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 569.

    How can anyone who knows anything about voting patterns in by-elections seriously say this was a protest vote against Labour because Labour's majority was down on the General Election.

    By-elections are protest and no substance. Normal service at the next G.E. where UKIP will have zero seats.

  • rate this

    Comment number 568.

    Ukip manifesto frightening..Torys couldn't care about disabled/sick/working people..Labour no back bone need to get tough..LibDems history.
    Country needs to get back to full time employment NOT part time/no contract hours.
    MP's to get out of their Ivory towers STOP bashing the disabled/sick.
    Totally fed up this Country is floundering NOT one decent party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 567.

    Meanwhile Outside of the Tory Heartland and beyond the UKIP Media Bandwaggon

    Latest YouGov / The Sun results 2nd May - CON 32%, LAB 43%, LD 9%, UKIP 11%; APP -32

    Which I suspect is a more accurate indication of how things will go at the GE.

  • Comment number 566.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 565.

    Post removed before posted, phew saves me a lot of embarrassment thanks BBC. By the way UKIP=CULT

  • rate this

    Comment number 564.

    I love Farage, got my vote. I will never forgive Blair-Brown-Labour for what they did to our UK. There's no hope of the Coalition sorting out the mess, they're too detached from common people.
    22M people produce the GDP of the UK (7M work for Gov sectors)
    66M in country, so each worker has 2 monkeys on their back at a ratio of 2:1. My £-budget is going under, I'm struggling. Enough is Enough!

  • rate this

    Comment number 563.

    how anyone could have voted Labour is beyond me...

  • rate this

    Comment number 562.

    "the tories need to listen to UKIP now, or the prospect of a disastrous labour government looms"

    I think you will find we already have a disasterous government, nothing can get worse than these clowns.
    The party of the South, hated in the North, Scotland and Wales!

  • rate this

    Comment number 561.

    what makes anyone think UKIP would be any different from the other gravy-trainers if they got real power. (heaven forbid). Power corrupts, end of.
    Totally agree. The same civil service would be advising UKIP as have advised other govt. of whatever party so how would anything change? The biggest problem with the EU is the civil service who manage to make a mountain out of an EU molehill

  • rate this

    Comment number 560.

    UKIP's rise is hardly a surprise.

    That's what you get when a country has three quarters of its newspapers pumping out spiteful hateful bile against anyone they perceive as 'not one of us' on a daily basis.

    What is happening to my country? What's happening to its traditional values of tolerance and inclusion?

    Dark days ahead.

  • rate this

    Comment number 559.

    This isn't a swing between left and right, this is the electorate telling the establishment that enough is enough

    The main political parties are no longer believed

    Time and again they have ignored the British public's concerns on immigration & the EU.

    The Conservatives had a chance to say NO to opening the doors to Bulgaria & Romania but they chose to go by EU rules

    Nothing is going to change

  • rate this

    Comment number 558.

    Remember not so long ago the excitement around the Lib Dems getting into a pivotal role in UK politics.

    Look what happened - the labour vote got split and we got the coalition.

    How good has this been for the country?

  • rate this

    Comment number 557.

    The area has not been represented in Westminster for years. Labour do nothing for the area as they know what ever idiot stands for Labour they will be voted in. The Tories know that they will not be voted in so they do nothing for the area!!! Glad to see that the people of South Shields are starting to realise how bad the Labour Council actually is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 556.

    40 Minutes ago
    what makes anyone think UKIP would be any different from the other gravy-trainers if they got real power. (heaven forbid). Power corrupts, end of.
    Labour, Cons and Libs have showed us want they wont do for the voters so can UKIP be any worse? At the end of the day we signed up to be part of a common market not a full blown EU member.

  • rate this

    Comment number 555.

    248. Snape

    "...what immigration is doing to communities because that is what UKIP have tapped into..."

    Agreed. Thatcher destroyed communities in the North and now many of those people won't vote Tory. Regarding immigration, it was Blair & Brown that allowed it to destroy communities this time. Cameron has been unable to stop it. Who can you vote for to stabilise the country's communities?

  • rate this

    Comment number 554.

    Mid term bye elections you expect to see the national government party's candidate lose votes, but what about Labour's slashed majority. More worries for Miliband than Cameron?

  • rate this

    Comment number 553.

    You comment that every article on UKIP starts with " Loony, racist, fruitcake's etc"
    Even the article that you are commenting on does not, and does not contain those words anywhere.
    You talk about contempt for the eloctorate. How do you justify making remarks that are deliberatley misleading? Is this a standard UKIP policy?

  • rate this

    Comment number 552.

    Please BBC note the Labour party held South Shields it was for UKIP Tories or others to win.

  • rate this

    Comment number 551.

    Only the BBC on a night which saw gains for UKIP could lead with a pro-labour headline.

    Please try to be impartial for a change?

  • rate this

    Comment number 550.

    There is one very simple way to stop politicians being smug and complacent. It can be summed up by the implementation of two measures:

    1) Proportional representation

    2) Mandatory voting for all those elligible to vote (see Australia)

    There are NO valid arguments NOT to implement these measures. They remove the two-party monopoly AND the effect of voter complacency at a stroke.


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