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 849.

    This is the kind of voter ignorance that concerns me. UKIP want us to be more submissive to the US, and in particular provide British troops for a war with Iran. Bet you didn't know that did you?

    Stop voting based on your assumptions of what the party stands for and actually learn what the party stands for! Their manifesto is easy enough to find.

    I can see how the Nazis got into power now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 848.

    This is a clear message that a vocal minority of the public can cause trouble, a warning that moderate voters need to get off their backside and vote, and that politicians need something new to say. I helped with the pole yesterday. Where I was it was a 21% turnout. 79% of people ruled by vociferous 21%. This isn't good.

  • rate this

    Comment number 847.

    LibDems beaten by BNP and only got 155 more votes than Raving Loonies.

  • Comment number 846.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 845.

    Can't see how this headline is news. Something happened that has always happened since 1935. Akin to saying there was a sunrise this morning

  • Comment number 844.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 843.

    People used to vote Lib Dem as a protest vote. Their influence increased and, now they have a bit of power, we see how untrustworthy and dishonest they are. UKIP are the new protest vote and I just hope the electorate see sense before they achieve the same as the Lib Dems.

  • rate this

    Comment number 842.

    "11 years of lefty labour"

    They were politically "left" were they? What does that make North Korea, centre?

  • rate this

    Comment number 841.

    652.Rebecca Riot
    "Public School chaps finally totally discredited."

    presumably in UKIP's case to be replaced by Independant School chaps. Nigel farage went to Dulwich College. Oh woa, wait a minute: ex-UKIP leader Lord Rannoch went to Eton. . .

  • Comment number 840.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 839.

    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".

    LOL a monkey in a red suit could win this seat for Labour. Considering the huge swing away from them to UKIP i'd say they have more to worry about than the Tories.

  • rate this

    Comment number 838.

    The UKIP appears to be what Great Britain needs. For the last 60 years, that country has going in the wrong direction and today it's leaders appear to be no more than stooges for neocons in Washington D.C. That needs to change and Great Britain would probably do better if it did leave the EU!

  • rate this

    Comment number 837.

    Ha! I've upset the marxists! Result!

  • rate this

    Comment number 836.

    If you can point me to the labour manifeston that said we will open the doors to everyone and increase UK pop by 10million then I'll read it."

    Well, since they didn't actually do that then you don't have a point. Did you know UKIP's taxation policy will mean pensioners pay 50% more income tax? That's probably worth knowing before you vote UKIP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 835.

    This is a trial run for UKIP. They now need to keep their act together for the people have had enough of the cosy clique of the three main parties .

    Enough of general elections where only a few marginal seats are important and the rest of us are taken for granted.

    The whole system needs a shake up and better that this is done through the voting system rather than taking to the streets.

  • rate this

    Comment number 834.

    800. noobtinny
    "Many laws will have to be re-applied but it won't be for the EU to decide but the British..." ...crowbarred through by a party whose policies all revolve around xenophobia.

    Yep, that really fills me with confidence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 833.

    If voters had actually voted on local issues rather than on national issues the results would have been hugely different.

    But whose fault is that?

    Check out the national media - try and find any mentions of local issues.

    Perhaps the national press and TV should keep out of local elections - they are undermining local democracy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 832.

    UKIP seems to be the Tory version of the BNP to me. No to Europe, No to those pesky foreigners and, oh yes, you can go back to smoking tabs in pubs. Owt else? I don't think so !

  • rate this

    Comment number 831.

    #801: "UKIP like, Tory, Labour & Lib Dems are a Neo-liberal party (monetarist free marketeers)"

    You have to be kidding ... all the parties you name are high-tax, big government control freaks. All are fundamentally opposed to genuine free markets. Even when UKIP come up with a reasonable policy, like their flat tax proposal, they betray their true goals with an obscenely high tax rate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 830.

    I fail to see how Labour retaining a Labour safe seat with a reduced majority and share of the vote means Labour is connecting with voters.

    It's this type of nonsense from Labour (and the tories & libdems) who try to put positives on a result when there are none that put voters off them because they don't accept the facts that the public can clearly see. They take us for fools!


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