Fears for Bradford Council leader Ian Greenwood with seat in balance (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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George Galloway's Respect party confident of taking 'at least four seats'
The Respect Party was confident of gaining four seats on Bradford Council in last night’s local elections.
And the Labour group were bracing themselves for a shock as early indications in the counting were that their leader Coun Ian Greenwood’s seat was too close to call.
A spokesman for George Galloway, who was boycotting the count due to his closest advisors not being allowed passes, said that he was still of the opinion that the party would take four seats at least, and possibly more.
He said: “I haven’t heard anything to dissuade me from my previous forecast that we would get at least four seats, and perhaps six to eight.”
Political leaders expressed disappointment at what was expected to be an incredibly low turnout as thousands of voters stayed away from the polls across Bradford district.
Initial indications showed a “incredibly low turnout”, down 15 per cent on the local Council elections in May last year, said Conservative leader Glen Miller (Worth Valley) .
The council elections are being held in their own right this year instead of the same time as the parliamentary election, leading to fears that voters might stay away.
Coun Miller said: “I am disappointed at the low turn out. I take my right to vote very seriously. As a former soldier, I think it is important that people gave their lives for us to live in a modern democracy.”
Green Party leader, Councillor Martin Love, who was campaigning to hold his seat in Shipley, said: “The canvassing has all been good and we have had some good responses on the doorstep. But that has got to translate into getting people out voting.”
Senior Labour party member, Doreen Lee, who was supporting fellow Keighley East candidate Malcolm Slater, said: “Most people in polling stations in Keighley have said it is a very low turn out.
“It is disappointing. I know people have apathy towards politicians but we are working very hard on their behalf. If they don’t come out and support us, we are doing it for nothing.”