George Galloway’s Potential Mayoral Bid Poses Peril to Labour’s Hold on London
The political landscape of London is bracing for an upheaval as George Galloway, the formidable former MP, hints at a mayoral bid that could dismantle Labour’s dominance. In a candid revelation to the Sunday Times, Galloway disclosed his contemplation of contesting next year’s election, a strategic move to undermine Keir Starmer’s leadership.
“My context would be against Starmer. Khan is a miserable cypher for Starmer,” Galloway declared, unabashedly targeting the Labour leader through his critique of Sadiq Khan, the current mayor. Galloway’s history of unsettling Labour is well-documented, with notable victories in Bethnal Green and Bow (2005) and Bradford West (2012), both for the Respect party.
His electoral prowess, particularly among Muslim communities, is renowned. Galloway’s adeptness at harnessing sentiments, as seen with the anti-Iraq war stance, may once again be mobilised, this time leveraging Labour’s divisive stance on Palestine. Under the new First Past the Post voting system, even a modest backing for Galloway could thwart Khan’s re-election prospects, given his slender lead over Conservative Susan Hall.
“If George Galloway runs, that is a serious threat to Sadiq Khan’s candidacy for mayor of London,” articulated James Johnson, a former Downing Street pollster. Johnson elucidates the precarious nature of Khan’s position, with his support concentrated in inner London and among non-white communities—demographics vulnerable to Galloway’s influence.
This electoral dynamic portends a Conservative triumph in London, an anomaly against the backdrop of Labour’s national ascendancy. Johnson further elucidated that under the erstwhile voting system, Galloway’s candidacy would be less consequential, as his supporters’ secondary preferences would likely have favored Khan.
Recent polls accentuate the tight race, with Khan narrowly outstripping his Tory rival, Susan Hall. In this volatile political theatre, Galloway’s decision to contest could be the deciding factor, potentially propelling the Conservatives to an unprecedented victory in the capital. Story Source