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 129.

    I the real story here is that the turnout was so low! I think this reflects the an overall apathy for politics in this country. People used to turn to Politics because they believed they could really make a difference. Now we get University toffs who are just after 5 minutes in the limelight.

    Politicians should be from the people FOR the people, anything else is a waste.

  • rate this

    Comment number 128.

    You're not in South Shields now buddy!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 127.

    There were no elections in my area yesterday. I cannot wait for the chance to vote UKIP. I do not trust Labour or Lib Dems. When it comes to the hard decisions, they are no different from the Tories. I want out of Europe !

  • rate this

    Comment number 126.

    Senior Lib Dems (especially the ineffectual bumbling Hughes muppet) need to get busy writing their speeches explaining their annihilation at the next general election.

  • rate this

    Comment number 125.

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

    The same applies in Conservative seats like Henley,Christchurch & Wokingham

    That daft aurguement doesn't wash

  • rate this

    Comment number 124.

    Labour must be secretly panicing, in a general election they pick up a number of seats by persuading the voters they are the only alternative to the Tories.

    Todays results repeated, would see a few of their current seats going to UKIP

  • rate this

    Comment number 123.

    After Bliar the Warmonger and Broon the moron, I don't think I'll ever vote for Labour ever again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 122.

    Here's the most significant message to ALL parties.


  • rate this

    Comment number 121.

    In the last few weeks its been commented that the reporting of the MMR link to autism was irresponsible because it was based on info known to be badly flawed.
    Its the same with the EU, bias, half truths, certainly unbalanced media stories. The decision to leave the EU will have just as severe consequences, but again few people have the facts needed to make an informed decision.

  • rate this

    Comment number 120.

    @Aduphanel, post 70
    I never even hinted at the fact that English people do not work hard. Your post was about Zero immigration, and that is what I addressed, that is no good for anyone. It is useful to have movement that freshen ideas. Isolation is no good for anyone. Just isolate yourself and that is the end.

  • rate this

    Comment number 119.

    Not surprising that UKIP are doing well due to the mood in the country at the moment!
    People are fed up with unlimited immigration, fed up with being stuck with Abu Quatada on their doorstep and fed up with being told what to do by a mickey mouse court!
    Cameroon, Miliband and Clegg have got to address this!

  • rate this

    Comment number 118.

    WIth massed immigration and over 20% unemployment in under 24;s

    Labour only answers are:-
    Close ties with EU
    More immigrants
    More civil servants
    More Borrowing

    Where is the solutions include imho is
    no immigrants for 5 years
    national service (does not mean military)

    Its the labour voters who are naive not ukip voters

    90. a_responsibility_to_awe Liar, Link evidence of Bankholiday no pay

  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    From 87. revolutionnow999:
    "Liberals - sack you leadership, end the coalition and start making grovelling apologies to the UK public."

    I urged Liberals to break the coalition 2 years ago. I accept that if they had, a forced general election might have seen a Tory rise and worse than we have now! But if they did this today, returning the decision to the public immediately, it would help them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 116.

    #37 Albeit on a reduced turnout. Labour's share of the vote was almost unchanged at just over 50%

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.

    5,988 people is apparently enough to get the media all in a tizzy, but only if they vote for UKIP.

    This is not a historic moment, this is not a big change in UK politics, this does not tell us anything vaguely important or interesting.

    All we can glean from it is that 5,988 people in South Shields don't mind supporting a party of bigots, loons, clowns, cranks, racists and fascists.

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    Why do you not show the % of votes received by each party? This is far more meaningful than overall makority.

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    Do people not understand that UKIP are racist

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    One of UKP's candidates is on record as saying the jews instigated the holocaust to maniuplate the world into giving them Israel... another swopped over frm the BNP....

    Common sense and straight talking? Are you thinking what i am thinking?

  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    Well it looks like Nick Robinson's carefully timed article on how wonderful it was twenty percent of Peterborough's population were foreign didn't work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    The LibDems have shown the country they will prostitute themselves to whichever party will give them power (Clegg is already trying to cosy up to Labour). But I doubt even Labour will bother with them.

    Everyone will be famous 15 minutes - and Clegg will prove that to to true.


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