LAB campaigners fear he could split their Gorton vote
The controversial ex-LAB and RESPECT MP, George Galloway has announced that he’s standing in the Manchester Gorton by-election. He’s no stranger to shock by-election victories as we saw five years ago in Bradford West.
On the face of it even in these troubled Labour times Gorton looked a pretty safe bet for a LAB hold. At GE2015 the party held the seat with a whopping 57% majority making it one of the safest seats for the party in the country.
But judging by the response to Galloway’s announcement from Lisa Nandy, who is running the party’s by elections campaign, there’s real concern that he could split the LAB vote which could help the LDs which upto GE2010 had been the main challengers there. Her comments on Labourlist suggest that there’ll be no-holds barred:
“Manchester Gorton deserves an MP who, like the late Gerald Kaufman, will work tirelessly for their constituents and is Manchester through and through.”
“They deserve better than a man who has described the sexual assault of women as ‘bad sexual etiquette’ and accused victims of domestic violence of lying for personal gain.”
“He has already been rejected by the people of Bradford and London, and I’m confident that residents in Manchester will send a clear message that Galloway’s divisive, destructive politics isn’t welcome here.”
A challenge for Galloway is that he was a very vocal advocate of LEAVE in the referendum and Gorton went REMAIN by 62-38% (See Prof Chris Hanratty’s estimates here) The LDs, who got their campaign going nearly a month ago are making BREXIT their key issue. A decade ago the yellows held all but 2 of Gorton’s council seats.
The betting has moved away from LAB. The party is now a 74% chance.