The live coverage of the Rochdale byelection reports that the Labour party has apologized to the residents of Rochdale following George Galloway’s win.

Estimated read time 17 min read

George Galloway is solely focused on provoking fear and promoting division.

“We cannot reword this statement. We apologize to the citizens of Rochdale for not having a suitable candidate in the byelection. Azhar Ali, who was chosen as the Labour candidate, was disavowed by the party after nominations had already closed. It was discovered that he had made derogatory comments about the Jewish community after the Hamas attack on Gaza. However, due to the timing of the situation, it was not possible to replace him on the ballot. We are deeply sorry for any offense this may have caused.”

We are very sorry that the Labour party was unable to have a candidate run in this byelection and we apologize to the residents of Rochdale. George Galloway’s victory was a direct result of Labour’s decision not to participate.

The citizens of Rochdale deserve the opportunity to elect an MP who will unite communities and serve the needs of the working class. George Galloway’s motives seem to revolve solely around inciting fear and dividing people. As a member of parliament, he would likely have a negative impact on our communities and public affairs.

The Labour party will promptly begin the procedure of choosing a new Labour nominee for the upcoming election. They will work diligently to provide the representation and new beginning that Rochdale rightly deserves.

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Following accusations of anti-Semitism, it was stated that Galloway’s victory would have a significant impact on those in positions of power. He believes that Galloway will utilize his voice in Parliament to advocate for the rights of the Palestinian people and to speak out against the oppressive government of Israel.

George Galloway is arguably the most skilled public speaker in the world.

He now holds a position in the main political arena in Westminster, where both the government and the main opposing party are enabling the ongoing genocide in Gaza. As a result, he will have the ability to speak honestly to those in positions of authority.

This outcome was observed not only in Rochdale, but also across the entire nation. It was even under scrutiny from people worldwide. The consequences of this outcome will reverberate throughout centers of authority, giving a significant boost to rebellious political parties, coalitions, and unaffiliated individuals who are seeking to offer a true alternative to the political elite that has ultimately disappointed.

At 6:33am, he stated that he had, though he emphasized that it was an unusual competition and Keir Starmed was still “well on track” to win a general election.

This contest was one-of-a-kind, as it involved a candidate with a remarkable talent for winning over the Muslim community in a town that has previously voted on local matters.

Unfortunately, this is yet another disappointing showing from the Conservative party. The party’s vote has decreased by 19 points, making it the largest decline for the Conservative party in a byelection held by Labour during this legislative session.

There is no indication present that the Conservative party’s electoral dismay is eased in any way by Sir Keir Starmer’s challenges.

Of course, Mr Galloway does have a track record of doing well in constituencies with large Muslim populations, particularly at a time when there is particular concern amongst that community about events in the Middle East. In 2005, when he won Bethnal Green, it was the Iraq war. Now, it’s Sir Keir Starmer’s relatively, I emphasise relatively, uncritical reaction to Gaza that Galloway was firing at.

To put it simply, Labour’s vote was expected to decrease due to their disavowal of their candidate. However, their vote experienced a significant decline. This decline is the largest decrease in Labour’s post-war by election support.

  • He stated that the outcome may cause concern among certain Labour Members of Parliament, and that Starmer may face pressure to alter his stance on Gaza. He elaborated:

This indicates that Labour Members of Parliament representing districts with significant Muslim communities have been informed that they might encounter candidates running on a pro-Palestinian agenda … therefore, they may hope that Sir Keir will adopt a stronger position on Israel to prevent this potential problem.

The Labour party is secure in Muslim constituencies due to their strong majority representation in these areas. While most Labour supporters do not align with either side in the Middle East conflict, those who do, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, tend to support the Palestinian side over the Israeli side. This poses a question for Sir Keir Starmer.

The constituency of Rochdale has a history of electing a representative who speaks out against the town. This used to be Cyril Smith, the former Liberal MP. However, he has since been disgraced. Currently, David Tully, an independent candidate, appears to be more successful in voicing the concerns of people in Rochdale. It’s not just Mr. Galloway who has defeated both Mr. Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer, but also Mr. Tully.


When asked about Labour’s preferred candidate, she replied that it is ultimately up to the voters in the constituency.

She stated that the party will choose a candidate for the upcoming election who is capable of uniting individuals. When asked if she was optimistic about Labour reclaiming the seat, she reassured that the party is not taking anything for granted.

Reeves was asked if she had a congratulatory message for George Galloway at the conclusion of the interview. Her response was, “Let’s end it there.”

During an appearance on the Today programme, Allen Brett, a previous Rochdale council leader for the Labour party, expressed doubt that the upcoming byelection would have significant implications on a national level. Brett declined to disclose his own vote, but stated that it was not for George Galloway. He also remarked that he believes Galloway’s motivations lie more with his personal interests rather than the betterment of Rochdale.

Brett said that he was impressed by the Dave Tully, the independent candidate who came second. “He’s a lovely fellow,” he said. He went on:

With the addition of some professional guidance initially, I believe he would have achieved even greater success. He was unaware that he could distribute leaflets to everyone through the mail.

He stated that if Labour had a suitable candidate, Galloway would not have emerged victorious. Additionally, he included,

I feel that the Labour party needs to reflect on why they failed in this election on a local level.

Nimo Omer has a good overview of the Rochdale byelection result in her First Edition briefing. Here is an extract.

When the results were announced, the atmosphere in the room was varied. There were numerous individuals supporting Galloway present, both inside and outside. Josh Halliday, the Guardian’s reporter for the north of England, describes the scene as dozens of people braving the freezing cold night in Rochdale and eagerly perfecting their chants – a small portrayal of the passion and energy of Galloway’s supporters.

During the campaign, there were clear indications of deep divisions among the people. Josh recounts overhearing disparaging remarks about Galloway, such as being labeled a “terrorist sympathizer” and belittling comments about the people of Rochdale.

Galloway clearly stated the significance of his win for the Labour party: a decrease in the upcoming general election. He aims to establish a movement in urban and suburban areas that resemble Rochdale: “I believe this triumph tonight will have a wide reach,” he asserted, noting that it “may mark the start of something fresh, something substantial”.

Despite the overwhelming victory on Galloway’s behalf, Josh emphasizes the importance of keeping things in perspective: “We should take this with a grain of salt. By-elections typically have lower turnout compared to general elections and Labour’s lack of effort in the final two and a half weeks of the campaign could have impacted the outcome.” According to Josh, if Labour were to run in a general election, the results would likely be much closer, but Galloway still has a chance of winning.

The complete article is available below.

Lewis Goodall, host of the News Agents podcast, has shared a insightful post on X discussing the impact of Galloway’s win in Rochdale. You can read the thread from the beginning here.

What is the significance of the Galloway win?

There is not much that can be applied from this special by-election to the upcoming general election. However, it could impact the current political climate and potentially provide insights into the future landscape of politics.

Here are a few of his key arguments.

More broadly, as Galloway’s election win will inspire and energise some on the left, it will incense the right. They will argue it proves some of their dark warnings about a rising radical Islamist party right. They’ll argue this is a portent of things to come.

Currently, this is primarily a distraction. In terms of elections, it will not have any significant impact. It is likely that Labour will regain the seat in the general election. Many of the party’s members strongly dislike Galloway. Starmer is likely hoping for a quick resolution to ease some of the political tension.

It is undeniable that Starmer and Labour have not been as successful in gaining support from Muslim voters compared to the Corbyn era. This was evident even before the Gaza situation, and it has only worsened since then. Currently, this is not a major issue for Labour as their overall lead in polls is quite substantial.

…but once the election is over and the challenging task of governing begins, it becomes evident when this situation can become problematic. The lead in polls disappears and there are now many seats in contention, such as Rochdale, where the Muslim vote may not be substantial but has the potential to be decisive.

The Tories meanwhile will at least be relieved that though their candidate performed abysmally Reform didn’t do much better. All eyes for them on Blackpool. But this is a story which is basically about Labour mismanagement. A complete car crash.

Momentum, the progressive faction within the Labour party, has characterized the loss in Rochdale as a result of their own mistakes. According to a party representative:

Labour suffered an unnecessary and self-inflicted defeat.

Initially, Starmer’s divisive methods of choosing candidates led to the selection of an individual who was clearly not suitable for the position. Subsequently, the Labour Leadership attempted to justify their choice by portraying him as a member of their own party. Ultimately, Starmer’s lack of support for Gaza when they needed it most allowed for George Galloway to step into the picture.

To prevent further negative recurrences, Starmer should put an end to the divisive mistreatment of Labour’s selection procedures and advocate for a prompt and lasting ceasefire in Gaza.

Nicholas Watt from Newsnight spoke with George Galloway as he was departing from the vote tally. Galloway informed him:

If you think Keir Starmer truly wants to put an end to the violence in Gaza, I have a bridge in London that I could sell you.

The Labour Party accuses George Galloway of deliberately inciting fear and creating division.

The party expressed regret in regards to the byelection outcome and apologized to the residents of Rochdale for not having a suitable candidate. Azhar Ali, the selected Labour candidate, was disavowed by the party after nominations closed due to his past antisemitic remarks following the Hamas attack on Gaza. Despite this, it was not possible to alter the nominations and he remained listed as a Labour candidate on the ballot paper. A spokesperson for the Labour party stated:

We are very sorry that the Labour party was unable to have a candidate in this byelection and we apologize to the residents of Rochdale. George Galloway’s victory was solely a result of Labour’s absence.

Rochdale deserved the chance to vote for an MP that would bring communities together and deliver for working people. George Galloway is only interested in stoking fear and division. As an MP he will be a damaging force in our communities and public life.

The Labour party will promptly commence the procedure of choosing a new candidate for the upcoming election, and will vigorously campaign to provide the representation and new beginning that Rochdale deserves.

At 5:39am, Galloway alleged that Tice had attempted to persuade him to become a candidate.

Mr Tice and Mr Farage appear to have lost their footing. I would like to remind Mr Tice that I have a text message from him on my phone, inviting me to be the candidate for Reform UK in a recent by-election.

I would rather not make it public, but if he continues spreading falsehoods about me, I may have to reveal the truth about him.

Asked whether his supporters had engaged in bad behaviour, Galloway said:

There have been no arrests or interrogations of our supporters by the police. Please verify with the authorities.

Helen Pidd and Ben Quinn present a profile of George Galloway.

Hello, I am Andrew Sparrow, taking over for Jonathan Yerushalmy.

This is additional information from George Galloway’s triumph speech during the vote tally.

This message is directed towards Keir Starmer and concerns the situation in Gaza. Your actions of enabling, encouraging, and covering for the current catastrophe in occupied Palestine will result in consequences.

Town councillors of Rochdale, I hereby notify you that I intend to form a strong alliance…

During this moment, a person in the audience interrupted Galloway and accused him of denying climate change. Galloway’s supporters then started chanting his name, drowning out the heckler. He continued speaking.

The officials must depart.

I would like to inform Mr. Starmer that a significant change has occurred tonight. This will likely ignite a movement and cause a significant shift in political power in many parliamentary districts.

Beginning here in the north west, in the West Midlands, in London, from Ilford to Bethnal Green and Bow, Labour is on notice that they have lost the confidence of millions of their voters who loyally and traditionally voted for them, generation after generation …

I have heard some of the stories being shared about tonight’s election outcome. It is indeed accurate that every Muslim is deeply enraged by Keir Starmer and the choices made by the Labour party.

It would be unwise to not recognize the fact that many other people in our country hold the same views.

There are two individuals named Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak who have suffered defeat together tonight and are seen as similar in their beliefs.

In conclusion, Galloway closed his speech with the words: “May God bless you, Rochdale, and Gaza.”

The blog’s comments section will become available at a later time.

Tony Lloyd, who died on 17 January from leukaemia. But its campaign was thrown into disarray when it emerged its candidate, Azhar Ali, had repeated anti-Israel conspiracy theories about the 7 October attack by Hamas.

The Labour party was eventually compelled to distance itself from Ali and withdrew their campaign just one week into the competition. Despite Ali’s name remaining on the ballot, it was too late to choose a new candidate, prompting Labour to halt all election activities in the town almost three weeks ago.

Galloway, in contrast, was energized. The politician wearing a fedora went around Rochdale using a megaphone, describing the byelection as a “referendum on Gaza” and an opportunity to demonstrate against Labour.

With support from volunteers across the nation, his team successfully gained the votes of a sizable portion of the Muslim community, which accounts for approximately 30% of the town’s residents. Many of these voters were unhappy with Labour’s stance on Gaza.

Galloway, a former member of the Labour party, has won against his previous party in three elections and will now be returning to parliament to represent a fourth constituency after 37 years.

According to a source from Reform UK, the party did not meet expectations due to logistical issues. The byelection in Rochdale was the third one they participated in within a three-week period, and they had been prioritizing their party conference in Doncaster last weekend.

Reform leader Richard Tice, while addressing the election count, declared that the voting process in Rochdale was not conducted fairly and without restrictions.

The events that transpired here were greatly troubling. Our nominee and campaign staff have experienced death threats, hateful racism, and exclusion from participating in debates at local government structures, resulting in their relocation for their own protection.

As a democratic country, we should be setting an example, but this disgraceful competition is more reflective of a failed nation.”

Earlier this week, a 23-year-old male was taken into custody for allegedly sending a threat of harm to the Reform party nominee, Simon Danczuk. As a precautionary measure, Danczuk employed security personnel for the last two days of his campaigning.

George Galloway’s team asserted at the start of the night that the ex-Labour and Respect MP would emerge victorious with ease, and their prediction was accurate.

Galloway achieved a surprising victory with a total of 12,335 votes, representing 39.7% of the overall votes. This was a much larger margin than anticipated, granting him a majority of 5,697 votes.

David Tully, a self-employed candidate from the area, came in second place as a surprise with over 6,600 votes.

These are all the results provided by PA Media. They record it as a victory for the Workers Party of Britain (WPB), led by Galloway, over Labour.


The WPB’s profit from assembling items in the laboratory.

George Galloway (WPB) 12,335 (39.65%)

David Tully (Ind) 6,638 (21.34%)

Paul Ellison holds 3,731 shares, which make up 11.99% of the total shares, with a decrease of 19.21%.

Azhar Ali (Lab) 2,402 (7.72%, -43.86%)

Iain Donaldson (LD) 2,164 (6.96%, -0.02%)

Simon Danczuk (Reform) 1,968 (6.33%)

William Howarth (Ind) 523 (1.68%)

Mark Coleman (ND) 455 (1.46%)

The person with the name Guy Otten, who has the Green flag, has a total of 436 comments and notifications, which translates to a change of 1.40% and -0.68%.

Michael Howarth (Ind) 246 (0.79%)

Ravin Rodent Subortna (Loony) 209 (0.67%)

WPB maj 5,697 (18.31%)

Electorate 82,615; Turnout 31,107 (37.65%, -22.48%)

In 2019, there were 9,668 total votes in favor of Lab, accounting for 20.38% of the overall vote. The total turnout for the election was 47,447, representing 60.13% of eligible voters.
5,202 (

Lloyd from the Labour party received 24,475 votes, making up 51.58% of the total votes. Shah from the Conservative party received 14,807 votes, which accounted for 31.21% of the total. Green from the Brexit party received 5,202 votes, and their percentage is not provided.

In the given data, there were 3,867 notifications, making up 8.15% of the total. Kelly (LD) had 3,312 notifications, accounting for 6.98% of the total. Croke (Green) had 986 notifications, making up 2.08%.

George Galloway emerged as the victorious candidate in the Rochdale byelection by urging voters to make a powerful statement against the Gaza conflict with their ballots.

After his victory was declared at about 01:45am, Galloway spoke to the assembled crowd at the count. He said:

I am addressing Keir Starmer regarding his involvement in the crisis happening in Gaza. He will face consequences for supporting and allowing the devastation in occupied Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip.

During his speech, Galloway was interrupted by a woman who accused him of being a denier of climate change. However, her shouts were quickly silenced by a chorus of “Gall-o-way! Gall-o-way!”

Galloway continued:

I would like to emphasize to Mr. Starmer that there has been a major shift in the political landscape tonight. This will likely ignite a wave of political change, resulting in significant shifts in many parliamentary districts.

The political party Labour, who had previously rejected their candidate Azhar Ali for making incendiary remarks about Israel, placed fourth in the election with 7.7% of the total votes. Despite Ali’s name still being on the ballot, as it was too late to replace him, Labour ceased all campaigning in the town almost three weeks prior.

Our article by Josh Halliday and Aneesa Ahmed covers the triumph of Galloway.


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