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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  • Comment number 629.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 628.

    567 steve

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

    Labour have no chance while they're fronted by that whiny nasal milk monitor and that thuggish, economy-wrecking buffoon Balls.

  • rate this

    Comment number 627.

    I'm not convinced about the UKIP policies (what are they apart from get out of the EU? Who will form their Cabinet should they get into power?) but I did vote for them as a 'one off' as a message to the main parties.
    I believe that if the country could get rid of foreign terrorists, criminals & their families & stop all social and welfare benefits to non UK citizens, few would have heard of UKIP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 626.

    Labour jump into the lead now that the bickering failed right wing are equally divided between UKIP and Tory.

    Talk about shooting themselves in the foot? Keep it up lads, fist fights & black eyes next! You are doing the nation a great service

    There must be grumbling & cursing in the Home Counties. Snorting over their whiskies?

    Old Etonians nil. Fair & honest people, game, set and match!

  • rate this

    Comment number 625.

    No real surprises then. Labour won a bi-election in a safe seat - nothing to crow about, parties in ppower lost some seats - to be expected. UKIP took votes from Laboour who have nothing to offer - no surprise.

  • rate this

    Comment number 624.

    Labour should be very scared of UKIP.

    As msot not of trhe issues UKIP r addressing are those caused by laobur policies

  • rate this

    Comment number 623.

    The EU & Immigration are the key factors in these results,it's high time all parties listened to the electorate, time to be out of Europe and for Britain to be Great again, well done Nigel, goodbye Dave!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 622.

    I have vote for Ukip for most of the party life and am very much fire up to campaigning in the general election this is the end of the total bull we have been feed by the left centre and the right centre oh and the centre centre

  • rate this

    Comment number 621.

    So the Conservative vote in South Shields was down by around 5000. UKIP got 5988 votes on this the first occasion they have stood for the seat.

    Wonder if Cameron and Osborne can see the potential relevance of these figures which really are to close to be considered a coincidence.

    Seeing how they manage the economy I doubt it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 620.

    Just wondering why you can comment on Robinsons blog about the elections, national and local without pre-moderation, yet not on this one?

    Well anyway, a glorious and victorious night for the none of the aboves yet again.
    Politicians are really going to have to do something about that, isn't it part of the job description to engage voters in the democratic process?

  • rate this

    Comment number 619.

    Hilarious that a majority of the UKIP supporters seem to be working class, not particularly well educated, right of the Conservative, benefits claiming people. They are the ones who will be clobbered if this scary party ever came to power.

  • rate this

    Comment number 618.

    The un-written constitution should be dragged back into debate and included should be the legal percentage of the vote that that turns out before an election can be qualified as acceptable.

    Most people would accept that it has to be at least 50% turnout - but just look at this by-election's stats:

    Electorate 62,979; Turnout 24,736 (39.28%, -18.42%), down from 36,518 (57.70%) in 2010

  • Comment number 617.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 616.

    It is clear from these comments that UKIP supporters all know what they are voting against. Posh boy tories, Wet rag labour, unprincipaled Libs, and anybody who thinks that EU is a benefit to UK. But virtually nobody has artculted what they are voitng FOR, except change.
    That will make everything alright then.

  • rate this

    Comment number 615.

    540 "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" - No it isn't, that is you projecting your own bizarre take on sensible fiscal prudence on the situation. UKIP believe is slashing public expenditure too. Everyone sensible knows the current bribe culture can't continue.

  • rate this

    Comment number 614.

    As we are now dictated to by the EU why are we paying for 6oo+ people to sit in the houses of parliment. Because whatever they say the EU seems to overrule it.
    Either get us back our right to make our own laws or get us out of it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 613.

    544Rebecca Riot
    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?

    Have you ever stopped to think why? The £150bn annual deficit & £4bn yearly interest bill we pay on the debt ran up by your boys. You can't as an educated person genuinely be saying we need to borrow more to grow? Greece, Spain...

  • rate this

    Comment number 612.

    There is a correlation with the view on EU trade in the 10's and on manufacturing industry in the 80's. In the 80's the economy was changing and businesses had to adapt to new challenges or go. In the 10's the same is true of markets. Growth is in BRICS and developing areas not the EU. Markets have moved on from the 1970's, businesses remaining fixed on the EU market are at risk.

  • rate this

    Comment number 611.

    Protest vote or not. All the main parties lack the ability to listen and follow the peoples lead on many issues. They preach down to us plebs too often - talk to us not for us. The current 3-party circus made up of the same political elite, as always, is past its sell-by date - bring on the clowns!

  • rate this

    Comment number 610.

    Well, the Lib Dems must feel a tad smarted coming in behind the appropriately named BNP candidate: Lady MacBeth. UKIP, I fear have done more colllateral damage than they meant to by splitting the Official Monster Raving Loonie vote...


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