George Galloway’s mass victory rally on Sunday brought out 2,000 people to Infirmary Fields in the centre of Bradford.
Crowds came from all over the city to celebrate.
There was a roar as Galloway appeared on top of the campaign’s open top bus.
Salma Yaqoob spoke, paying tribute to 28 year old campaigner Abu-bakr Rauf, who died suddenly during the campaign.
Galloway described the election result as a “political earthquake” that has “shaken the political system to its core”.
People were angry at how some of the media had covered the election result.
Reverend Chris Howson told Socialist Worker that he voted for Respect because, “Galloway opposed war, he opposed Trident, he is against tuition fees and is on the side of working people.
“Labour will find any reason to dismiss this vote. But they will have to learn lessons.”
Young people and first time voters were part of the key to Galloway’s success. Galloway won 85 percent of the votes in the university ward.
Ayesha was there with a group of teenage friends. “I want to go to uni this year but can’t afford it with tuition fees,” she said. “My family always voted Labour but nothing ever changed.”
Samaran Rathore is a bank worker. He told Socialist Worker, “Half my friends hadn’t voted before. This time everyone was calling each other up and saying ‘Have you voted yet?’”
Admin worker Julie was at the rally with her family. “People wanted a change,” she said. “I am now hoping Respect will sort Bradford council out.”
Galloway made it clear Respect is going to contest all the Bradford council seats up for election in May and is intending to stand candidates in other towns too.
“This election has demonstrated that the political class in Britain are the subject of absolute contempt,” he said.
“All the mainstream believe ordinary people should pay for an economic crisis while the rich and powerful won’t pay any price.
“All three think Britain has the right to go round the world invading other people’s countries and setting them on fire.
“All three believe that bankers should continue to pick up millions of pounds of bonuses. We say no way.”