Shock result: Galloway win triggers huge losses for bookies

Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said that Galloway's supporters "have pulled off a political gamble of epic proportions."
Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said that Galloway's supporters "have pulled off a political gamble of epic proportions."

By Oliver Hotham

Some punters who bet on a Galloway victory in Bradford last night walked away with up to £100,000, bookies Ladbrokes confirmed this morning.

George Galloway's surprise victory as a member of the left-wing Respect party triggered the biggest by-election pay out for betters in British political history.

Bookies had initially set the odds of Galloway winning at 33/1, contrasting with the Labour candidate, who was the firm favourite to win at 1/50.


Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said that Galloway's supporters "have pulled off a political gamble of epic proportions."

He continued: "We naively assumed the money at big prices was an attempt to slash the odds for the campaign. We couldn't have been more wrong."

Bradford West was considered a safe seat, and there was no expectation that Labour would lose after its high poll numbers this week.

This is not the first time George Galloway has pulled off a victory in a safe seat, having defeated Oona King in Bethnal Green and Bow in 2005.

Ladbrokes said it is now placing bets on Galloway's future behaviour, including a 25/1 bet that he will do his now infamous cat impression from Celebrity Big Brother in the House of Commons. 

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