The crucial by-election taking place on July 1 was triggered following a decision from Labour MP Tracy Brabin to quit Westminster after her election as the first mayor of West Yorkshire earlier this month. Ms Brabin had been Labour’s MP in Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire – like Hartlepool another marginal Red Wall seat – since 2016. The seat had been represented by Jo Cox until she was shot and stabbed by a far-right extremist in June 2016.
Last month, Labour announced selected Kim Leadbeater, the sister of Jo Cox, as its candidate for the constituency’s by-election.
Labour and Sir Keir will be desperate for victory in the upcoming vote following a crushing defeat in the Hartlepool by-election, a seat it had held since 1974 when it was first introduced.
The Workers Party of Britain – headed by former Labour MP Mr Galloway – is contesting the Batley and Spen by-election for the crucial seat in the West Yorkshire constituency.
Speaking to Express.co.uk on the campaign trail, the veteran politician predicted a heavy defeat for Labour that will see them finish a “humiliating” third place finish behind the Tories and his own party.
Mr Galloway said: “Myself and the Workers Party of Britain will fight wherever we can on behalf of the ‘left behind’, the ‘taken for granted’ and this constituency fits that description perfectly.
“The people have been left behind and they have been taken for granted.
“Labour imagined they had this place in their pocket but they are about to find out that is far from true.”
He added: “Labour are in third place in this by-election, and possibly a humiliating third place.
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He warned whatever is remaining of Labour’s famous “Red Wall” will come crashing down and it will be “curtains for Keir”.
Mr Galloway said: “Labour won’t just lose this election – they will be third and if that doesn’t provoke a leadership crisis from within the Labour Party, then they must want to be doomed.
“It must be a political death wish.
“Keir Starmer is leading them from one disaster into another – Hartlepool, Batley and Spen, the Northern Local Government election results.
“Whatever is left of their Red Wall is set to be demolished here on Thursday.
“If Labour loses this by-election, it’s curtains for Keir.”
A Survation poll for The Daily Mail of 323 adults in the Batley and Spen constituency from June 9-17 (after “undecided” and “refused” removed) revealed Labour are on course to lose the crucial Red Wall seat.
The poll saw the Tories in the lead on 47 percent, up 11 percent from its general election vote share, with Labour back on 41 percent and Mr Galloway’s Workers’ Party of Britain on six percent.
But over recent days, the bookmakers have slashed the odds on Mr Galloway and his party succeeding.
The Tories are the heavy odds-on favourites at odds of 2/7 with William Hill, with Labour back on 7/2 and the Workers’ Party third on 10/1 – having been as high as 16/1 at rival bookmakers just days earlier.