[Marxism] George Galloway, Respect Coalition & the British election

Tony Tracy tony at tao.ca
Thu May 5 22:35:31 MDT 2005

For those who have been following the Respect Coalition in Britain, the  
election results from yesterday's polling were quite interesting.

See http://respectcoalition.org/elect/results.php for the results that  
Respect received.

George Galloway's win against his opponent in a very close race in  
Bethnal Green and Bow seems to be very much an indictment of Blair's  
policies in Iraq (Galloway won 38.9% of the vote, and won with just  
over 800 more votes than his Labour Party opponent received). Labour  
had reportedly put a great deal of financial and other resources into  
the campaign of the official Labour candidate in that riding.

Salma Yaqoob, a leading anti-war campaigner, received a very  
respectable 27.5% of the vote, placing only 3300 votes behind the  
winning Labour Party candidate in her riding.

Lindsey German, a leading member of the Socialist Workers Party in  
Britain who ran on the Respect platform, also received a respectable  
result - with 19.5% of the vote in her riding (her Labour opponent  
easily won with over 50% of the riding's vote, but German's result  
showed that a sizable number in her riding were willing to vote for  
someone with explicit revolutionary socialist politics, which is quite  

- Tony


Galloway records shock poll victory

May 6 2005

George Galloway has taken the safe seat of Bethnal Green and Bow from  
Labour in a shock election victory.

He polled over 15,000 votes in the supposedly safe Labour seat to  
defeat Labour's Oona King.

Mr Galloway, who based his campaign on opposition to the Gulf war,  
said: "This is for Iraq."

He told Tony Blair: "All the people you have killed, all the lies you  
have told have come back to haunt you and the best thing the Labour  
Party can do is sack you."

Mr Galloway, 50, overturned a 10,057 majority for Ms King at the last  

He polled 15,801 votes to Ms King's 14,978.

The defeat will send shockwaves through the Labour Party.

Ms King, 37, was one of Tony Blair's most loyal supporters and backed  
the war in Iraq.

The east London seat was one of 25 being contested by Mr Galloway's  
Respect party.

Supporters of the two main candidates fought a bitter campaign, which  
turned violent on occasion. In April, Mr Galloway claimed he was the  
victim of death threats by a gang of Islamic extremists as he canvassed  
in the constituency. Ms King had her car tyres slashed and was pelted  
with eggs and vegetables.


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