South Shields by-election: Labour wins as UKIP makes big gains


Labour's Emma Lewell-Buck: "I am absolutely ecstatic"

Labour has won the South Shields parliamentary by-election, retaining a seat it has held since 1935.

It saw its majority reduced in Thursday's poll as the UK Independence Party finished a clear second, with a 24% share of the total vote.

The Conservatives were pushed into third while their Liberal Democrat coalition partners finished seventh.

Labour candidate Emma Lewell-Buck said she was "absolutely ecstatic" about her by-election victory.

The South Shields contest was triggered by the resignation of former Labour Foreign Secretary David Miliband as an MP.

UKIP also made significant gains in county council elections in England.

'Here to stay'

Ms Lewell-Buck argued that the result showed Labour was connecting with voters and the coalition government was taking the country in the "wrong direction".

As the result was announced, she said: "Mr Cameron, when working families needed a government on their side, you made them pay for a tax cut for millionaires.

"When our young people needed jobs, you gave them a shrinking economy, and when the most vulnerable people in our society were really struggling you gave them the bedroom tax."

Ms Lewell-Buck added: "I will help get people back to work, champion our wonderful town and never give the Tory government one moment's peace."

However, her majority of 6,505 - on a turnout of 39.2% - was significantly down on the 11,109 achieved by Mr Miliband three years ago.


  • Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour) 12,493 votes
  • Richard Elvin (UK Independence Party) 5,988 votes
  • Karen Allen (Conservatives) 2,857 votes
  • Ahmed Khan (Independent) 1,331 votes
  • Phil Brown (Independent Socialist Party) 750 votes
  • Lady Dorothy Macbeth Brookes (BNP) 711 votes
  • Hugh Annand (Liberal Democrats) 352 votes
  • Howling Laud Hope (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) 197 votes
  • Thomas Faithful Darwood (Independent) 57 votes

UKIP candidate Richard Elvin came second with 5,988 votes.

The party, which did not even stand in the constituency in the last general election, won 24% of the vote, marginally lower than its record 28% vote share in March's by-election in Eastleigh, Hampshire, when it also came second.

UKIP's deputy leader Paul Nuttall said the performance, which came on the heels of strong showings in other by-elections in the north of England last year, proved it was on "an upward trajectory" and the party's appeal spread across the country.

"UKIP is here and it is here to stay," he told the BBC.

Start Quote

The parties in government will comfort themselves that it's mid-term - people wanted to give them a bloody nose”

End Quote Louise Stewart Political correspondent, BBC News

And he claimed it would not be long before his party had its first MP elected.

"We have been knocking on the door of Westminster for the past two years. I predict very soon that we will kick that door in," he said.


The Conservatives came third with 2,857 votes, 5,000 fewer than they received in 2010 and it was an even more miserable night for the Lib Dems, who were beaten into seventh, getting fewer votes than the BNP and two independent candidates.

The party lost its deposit, having secured less than 5% of the total votes cast.

Its candidate Hugh Annand said the result was "extremely disappointing but perhaps not surprising" given that the Lib Dems were in government and having to take tough decisions.

He told the BBC that some supporters had not adjusted to the degree of compromise required in coalition and those wishing to register a protest vote had gone elsewhere.

UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall said his party is "going places"

"We have disappointed and angered some people who have supported us in the past," he said.

Former Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik, a frequent critic of party leader Nick Clegg, described the result as "appalling" and said party members "deserve to know how this electoral crisis will be fixed".

But the party's deputy leader Simon Hughes said: "Let me congratulate the Labour winner in South Shields, the first woman MP for South Shields, which is progress.

"This has been a Labour seat since it was created, certainly for years and years and years, and it's not a place where we had presence."

In the county council elections which coincided with the by-election, Conservative and Lib Dem vote share was significantly down, with UKIP and Labour the chief beneficiaries.

South Shields by-election result in full:
  • Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour): 12,493 (50.51%, -1.51%)
  • Richard Elvin (UK Independence Party): 5,988 (24.21%)
  • Karen Allen (Conservative): 2,857 (11.55%, -10.04%)
  • Ahmed Khan (Independent): 1,331 (5.38%)
  • Phil Brown (Independent Socialist): 750 (3.03%)
  • Lady Dorothy MacBeth Brookes (BNP): 711 (2.87%, -3.65%)
  • Hugh Annand (Liberal Democrat): 352 (1.42%, -12.79%)
  • Howling Laud Hope (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party): 197 (0.80%)
  • Thomas Darwood (Independent): 57 (0.23%)

Labour majority: 6,505 (26.30%), down from 11,109 (30.42%) in 2010

Electorate 62,979; Turnout 24,736 (39.28%, -18.42%), down from 36,518 (57.70%) in 2010



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  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    I don't care who beats the 'coalition' (isn't it about time we dropped the pretence) as long as they are beaten, that is all that matters.
    So UKIP, Raving Loony Monster etc... well done

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    This is the end of the cosy relationship between the two main political parties who thought that they could treat the voters like mugs and would still be elected because there was no alternative. Hopefully it is also the end of the Libdems who promised much before the last general election and promptly reneged on every promise they made as soon as their snouts were in the taxpayer funded trough

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    This is hardly a shock result is it?! Labour win very safe Labour seat that they have held for nearly 80 years! But with a reduced share of the vote.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    wow! So many sheep in Britain so easily controlled in this country. Simple, politicians brand parties racist or homophobic nazis etc, BBC ban them from press appearances and hey presto! The reason we keep getting shafted and are all effective little batteries for the big companies making immense profits us because the population is incapable of logical thinking and believes everything on the tv!!

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    A great night for UKIP and a message to the LibDems that their time is nigh. Ok, it's mid-term blues for the Tories, but unless they can turn the economic ship round PDQ, there's big trouble ahead at the next general election. Although, a Tory/UKIP coalition would be an interesting proposition. They are certainly closer bed fellows that the current 'partners'

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    Even a chimpanzee can win the South Shield by election with a bigger majority as long as it represent Labour.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    And will these results be represented in National Elections. No, of course not, the vote and party distribution is always dramatically different in local and national elections.

    So what can we infer from these election results where is matters - little !

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    lieberals see we don't forget your treason 7th lol ands as for tories only 3rd could have been worse but ukip beat you

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    You know its easy to make no mistakes when you have done nothing. UKIP currently occupy precisely that position which was occupied for many years by the LD and look at them now. There are no simple solutions to the issues this country faces and any party that tells you there are is telling porkies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Those who vote UKIP must think about what they want, it may not be what they get. When Germany had high unemplyment, a drop in living standards, loss of control on their money, and wanted to find someone to blame, they ended up getting Hitler. I'm not saying that UKIP are the same, despite obvious right-wing nonsense on their fringes, but if you don't want that, be careful to demand otherwise.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    UKIP will do well where there is mass immigration going on , areas like lincolnshire, and where there is discrimination against british workers and young people in the jobs market which is everywhere ..UKIP are here to stay.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    The BBC's Labour bias never fails to amaze. The story of the night is that UKIP has stole a massive march on the other 3 parties, slaughtering the Tories and Libs yet the BBC lead with the fact that Labour has HELD - yes HELD not WON a safe Labour seat and that with a pretty poor showing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Will the United Kingdom Independence Party ensure the UK’s independence from The United States?

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    UKIP are the new Lib Dems we cannot be ignored anymore ! Well done Mr Farage gaining through sheer common sense and determination ! 2015 should be interesting

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    I really hope this is the beginning of the end for the awful, overpaid, over-smug liberal elite (of all political parties) who have run the country in their own interests for the last 30 years.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Lib dems nearly rank with Monster Raving Loony party. I'd live a MRL Mp almost as much as a ukip one!

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    If UKIP can shock the other 3 (well 2, Lib Dems don't really count these days) parties into actually listening to voters then excellent.

    However I for one would not be upset with a full UKIP government. They have plenty of sensible policies and might actually show some change, which has to be better than this Labour-Con loop of uselessness.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    There hasn't been a party worthy of a vote for many years, I don't agree with all of UKIP policies but they are certainly the best option these days, the establishment have been riding the gravy train too long and people aren't going to take it any more.
    This is the people giving them a shot across the bows, if they don't sort things out, we the people will sink their battleship.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    As a lifelong Liberal Democrat voter, yesterday I voted Labour. I do not imagine ever trusting the Liberal Democrats with my vote again following their decision to get into bed with the Tories. This result leads me to believe that I may not be the only Liberal Democrat thinking so. We would have accepted any choice other than turning our votes into Tory votes!


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