Respect provided the two most memorable moments of election night 2005.

The first occurred when George Galloway, leader of the new party, beat Labour's Oona King in Bethnal Green and Bow. It was a dirty fight and there were accusations that Galloway used the paternal prejudices of the local community to win his victory over King. Even if the claims had validity, it remained the case that Galloway's victory was an impressive achievement. It also marked the Iraq war's major electoral upset in the UK.

The second came when Galloway appeared before Jeremy Paxman live on the BBC's coverage that evening. Instead of greeting him with the traditional congratulations of having won his seat, Paxman asked how it felt to unseat "one of the few black women in parliament".

"They chose me. Can't you find it within yourself even to congratulate me?" Galloway shot back, before removing the microphone and walking away.

But the party's achievements were not just restricted to Bethnal Green and Bow. It came second in East Ham, West Ham and Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath, where Salma Yaqoob won 27.5% of the vote.

Later, the party would suffer from Galloway's profile. As the clear figurehead of the party, it found itself badly damaged by his appearance in Celebrity Big Brother, in which the MP donned a leotard and proved surprisingly talented at imitating a cat. Galloway will be contesting the nearby Poplar and Limehouse, which is a safe Labour seat - but then so was Bethnal Green and Bow.

In September 2007 the party entered into a period of bitter internal war, familiar to those who have studied far-left parties' history. On one side stood Galloway and his followers, with Socialist Workers party (SWP) members on the other. On November 17th, the party held two conferences. Galloway's side organised a Respect Renewal conference, while the national Respect conference took place. Neither recognised the other. The division has now been resolved - mostly - but there are concerns the scars may not have fully healed as the campaigns gets underway.

At the 2010 general election the party lost its only MP, George Galloway, who had opted to contest a different east London seat. Another candidate failed to hold his seat. In Birmingham Hall Green Salma Yaqoob came a close second to Labour's Roger Godsiff, turning this seat into a marginal which the party will seek to cultivate in 2015.

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