George Galloway scored a dramatic victory in the Bradford West by-election, securing a 10,000-plus majority in what he called a "massive rejection" of mainstream parties.
He claimed the result represented a "Bradford spring".
"By the Grace of God we have won the most sensational victory in British political history," the maverick Respect candidate wrote on Twitter as votes were counted.
Respect swept from fifth place at the 2010 general election to a commanding victory for the ex-Labour anti-war campaigner against his former party on a swing of 36.59%.
It was "the most sensational result in British by-election history bar none", he said on stage after being declared the victor with well over half the total votes.
The reverse is a serious blow for Labour which entered polling day as overwhelming favourite to retain the seat at the end of a fraught week for the Government.
Instead, it became the first Opposition party to slump to defeat in a mid-term poll since the Liberal Democrats took Romsey from the Tories in 2000.
Party sources pointed to a massive slump in the Conservative vote as evidence of the Government's unpopularity. The Liberal Democrats lost their deposit.
Labour today pledged to learn from the stunning defeat.
Its press team tweeted: "Extraordinary result for Galloway.
"Disappointing we didn't get enough support across BW but we'll learn lessons & fight hard to win it back."
Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman admitted today: "It is a very bad result, there's no denying it."
For more: Source
Salma Yaqoob: "Respect's George Galloway is MP for #BradfordWest!! Most sensational result in by British by-election history. Thankyou Bradford!! "
George Galloway (Respect) 18,341 (55.89 per cent, +52.83 per cent)
- Imran Hussain (Lab) 8,201 (24.99 per cent, -20.36 per cent)
- Jackie Whiteley © 2,746 (8.37 per cent, -22.78 per cent)
- Jeanette Sunderland (LD) 1,505 (4.59 per cent, -7.08 per cent)
- Sonja McNally (UKIP) 1,085 (3.31 per cent, +1.31 per cent)
- Dawud Islam (Green) 481 (1.47 per cent, -0.85 per cent)
This post has been edited by The-Mughal-Sister: 30 March 2012 - 10:13 AM