UK Politics

Rochdale By-Election: Galloway's party favourites after Labour disown candidate

  • Max Liu
  • 3:00 min read
Labour leader Keir Starmer
Keir Starmer's Labour have withdrawn support for their candidate in the Rochdale by-election

George Galloway's Workers Party of Britain are the favourites to win the by-election after Labour withdrew it's support for its candidate Azhar Ali over his comments about the 7 October attacks on Israel...

  • Galloway's Workers Party of Britain favs to win by-election

  • Labour withdraw support for candidate over remarks

  • Starmer plunged into crisis as Labour set to lose seat


George Galloway's Workers of Britain Party are the odds-on favourites on the Betfair Exchange to win the Rochdale by-election after Labour withdrew support for their candidate.

Labour were heavy odds-on last week before remarket their candidate Azhar Ali made about the October 7 attacks on Israel were published.

Ali apologised but Labour are out to 2.47/5 to win the by-election on 29 February after more the Daily Mail told the party it had unearthed more controversial statements by their candidate.

Labour responded by withdrawing their support for Ali. They cannot replace him with another candidate, as the deadline for registrations has passed, and he will be on the ballot for Labour, without the party's blessing.

Galloway odds-on to win Rochdale by-election

If he wins then Labour will immediately withdraw the whip and Ali will sit as an independent MP in the House of Commons.

According to the Betfair Exchange odds it will not come to that as the Workers Party of Britain, for which the veteran disruptor and former-Labour MP George Galloway is standing in Rochdale, are 1.84/5 favourites to win.

The Conservatives will be delighted with the situation, as it puts the scourge of antisemtism in Labour back in the news in this general election year, but they are not contenders to win the by-election at 100.0099/1.

Reform UK's Danczuk shortens on Betfair

There have been reports today, however, that Labour's problems may improve the chances of Reform UK's Simon Danczuk winning the by-election.

He has shortened to 38.037/1 on the Exchange and, while that is a big price, the Reform UK candidate could have the best chance of beating Galloway come election day in just over a fortnight.

What do Galloway and Danczuk have in common? They are both former-Labour MPs who left the party and have been embroiled in controversies, albeit of different kinds.

That means that in Rochdale two former Labour MPs are going up against a Labour candidate who has been disowned by the party. What did Rochdale do to deserve this?

Starmer may ask himself the same question as he and his team try to manage the fall out from the last few days. Labour remain odds-on to win this Thursday's by-elections in the Tory-held seats of Wellingborough and Kingswood but at the moment everyone is talking about Rochdale.

Were the Conservatives to perform better than expected in those by-elections, it is worth asking if Rishi Sunak could be tempted to bring forward this year's general election to May.

October - December is 1.321/3 on the Exchange as the period this year when Britain will go to the polls. That makes sense as Sunak and his colleagues have hinted that we are in for an autumn election. Events are moving quickly, however, so keep an eye on April - June 7.26/1.


Now read Wellingborough by-election betting advice and analysis


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