition Labor Party, which are 10 points ahead in most national opinion polls but were so thoroughly defeated.

It is a blow to Labor leader Ed Miliband, who has failed to develop the same personal lead over Prime Minister David Cameron in opinion polls as his party has over the other political parties.

It also questions the economic policies of Labor, which voters in Bradford West saw as being too close to the government's austerity policies.

There will be a 2.3-percent spending cut on average each year across all government departments (except health and foreign aid) between 2011 and 2015.

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ron tew at 2012-03-3131.164.190.*
another comedian in parliament can only be positive
  

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