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The Tories shouldn’t gloat about Galloway’s victory

30 March 2012

An unedifying week in politics keeps on getting worse. The Tories have
this morning sent out a press release headlined ‘Warsi: If Labour can’t win in Bradford, how can they win a general election?’ The full quotation follows further on:

‘If Labour can’t win one of their safe seats in these tough economic times and in a tough week for the Government, how can they win anywhere?

Not in half a century has an opposition come back from such an appalling result to win a majority at the next general election.
This tells you everything you need to know about Ed Miliband’s weak leadership.’

It’s characteristic of much of the Tory reaction to George Galloway’s victory in Bradford West. Almost every blue-rosetted person that I’ve spoken to this morning has expressed a weird
sort of delight at the result. For them, it’s purely good news that Miliband has been foiled at the ballot box — and even better that it relieves some of the pressure on the government.

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Perhaps we should be used to the complacencies of politics, but that doesn’t make them forgivable. What Warsi’s statement neglects to mention is that the Tories lost almost 10,000 votes from their
general election total. Their share went down from 31.1 per cent to 8.4 per cent, pushing them down into third place in the process. This was hardly a result that should have the chairman crowing
about majorities at the next general election. Neither was the last general election, come to think of it.

The Tories will no doubt point to various mitigating factors: that they haven’t won in Bradford West since 1970, and had little chance now; that some Tory voters might have voted tactically for
Galloway; that they are in a government implementing spending cuts and tax hikes, and so on. But none of that helps the party deal with their persistent inability to gain seats in the North. Neil
O’Brien has some ideas in today’s Telegraph for how
that might be rectified. Warsi would do better to read his article than gloat about another resounding rejection of the Tories in Bradford.

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Show comments
  • daniel maris

    Tom Tom’s right. It was a Tory policy. One also pursued by Enoch Powell in his time as Health Minister in relation to the West Indies. Capitalists soon got a taste for importing cheap labour and Labour soon got a taste for the votes it brought.

  • Dennis Churchill

    If the class voting patterns start to breakdown then the Conservative may find it less amusing when UKIP take its first seat from them or more likely divide the vote so that another party takes a previously safe seat.
    Labour losing Muslim supporters to Islamist parties and white manual working class support to the BNP while the Conservatives lose their supporters to UKIP should concern a political class that are virtually unemployable outside politics.

  • Noa.


    Whatever one considers the National Front to be, and Peter has clarified his original post, it was never immigrant or anti-British.

  • Noa.


    One good assertion deserves another and your own detailed researches will only increase the curve on the Gloating graph when you prove me wrong.

  • TomTom

    “The Asians of Bradford and elsewhere started arriving during the time of Harold Wilson”

    Actually in 1950s when the Conservatives stopped Women working night shifts in the mills and they needed Men who would work for women’s wages is when the Kashmiris were recruited after the building of the Mangla Dam in Kashmir

  • AAE

    Has anyone asked the Returning Officer whether he is completely sure that no electoral fraud has taken place? Or have any of the losing candidates and their agents heard anything on the streets?

  • Holly ……

    Look matey,
    we have had to listen to you lot in the media and the two Ed’s,for days, nay weeks,nay months, telling us how only THEY know how to implement austerity measures,educate,fight crime, create growth, blah, blah, blah.
    How Labour are so far ahead in the polls.Tee hee
    Well if we want to gloat we will.

  • TomTom

    “It is extreme because Bradford is a place where a ‘minority’ in national terms is a majority locally.”

    You are potty. Muslims are 20% population of Bradford and are NOT a uniform voting bloc. You can appeal to them on Education, Crime, Cost of Living, but not on Gay Marriage

  • Fergus Pickering


    Come sir, bald assertion is not enough. Give us the numbers. I say Labour imported black and brown voters whom they thought would do their bidding, which seems to have been very foolish of them. I gloat. Hear me.

  • Dimoto

    Maggie –

    Well said, spot on.

    Comical to see Nick Robinson scuttling about trying (as usual) to catch up with events.
    What are these political pundits for ?
    Perpetually obsessed with the trivial, always missing the story.

  • Guru McKenzie

    So Warsi’s analysis is;

    – we may be dreadful but we’re not quite as dreadful as the other lot !!

    How depressing

  • Maggie

    The Asians of Bradford and elsewhere started arriving during the time of Harold Wilson. His party donors like Lord Kagan wanted to undercut union rates in their factories and so imported Asians to work for them.

  • Maggie

    ollie, Another reason the Tories will never get ‘popular support’ in the North is that nearly all the children of the middle classes, who would have been natural Tory voters like their parents, left home and moved south in the 60s.

  • David Lindsay

    The complete collapse of the Liberal Democrats was entirely predictable and universally predicted, but it is no less significant for that.

    Although a tiny local Far Right faction put up a candidate, it is telling both that he received a derisory vote on such a high turnout by by-election standards, and that he was not a member of the BNP. The BNP’s Strasbourg seat in Yorkshire is clearly doomed, and with it doubtless also the one in the North West, also based heavily in the ex-industrial Pennines.

    It is necessary to note UKIP’s persistent inability to return anyone to Westminster even now that the Greens have managed it and Respect has managed it twice. That, moreover, is before the UKIP Leadership passes to Neil Hamilton.

    However, the biggest story of all here is the catastrophe for the Conservative Party, which, if it is ever again to form a majority government, desperately needs to win seats in Yorkshire (as well as Wales, the North West, and Scotland and the North East on a really good day), and this one was not without its leafy suburbs.

    But then, it is the Conservative Party that really is the fully functioning British political vehicle of the Far Left, of Islamism, and of South Asian communalism.

  • Noa.


    Good day sir, or perhaps As-Salam Alaikum.

    “Labour imported all the muslims to vote for them, this is very delightful for Tories like myself”

    Not quite,
    Successive Tory and Labour governments have facilitated the migration of the sub-continental immigration since the ’60’s. Blaming it all on New Labour is a simplistic but politically convenient historical distortion.

  • rosie

    Why do you think the National Front wasn’t socialist and working class?

    It was: it wanted the banks nationalised and a whole lot else. Not unlike the old South African Communist Party with its slogan: “Workers of the World Unite and Fight for a White south Africa”

  • Malfleur

    The political class as a whole and the three main political parties in particular have sown the seeds of civil war in the country.

    In criminal law, persons are considered to be responsible for consequences of their actions which could be foreseen by a reasonable man.

    The consequences of creating a muslim population in Bradford which accounts for 40% and rising of the total should have been foreseen and the political class should be held to account accordingly.

  • JohnPage

    she gets warsi and warsi

  • Peter From Maidstone

    Hi Noa, I mean that the result is a victory for a racist party that wishes to see the elimination of the English people and their substitution by members of any other race. George Galloway is the modern day equivalent of Quisling and Lord Haw Haw. If a National Front representative had won then all of the media would be filled with squeals of anguish, but an equally racist extremist left-winger is amusing.

  • Bert

    What happened ‘half a century ago’?

  • Fergus Pickering

    Galloway won with the muslim vote. Since Labour imported all the muslims to vote for them, this is very delightful for Tories like myself. And george is not a vile demagogue. He is a nice demagogue.

  • Salisbury

    Warsi cannot win. If her reaction to the Bradford West result had been to dwell upon the collapse in the Conservative vote she would have been slated by party activists for missing the obvious put-the boot-in line against Labour. She did what anyone else in her position would have done.

    There’s a case for saying that, behind the scenes, the Conservatives should take a hard look at how to improve their showing in the north. Personally, however, I think that misses a much more glaring weakness, which is Scotland. As Neil O’Brien’s analysis shows, the Conservatives hold nearly three-quarters of rural seats in the north and midlands and even nearly one in five of those he classifies as urban. Maybe this is not as strong as in the south, but it is much better than in Scotland where the party has just one seat. Yet there must be 20 or more rural or prosperous suburban seats in Scotland that, if they were in England, would have comfortable Conservative majorities. These strike me as much more winnable than northern inner city seats.

    In 1979 Mrs Thatcher won 22 seats in Scotland – which exactly accounted for her overall majority of 43. It will be difficult enough for the Tories to win an overall majority at the next election in any case; if they write Scotland off, then the task approaches impossibility.

  • frosty the polar bear

    As a mere bear,
    unpleasant as it might be, i wonder if asking moslems to vote for a party, lead by a jew, what with all the problems in the world, caused by the friction between these religions, might be a tough, if not impossible, ask.
    If this is a factor, labour could be in serious difficulty.
    Some must be asking just who labour now represent?
    Many moslems, don’t think they represent them, ditto many white, working class voters, so apart from the trades unions, and benefit recipients, who do they represent nowadays?
    Toodle pip.

  • Ralph

    Warsi is providing a line for the media, nothing more.

    If Respect manage to Balkanise the left up north then the Tories may have good reason to gloat, but this is probably a one off.

  • Mike

    The Tories need to be more friendly to the North and issues that affect the North. Telling public sector workers that they are going to be paid less because they live and work in the North has not been a vote winner.

  • Noa.

    “It is no different to the old National Front winning”.

    Surely you mean the Socialist Workers?

  • Noa.

    If “the Tories are trying to remove that State ladle…”, why is Government spending increasing year on year?
    Or do you just wish to see more spent in the south?

  • Peter From Maidstone

    This is a victory for an extremist left-wing immigrant anti-british party and should be condemned as such. It is no different to the old National Front winning .

  • Noa.

    Only British politicians could be stupid enough to outsource themselves.

    Ethnic minorities are growing at 15 times the rate of the indigenous population (ONS).

  • ollie

    The Tories will never get popular support in the North, and it’s fairly obvious why. The North relies on a big State ladle to feed them, and the Tories are trying to remove that State ladle. Labour are welcome to the North – they deserve each other.

  • MajorFrustration

    Anybody that thinks that Frankie Maude is a “shoe-in” at the next election should think again.

  • Maggie

    Its unrealistic to imagine that the Tories, who have been subjected all week to exaggerated accusations and overblown schoolboy taunts from BBC/Labour, shouldn’t enjoy Labour’s brief humiliation.
    The Tories’ pathetic tormentors are frantically washing their hands of involvement in the pasty/petrol campaign in preparation for a new offensive to persuade the nation that Francis Maude is personally responsble for some idiot woman burning herself. The Bradford by-election will be consigned to oblivian by lunchtime.

  • Gawain

    The Liberals seem to be very quiet at the moment. I imagine that they’re just gloating in silence.

  • MikeF

    This result is an extreme example of what happens when politics stop being about general principles and becomes based around ethno-factional interest groups. It is extreme because Bradford is a place where a ‘minority’ in national terms is a majority locally. But if an Islamist-hard left coalition began to eat away at the Labour vote in lots of other constituencies with substantial Asian Muslim voters then that might start to split the Labour vote enough to cause all sorts of consequences – maybe even some Conservative gains, at least in the short-term. What would really destroy Labour would actually be the emergence of a Catholic confessional party in its Scottish heartlands. But Catholics would never ally themselves with the neo-Communist hard left in the opportunistic way the Islamists have.

  • rosie

    No, of course they shouldn’t gloat. They should make the most of the collapsing Labour future – in the Northern towns and cities, in Scotland, in Wales, in
    Moslem England, and get their act together. They should see off UKIP and the Liberals, and become the natural governing party of England once again. I see no reason why a combination of Mr Cameron and Lady Warsi shoudln’t do that – unless of course you are an inverted snob or a snob.

  • Chris lancashire

    After the pastys and the petrol you would think they would have learnt to just keep quiet for a while.

  • tom jones

    I agree that the result was terrible for us, but I’m glad that Labour got a kicking and I’m not surprised Warsi and others are trying to pin this on him. It seems to me that there’s always a narrative in the media and the last week or so it’s all been about government being stupid/messing up. Hopefully the focus will now shift back to Milliband’s woeful leadership and we can get back on the front foot again.

  • mark c

    rather than listen to westminster driven waffle how about some hard numbers pls ?? …detail in turnout and demographics versus polling and expectations, seems to me that Galloway found a way of giving voice to a range of pent up frustrations from a previously largely ignored group of voters. Letting that particular genie out of the bottle will only ends in tears, in more ways than we realise just yet

  • Sally Chatterjee

    Instead of worrying about a failure to convince voters or a vile demagogue entering parliament, they express Schadenfreude at Labour’s misfortune. I’m horrified by this petty display.

    Politics is not a board game where you accumulate red or blue chips.

  • Tiberius

    After MiliEd’s performances in his post-budget speech and over petrolgate, I don’t think the Tories can afford politically to miss the opportunity to get back “in his face”.

  • TomTom

    Sayeeda kicks off campaign in Bradford West March 12 and she only lost 10,000 votes. She is clearly a hit with students and others in Bradford West. Should be good for 3rd May and the Elected Mayor.

    Good to see Sunny Sayeeda can put a gloss on her own failings

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