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 589.

    Mr Shapps..... no, you don't get it do you?

    A protest vote means you have got it wrong. We don't want 'more of the same, just faster'. We want, we need, a change.

    Here's a hint. We have a useless bloke in no 11, and a couple of other dodgy ones. Move them off to pasture, where they can't do any more damage, and get someone in who might just get it right....

  • rate this

    Comment number 588.

    How come the Syrian conflict can't be voted on anymore. Is it because the replies don't suit the government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 587.

    "...people are sick of what's going on in this country and want a change" - as happened in Germany in the 1930s. Be careful what you wish for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 586.

    I will vote for whichever party will keep us joined to the EU as a trading partner and only as a trading partner. I never voted (way back in the seventies) for a United States of Europe a single currency, totally free movement of labour throughout Europe with vast numbers of people coming here for our benefits, schools, hospitals and jobs plus a whole lot of rules and regs coming from Brussels.

  • rate this

    Comment number 585.

    Biggest thing pointed out here, even for a "safe seat", is that the new MP won 50% of the votes, when only 40% turned out.

    So, an overall percentage is that 20% of those that could vote has decided this constituency.

    I could not see any details of how many papers were spoilt?
    Would be interesting to see if the number of spoilt papers was greater than the Lib Dem votes

  • rate this

    Comment number 584.

    What a joke. The only way to make a point is not low turn-out, not protest but to vote for some other party who has written about half of the policies required to run a country.
    We need a fundamental reform, so people can be heard, not a government voted in by less than 50% of the population pretending they represent everyone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 583.

    "this isn't a recession,its a robbery"
    "this is a controlled demolition"-max keiser.

    My worry,personally,is if,come the next General Election,the Tories form a coaltion with the even more right wing UKIP.

    Be very afraid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 582.

    A donkey sporting a red rosette would have won South Shields for Labour. So no surprise there. Similarly, the rise in support of UKIP reflects growing public disillusionment with the governing classes in the main political parties about a referendum on EU membership and immigration. All the results will be based on a low turnout; another reflection of public disillusionment about today's politics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 581.

    ronnieboy1 - Tory's propped up by a party that gets 352 votes in a by-election.
    Take out the die hard leaflet posters and I think it says time please on the coalition.

  • rate this

    Comment number 580.

    The political elite r so out of touch now they might as well be on another planet, they never let us have a vote on PR, they've kicked a vote on EU referendum into the long crass, Cameron means tests the old and the sick while he blows £3 billion a year on aid to corrupt 3rd world countries while handing us the bill yet they still don't get it!. UKIP is their creation, their arrogance made them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 579.

    Only had three choices on my ballot paper, tory, lib dem and UKIP not even an Independant candidate!!-I wrote none right across my ballot paper-wasnt wasting my vote on any of these self seeking money wasting shambolic idiots

  • rate this

    Comment number 578.

    481.Trout Mask Replica
    Where do you get that from? Your posts are always informative but that one I is frankly very selective in its interpretation. UKIP are not going to tax low income pensioners, your post is scare-mongering, something I would not expect from you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 577.

    The real tragedy here is that the UK youth who are apathetic in voting are having their country and future being dictated by the grey Daily Mail demography! Their Ovaltine world that stopped in 1975 and has all the liberal progress of a teacosy is now dictating the agenda and will send the Tories lurching rabidly further right to shore up the blue rinse heartland... grim ... apathy rules ok!

  • rate this

    Comment number 576.

    Whether you agree with UKIP or not what it say's to the 3 main parties ( And I use that term with a chuckle concerning the Lib dems) is that your cosy little members club has been just busted wide open..Whoever thought it was a good idea to put Grant Shapps up as spokesman just shaved another 3% off the Tory party core support

  • rate this

    Comment number 575.

    I'd happily vote for UKIP, and a change in our relationship with Europe, if it meant:
    a) I'd be able to buy lightbulbs that actually work
    b) I no longer waste my time clicking through ridiculous "cookie policy" statements on every web site
    c) I could sprinkle Bombay Duck on a curry once more.

  • rate this

    Comment number 574.

    Well Done UKIP.
    No mention in the reviews so far of the partial influence UKIPs policy on
    Same Sex Marriage would have had on these results.
    The silent majority opposed to gay marriage,( for a whole range of reasons) were always going to make their views known through the ballot box., more open opposition simply being met with abusive cry's of bigotry by the vociferous nasties in our ranks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 573.

    Hilarious - the BBC does not know how to report this and the best they can come up with is - quote "The parties in government will comfort themselves that it's mid-term - people wanted to give them a bloody nose”
    Louise Stewart
    Political correspondent, BBC News
    No love, looks like the people of England want to try something new, as the old politicians are in bed with the bankers, etc. etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 572.

    OK Labour won in South Shields not exactly a surprise.
    However Ukip second, again not exactly a surprise the way many people are feeling. Listening to Conservatives, Labour and the LibDems you would think they are all doing wonderfully well, have any of them heard of the concept of losing and accepting that Ukip is a rising force.
    Come on Dave, Ed and Nick straight answers to straight questions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 571.

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

    Even this intro shows this is not the story at all. But hey, we've got to say something nice about the Labour Party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 570.

    Nick it looks like the sky's fallen in & your uncomfortable end of the Pantomime Horse is coming apart at the seems, Not by Flashman but by your voters you remember them Nick the ones you sold down the river for you & your fellow chums to join Flashmans crusade against the poor, needy & OAPs. In a nutshell Nick "YOU & YOUR PARTY ARE FINNISHED" Incidently how's Mr Laws doing? It should be 20yrs!


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