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 49.

    Only the BBC could sum up a massive fall in the Labour vote and a massive rise for UKIP as:

    "bloody nose for the coalition"

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    @aduphanel how you ever contemplated the excellent contributions made to this country from immigrants? Zero immigration no any society is the death of that society.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    The big story here is not that Labour retained a seat but that UKIP got so many votes, come on BBC sort it out

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    A good result for UKIP and a sign that a 'Conservative' party needs to refresh. Unfortunately for us voters it won't happen in time for 2015 and UKIP can't grow to take its place by then. A Conservative/UKIP combination to keep out Labour is a difficult perception as they are like oil and water in a mix; but whatever it takes to keep Labour out of government must be acceptable in the interim.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    @12 "However I for one would not be upset with a full UKIP government. They have plenty of sensible policies"

    Really? Have you seen their manifesto? Apart from the 'get Britain out of the EU' crowd-pleaser do you know what they stand for?

    They would erode workers' rights and have the NHS run down in no time. The electorate ought to be careful who they vote for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    Well done UKIP voted for you down here in Devon.
    This is a clear message to the 3 main partys. Torys your finished. Liberal democrats you asked for it and Labour your not safe.
    Hopefully this will scare the establishment into re-thinking there policys.
    We can only hope.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    LabCon in meltdown.

    Get Them Out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    I have listened to a Labour politician and political analyst and quite quite frankly they need their collective heads tested. Both disregard the UKIP vote. Labour blame the Tories for the economy. As I recall Labour opened the floodgates for immigration. Labour over spent by billions per year. UKIP voters voted for UKIP because they want out of Europe. Next year are the MEP elections.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.


  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    6000 reduced majority for Labour... and UKIP second?! Heaven help us all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    Looks like ABC ...

    ...Anyone But Coalition

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    It has started, the Tories will lose BIG at the general election, and the Lib Dems will be destroyed. I never thought I'd say it but even Lembit Opik would be a better leader than Nick Clegg. His and his colleagues' grasping for power will destroy their party unless they walk away from the Tories now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    This is a wake up call to those that do not want to have extremists running the UK. Our relationship with Europe and the rest of the world re immigration needs to be rethought. I am a moderate person and like progress for the right reasons. Some of the policies of parties are backward thinking and will not improve our relationships with other countries.

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    Oh my, what a surprise, Labour retain South Shields! But with a majority virtually slashed in half. Huge reduction in Tory vote and goodbye Lib-Dems. Perhaps the UKIP vote points a finger towards future political thinking in England, Makes me slightly uncomfortable even though I have long been an advocate of unshackling ourselves from the corpse that is the EU.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    Labour deserve that result. Blair and his cronies deserted the working class vote to appeal to the middle classes and now its coming back to bite them big time

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    If you voted UKIP last night, you voted for the end of consumer protections. You voted for no employment regulations, no health and safety protections etc.

    You also voted for a party that David Cameron called "fruitcakes and closet racists". Be careful what you wish for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.


    No they're the new BNP. It was a protest vote. And a protest vote that if it were actually recreated at the General Election would result in a Labour landslide victory. What does happen now though is that UKIP start to have their policies and candidates really scrutinised. Do you really think people will vote for them if they bother to look at your policies? Ha!

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    The vote for UKIP is a message to the three other parties. The British people are demanding a change in our relationship with the European Union.

    In the 1970s the people of Britain voted yes to become a member if the common market NOT to be dictated to on how we run our country.

    Its a message of what the British want, not necessarily who the would like govern them. A warning shot gas been fired!

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    When are people who automatically vote Labour coz their parents did, finally realise that Labour stopped being for the ordinary man when John Smith sadly passed away. With uncontrolled immigration under their time in power we have seen a massive surge of unskilled labour come into our small island push up unemployment and push down wages. The big three don't care. UK plc MUST come first again plz!

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Well done UKIP so far

    Unfortunately in dorset in south west , i had only 4 choices - TORY, LAB, LIB , Green. But because i believe its my civic duty to vote.

    I crossed the ballot paper and wrote ' UKIP

    I want zero immigration, preferably repatriation and out of EU. England has been destroyed by the 3 old main parties and all are arrogant and patronising and people who vote for them r sheep.


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