Shah IN, Galloway OUT
Landslide victory in Bradford West as election-fever sweeps nation
A Conservative Government may be leading the UK for the next five years, yet in Bradford West, it is all about Labour as Naz Shah pulled off an amazing landslide victory to send George Galloway out of office.
19,977 votes for Shah in the constituency ensured she romped to victory - more than 10,000 votes ahead of her competing Respect candidate (8,557 votes).
It had been one of the most hotly contested seats in the UK prior to the polling stations opening on Thursday morning, with every weapon each politician had, being used in the build up.
Shah, who was only elected to stand as the party representative in March following the resignation of a fellow candidate, was tipped to push the opposition close but few expected such a one-sided decision – even after a recount was ordered.
Writing on her Twitter account after the results, she said: “Feeling totally honoured and humbled to be elected as MP for Bradford West. Thank you for the trust you have placed in me, the real work begins now.”
Meanwhile, what a difference three years makes for Galloway, who, following his 2012 by-election victory, was hailed the saviour of Bradford West gaining more than 50 per cent of the votes.
He remained straight-faced as the 2015 results were read out in the early hours of Friday morning, hearing his lowly figure before Shah’s which all but guaranteed his exit from office.
Even before the results were announced, Galloway had already found himself in the news after tweeting the results of his own party’s exit poll before voting ended– a move prohibited by law.
Speaking after the defeat, he quite fittingly uttered a colourful response, and said he is ready for his next campaign.
“I don’t begrudge the Labour members here their moment of celebration of course,” he said.
“But there will be others who are already celebrating: the venal, the vile, the racists and the Zionists will all be celebrating. The hyena can bounce on the lion’s grave but it can never be a lion and in any case, I’m not in my grave. As a matter of fact I’m going off now to plan the next campaign.”
Elsewhere across Bradford, Labour was also celebrating in the other two constituencies as the colour red swept across the city.
In Bradford East, Imran Hussain gained a seat from the Liberal Democrats’ David Ward, picking up more than 46 per cent of the votes, whilst Judith Cummins comfortably held her position of power in Bradford South.
Ward had held his seat for the previous five years yet, much like his Lib Dem colleagues across the nation, was forced to relinquish his position with only eight Liberal party members now holding the power in their areas.
Staying in West Yorkshire, Ed Balls was perhaps one of the most prominent casualties of the elections, losing his seat in Morley and Outwood by just 422 votes.
Conservatives’ Andrea Jenkins is his replacement and her appointment sees an end to a decade of power for Balls who has long been at the heart of the Labour party.
Speaking after his defeat, he said: “Any personal disappointment I have at this result is nothing compared to the sense of sorrow I have at the result Labour has achieved across the United Kingdom tonight, and the sense of concern I have about the future.
“We will now face five years where questions will arise about the future of our union, about whether we can stay as a member of the European Union and fight for jobs and investment, whether we can make sure we secure our National Health Service at a time when public spending is cut.
“Those are real concerns to me and to many people across the United Kingdom.”
All other seats in Leeds were held by their current MP, as follows: Alec Shelbrooke (Tory), Hillary Benn (Labour), Richard Burgon (Labour), Fabian Hamilton (Labour), Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem), Rachel Reeves (Labour) and Stewart Andrew (Tory).