Galloway's "sensational" victory

George Galloway carried aloft by his supporters Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

George Galloway has scored a dramatic victory in the Bradford West by-election, securing a 10,000-plus majority in what he called a "massive rejection" of mainstream parties.

Respect swept from fifth place at the 2010 general election to a commanding victory for the ex-Labour anti-war campaigner against his former party on a swing of 36.59%.

It was "the most sensational result in British by-election history bar none", he said on stage after being declared the victor with well over half the total votes.

The reverse is a serious blow for Labour which entered polling day as overwhelming favourite to retain the seat at the end of a fraught week for the Government. Instead, it became the first Opposition party to slump to defeat in a mid-term poll since the Liberal Democrats took Romsey from the Tories in 2000.

As a jubilant George Galloway left the sports hall where the count was held, he was mobbed by his supporters and had to retreat back into the building.

As he left again he was hoisted onto the shoulders of supporters as people chanted "Respect", while others said: "We love you George."

Mr Galloway was carried around the side of the building as his supporters continued to chant and cheer.

Mr Galloway picked up 18,341 votes compared to 8,201 from his nearest-rival, Labour's Imran Hussain. That leaves the Respect party with a 10,140 majority. Turnout was just over 50% at 32,814

Labour's candidate Imran Hussain did not make a speech following the announcement of the results and was quick to leave the stage.

Labour Party candidate Imran Hussain stands on stage after losing the Bradford West by-election Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

The Liberal Democrats said they were "clearly disappointed" with the poor showing, but blamed the lost deposit on the unexpectedly high turnout.

Full result (with vote share and change since 2010 in brackets)

George Galloway (Respect) 18,341 (55.89%, +52.83%)

Imran Hussain (Labour) 8,201 (24.99%, -20.36%)

Jackie Whiteley (Conservative) 2,746 (8.37%, -22.78%)

Jeanette Sunderland (Liberal Democrat) 1,505 (4.59%, -7.08%)

Sonja McNally (UKIP) 1,085 (3.31%, +1.31%)

Dawud Islam (Green) 481 (1.47%, -0.85%)

Neil Craig (Democratic Nationalists) 344 (1.05%)

Howling Laud Hope (Monster Raving Loony Party) 111 (0.34%)