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



This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 609.

    Conservative muppet tacticians in Central Office have missed a decisive move in the British electorate

    People are disallusioned with the middle ground established by New Labour lies & spin that gave away our country to the EU & mass immigration

    Middle Britain want a Party to break up the cosy self serving establishment that knows best & doesn't listen (saying they do doesn't count)

  • Comment number 608.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 607.

    Yet again we hear politicians from the main parties spouting the same old rhetoric on Newsnight and this morning's news, "We hear and understand the concerns of the electorate…" The trouble is they don't.
    Politicians complain about voter apathy, I believe this is the result of political complacency: the result is poor turn out and 'protest voting'.

    Ignore the electorate at your peril.

  • rate this

    Comment number 606.

    In South Shields, the LibDems managed to overtake the Monster Raving Loony Party. I just wonder, how the heck did they manage to do that well?

  • rate this

    Comment number 605.

    No matter who you vote for the government always get in, Labour, Conservative, Labour, Conservative, Labour, Conservative, Labour, Conservative, Labour, Conservative + Libdems. Nothing is ever the governments fault, it is always something that they have inherited from the previous administration. The electorate are sick and tired of these washed out mostly public school old boys politicians.

  • rate this

    Comment number 604.


    Sure...apart from the valid argument that 50% of the electorate now forced to vote would just stuff spoiled, or blank, papers into ballot boxes making the calculation of any proportional representatives drag on for weeks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 603.

    those who vote UKIP -out of immigration fears/lack of jobs!
    If unemployed- they COULD apply to work as strawberry pickers/work poundland /McDonalds or the various other low paid jobs the MAJORITY of legal immigrants do! THERE are LOADS of jobs - UKIP voters would NEVER do- yet complain about immigration and it's effects on jobs! UKIP WILL NOT increase the minimum wage and would reduce benefits!

  • rate this

    Comment number 602.

    The Old Etonians have clearly made an utter mess of it.

    Failed to get the economy moving again, then punishing the poor, robbing our savings, & because of failure of their hald baked polices

    I suggest that this is end for the Tory Party? Conservatives disappearing into permanent minority?

    There is no Wicked Witch, to wave her magic wand? No more borrow & binge, spivving on property market

  • rate this

    Comment number 601.

    At last a change , perhaps now the so called main parties will actually LISTEN to what people want .

  • rate this

    Comment number 600.

    Time for the tories to split into the 2 separate parties they already are in everything but name.The substantial hard right of the party is far larger and more influential than Labour's Militant Tendency ever was.
    The 1922TeaPartyTax Alliance and UKIP are natural bedfellows with a narrow uncompromising and quite extreme focus as typified by the likes of a US Republicans Daniel Hannan and Liam Fox

  • rate this

    Comment number 599.

    .543 divots
    "Ran up huge debt, pumped the economy full of public money, (mainly on benefits)", what are you? because you talk like the rich elite who constantly blame the poor people who need benefits as a lifeline for the ills of this country. try using facts next time because it's not true. I extend to you the same challenge as IDS was given, try living on benefits yourself, it's not nice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 598.

    Ex-Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown tweets: It's not the end; it's not the beginning of the end. But it might be the end of the beginning of the fight back.

    Paddy , no one listens to a word you say, nor your party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 597.

    The local elections should be a lesson to the three main parties to listen to the views of the electors and reflect them in their actions and policies. Electors at all levels of English government are being ignored and just regarded as voting fodder to get so called politicians onto an expenses gravy train at all levels of public administration.

  • rate this

    Comment number 596.

    The Tories are fast running out of time.An EU referendum in 2017,if the EU has not already collapsed by then, is far too far away.The Tories do not seem to be dealing with immigration and,unless the economy picks up,they will be toast in 2015 which is even more worrying as economically incontinent Labour will have won by default.

  • rate this

    Comment number 595.

    I've always liked Nick Robinson, reminds me of the poet Philip Larkin(Wonder what he would have made of this shambles) but the comment on another party as "bring on the clowns" is not worthy of him. Someone tell him Democracy and free speech are alive and well in spite of the BBC.

  • rate this

    Comment number 594.

    The complacency of the established parties is palpable. People are disengaged from politics - and vice versa - and many people have come to distrust the main parties and their identikit career politicians. I don't agree with a lot of UKIP policies but their emergence, in my view, can only be a good thing for politics in this country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 593.

    Laurence Todd
    2 Hours ago

    "The rise of UKIP is a disaster for democracy .. What has gone so wrong with our political culture that such a small minded party can have such an appeal ?"

    The traditional parties seem to have gone wrong so perhaps its them that have been a disaster for democracy

  • rate this

    Comment number 592.

    "Anyone who thinks UKIP will get similar results in a GE is deluded."
    Really!? Funny..we heard about the local elections after the Eastleigh by-election and take a good look at what is happening!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 591.

    What part of "we are not happy with the way you are running the country and the economy" do the conservatives not understand, and as for Clegg the Lib dems should ditch him now because after the next general election they will be lucky if they have any MPs left at all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 590.

    426 "people are fed up with the TORIES.... Stop using Europe as the excuse for the Tories doing so badly!" - Confusing your opinion with the national mood? Many (not all) people are sick of all parties and many (not all) are sick of the EU.
    471 "No left wing firebrands anymore?" - yes, thank goodness, 3 days weeks, 99% tax, rolling black outs, tenure and failure happily consigned to the 70s.


Page 16 of 46


More Politics stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.