Rochdale By-Election Odds Tip George Galloway Following Labour Storm

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Rochdale By-Election Odds Tip George Galloway Following Labour Storm
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Betting sites think George Galloway will win the Rochdale by-election this February after Labour withdrew their support for their candidate Azhar Ali.

Labour were on course to win the election and retain the seat vacated by the death of MP Sir Tony Lloyd. 

Sir Keir Starmer’s party recently claimed huge swings against the Tories to take Wellingborough and Kingswood constituencies.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are totally out of the race to win Rochdale, meaning Labour were the shoo-in for the seat.

Indeed, some political betting sites had Labour as short as 1/4 to claim what would have been a 10th by-election victory since Rishi Sunak became prime minister in autumn 2022.

But Labour have got themselves into a complete pickle after Mr Ali claimed Israel allowed Hamas' attacks last October as a pretext to invade Gaza.

Rochdale By-Election Odds

PartyOddsBookmaker
Workers Party of Britain4/6Betfred
Labour13/10Betfred
Liberal Democrats25/1Betfred
Reform UK33/1Betfred
Conservatives66/1Betfred
Green Party250/1Betfred

Rochdale By-Election Odds

Labour initially stood by their candidate before then suspending Mr Ali. However, the suspension came too late to strike him from the ballot.

It means Mr Ali will run under a Labour badge but will sit as an independent in Westminster if he wins the by-election.

The storm has once again exposed Labour’s difficult relationship with anti-Semitism – an issue Starmer made central to his leadership campaign when running to take over the party from Jeremy Corbyn.

Bookmakers who previously had Mr Ali as the odds-on favourite now reckon Mr Galloway will win at odds of 4/6

He is running under the Workers Party of Britain banner and is campaigning heavily on the Palestinian cause and Gaza. Rochdale has a large Muslim community.

“The bookies are not usually wrong,” Galloway said while on the campaign trail. “But we are not taking anything for granted. Confident but not complacent.”

Mr Galloway’s odds suggest a 60% chance he wins the Rochdale by-election. Mr Ali, by contrast, is priced at 13/10 (43.5%).

Who Will Win The Rochdale By-Election?

The bookmakers rarely flip their odds on this scale so soon before an election. The Rochdale vote is set for 29 February and Mr Galloway was way out at 7/2 on new betting sites when the campaigning began.

He has, though, always been ahead of the Lib Dems and the Tories. Rochdale has been a Labour seat since 2010 and bucked the trend of other northern constituencies in not swinging Conservative at recent elections.

In 2019 Mr Lloyd defended his seat with a 24,000 majority.

Mr Ali effectively had an open goal here. The bookies gave him an 80% chance of winning. 

However, Labour are learning what happens when they lead so heavily in the polls. Their candidates are in the spotlight unlike anything they’ve experienced since the late 2000s.

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There are accusations the party is becoming complacent ahead of a general election that should produce a 1997-style victory for Sir Keir. 

The leader evidently has more to do to eradicate anti-Semitism from his party.

Labour need to be squeaky clean to win the next election and that means ditching the likes of Mr Ali when they reveal their true selves. 

But they got themselves in a bind by not immediately withdrawing support for their candidate.

All this and Mr Galloway suddenly has an open path back into Westminster. 

He is a controversial figure but voters still seem prepared to back him. He also doesn’t have much of a party line to toe.

No wonder, then, that bettors are backing Mr Galloway too. His price has crashed partly because 47% of all wagers in the Rochdale by-election odds are now backing the Workers Party of Britain candidate.

Mr Ali’s share is down to 30%, while just 2% of bets are backing the Conservative candidate Paul Ellison, who is 66/1 with betting apps.

Rochdale is now Mr Galloway’s election to lose. Labour, even if Mr Ali wins, have already lost.

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