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 549.

    A protest vote! As most investment into the UK come from countries that MIGHT BE OPPOSED to UKIP policies ..UKIP gaining political power might be good for some (those 'protesting') - whilst BAD for all! Would companies from India, Japan and China would STILL invest in a UK run by UKIP?
    Their policies - apart from disliking Europe/immigration are?
    "Be careful -what you wish for" the saying goes!

  • rate this

    Comment number 548.

    Ukip have the Tories on the run now, which was always their intent. Yes Farage is a clever man, and has milked the "working class" vote.

    Cameron and Millband now have to find a credible counter attack, and quick, but not a referendum, as it is essential to the future of the UK that it stays in The EU!

  • rate this

    Comment number 547.

    Anyone who thinks UKIP will get similar results in a GE is deluded. No one will trust them to actually run the country so voters will migrate back to the Tories. The party who should be really worried is Labour who should be making massive gains but aren't. At the next GE the Libdems will implode, Labour will, rightly, not be trusted so we'll have a Tory it or not

  • rate this

    Comment number 546.

    Not exactly the drubbing for the coalition that Labour expected.

    UKIP are making ground because they are new and different.

    For many years the option has been to vote for the least bad of the main parties - there has not been a "best" option for some time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 545.

    Great, we finally get a new player in town to challenge the status quo of the main two abject failures, and it appears they have just as much contempt for the working people that actually make this country run as the rest of them.

    Does anyone else find this wholly depressing?

    Where are the good guys?

  • rate this

    Comment number 544.

    The amount of public anger aimed at the Conservative Party seems quite overwhelming.

    Failure to get the economy moving again is at the root of it?

    The old time honoured methods simply don't work anymore and the Tories having nothing else up their sleeves

    Parliament trembles?

  • rate this

    Comment number 543.

    What I find facisnating is that there are people out there still voting for Labour? Where have you been for the last decade? Quick update, they screwed up again and did the same as they did in the 70's. Ran up huge debt, pumped the economy full of public money, (mainly on benefits), to make the poor vote for them and left a deficit so large the current Govt still haven't managed to get rid of it..

  • rate this

    Comment number 542.

    In my opinion the UKIP voters need to be protected from themselves.

  • rate this

    Comment number 541.

    For SO long the Libs, Labs and Cons have refused to debate immigration (and its negative impact on this country & community) and the crass ideas we get from Europe.

    ALL VOTES ARE PROTEST VOTES....I vote for you because I don't like them.
    BUT, this 'protest' is NOT over yet.

    All I still see from the Lib, Lab & Cons is ...DENIAL....still in a world of denial.
    They have learnt NOTHING.

  • rate this

    Comment number 540.

    This just shows how much even England despises the ridiculous policies of the Con/Lib lot. It is an anti war vote, it is a pro NHS vote, it is a vote for against the crazy welfare reform that tax bedrooms, it is pro the disabled. and other mad policies that Cameron and co have instigated. Maybe England is waking up to the fact that they also, like Scotland and Wales, need a voice of their own.

  • rate this

    Comment number 539.

    The playwright G.F. Newman once commented on being concerned about people that want to police other people, this is exactly what all right wing parties have always aspired to, more concerned with control, narrow self interest and nationalist totemics than building international co-operation. Little englanders with shouty voices and little minds, little imaginations and more than a little blind.

  • rate this

    Comment number 538.

    Re - 409. steve - well over 50% of the people who voted in South Shileds voted Labour.Despite the UKIP band wagon and admitted successes elsewhere UKIP made no inroads into Labour Support.

    NOT a surprise really...Stick a Labour sticker on a mule and it would win in South Shields

  • Comment number 537.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 536.

    425.Knut Largerson
    "And it'll still be a struggle to get , a tree pruned, a new wheelie bin, a pothole filled, or a crossing patrol manned."
    Do it yourself you lazy snob.

  • rate this

    Comment number 535.

    Cameron is a ditherer
    Clegg is a busted flush
    Milliband is a Trade Union appointee

    Far better to be governed by a fruitcake than any of the above

  • rate this

    Comment number 534.

    Well done Ken Clark! his clowns speech persuaded even more people to move over to UKIP. The 3 main parties run a cartel of deception. People are sick of political correctness, being forced to celebrate diversity whilst their towns and cities become outlying area's of Somalia or Poland and being told that they are racist for being concerned about the future identity of their country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 533.

    What blatantly demonstrates is that 1st past the post system is not only unfair but very, very close to being undemocratic. At the next GE, it is entirely possible that of the vote, UKIP may get 25 percent, Cons 30 percent and Lab 27 percent with LD and others the rest. Yet UKIP will not have a single MP and a quarter of the voters will not have representation, how can that be fair and democratic?

  • rate this

    Comment number 532.

    Can anyone explain why a party which is concerned about uncontrolled immigration from predominantly white eastern European countries can be accursed of being rascist?

  • rate this

    Comment number 531.

    When the BNP pull in more votes than the Liberal Democrats there's something wrong with the Country.

  • Comment number 530.

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


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