Until the Bradford West byelection the Respect Party was at a pretty low ebb. They never had many local councillors – perhaps about 20 out of 20,000. Now they only have a couple.
The Respect Party has been hit by splits and defections, with the Socialist Workers Party faction breaking away.
In Tower Hamlets the Respect Party lost ground at the last council elections and they now have just two councillors. They used to have a dozen. In Birmingham they have none – they used to have three. Similarly in Newham they used to three but no longer have any.
Will the victory of George Galloway cause his party to revive? Perhaps they will get a few councillors in Bradford but I doubt they will take off nationally. Galloway is a highly effective charismatic politician – with the most appalling views. His victory more a personal one, as if he was standing as an independent, rather than one for his party.
When Galloway stood for the London Assembly as head of his Party list in 2008 his Party only got 2.48%. At the time Galloway made clear his support for Ken Livingstone. At the same time Livingstone, instead of giving clear advice to vote Labour, came close to reciprocating – saying that Galloway election would be welcome in preference to the "nonentities."
In the election for Mayor of London and the London Assembly this time round Respect are not putting up candidates.