Despite odd’s on Respect being slashed yesterday, there’s one major reason why George Galloway’s party doesn’t stand a chance in tomorrow’s Rotherham by-election — and it isn’t because their campaign office was still locked at 9:30 this morning (above).

Some have correctly observed that George Galloway’s coup in Bradford marked “the beginning of the end of Labour’s ethnic minority bloc vote politics”. But there is one major barrier to the extension of the franchise forty miles down the M1: there is no such minority bloc in Rotherham.

Though it includes those not of voting age, census data for Bradford West clearly shows that the Muslim Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi population which formed the Respect/Galloway base dwarfed the 5,763 majority that Labour by-election campaigners inherited from Marsha Singh. In contrast, just 4,467 people of South Asian origin live in Rotherham according to the last available stats — much smaller than Denis MacShane’s 10,462 lead over the Conservatives.

Don’t believe the hype.

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