UK: George Galloway Wins Rochdale By-Election

    UK: George Galloway Wins Rochdale By-Election
    Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Former Labour MP George Galloway has won the UK's Rochdale by-election — debates around which were dominated by events in Gaza — by a resounding margin with nearly 40% of the vote, securing nearly 6K more ballots than any other candidate.

    • Galloway — first elected as an MP for Glasgow Hillsdale in 1987, a seat he held until 2005 — was expelled from the Labour Party in 2003 over his opposition to the war in Iraq. He served as a non-Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow from 2005 to 2010 and Bradford West from 2012 to 2015.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Galloway's landslide victory in Rochdale shows just how much British voters are turning away from the two main parties following their failure to hold Israel to account for its action in Gaza. This victory will spark a wider movement in the UK and truly shake up establishment complacency, especially in international policy.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Galloway is a controversial figure who stokes fear and division wherever he goes. He typically runs in predominantly Muslim areas, winning those seats by stoking anti-Israel hatred. This is a worrying turn of events for British politics, but one by-election result under exceptional circumstances is unlikely to indicate a broader rejection of the two-party system at the next general election.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 37% chance that the UK will have a Conservative Prime Minister on Jan. 1, 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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