Labour Vote Split in Bradford

Former Respect leader Salma Yaqoob is running as an independent against Labour’s Naz Shah in Bradford West (majority 11,420). In one sense Yaqoob is fighting a straightforward grudge match against Shah, who ousted Yaqoob’s former colleague George Galloway in 2015 (though Yaqoob denies it’s all about just getting Galloway’s own back for him). Salma’s candidacy has turned Bradford into an interesting three-way race…

Last week independent Khadim Hussain withdrew his candidacy to endorse Yaqoob, which shows she is making deals on the ground, and it is certain she will split Shah’s vote to some degree. Guido now hears that some former Labour activists have been attracted away from Shah by Yaqoob, who has also been positioning herself as a Corbynista of sorts and – having shared many an anti-war platform – is well-connected to Corbyn himself, who was once rumoured to be lining her up for a Labour seat. Tory George Grant is likely to pick up the modest UKIP vote and would of course benefit from a nationwide swing to the Tories (before Galloway the Tories were the second party in the constituency). Salma will damage Naz, but by how much?


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