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 869.

    Although it may be dismissed by DC and Co as just a mid term protest vote, they will be foolish to ignore what is happening out there, the disenchantment with mainstream politicians and blurring of lines between parties and policies will lead to fringe politics taking over, and whatever we think of UKIP etc parties with only one idea or aim are not good for us or the country.
    Buck up you clowns !

  • rate this

    Comment number 868.

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

    Really ? Surely the initial entry into Europe came under Heath and Maastricht was during Major's time. Both for the uninformed were Tories and the ECHR is nothing to do with the EU. So how did Labour give the country away to the EU ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 867.

    "I had a rant to:"

    BBC moderators don't like free speech - and that's the issue.

  • Comment number 866.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 865.

    When people say they want the UK to govern itself, are they oblivious to the impact our colonial cousins have on the UK?
    Do they think Masters of the universe, Goldman Sachs, and the hordes of unreformed banking banditos take any notice of our borders?

    Sovereignty is meaningless in the modern world - even more so in the case of the 51st State, or the UK as we like to call ourselves.

  • rate this

    Comment number 864.

    @ 631 Robbie

    It's arrogant elitist nonsense to suggest that everyone who voted for UKIP are "not well educated" or in some way don't know what they are voting for. As for dangerous - absolutely not. The current bunch of middle class public school educated idiots who run our political parties are the ones bankrupting the nation whilst syphoning off our national sovereignty and cash to the EU.

  • rate this

    Comment number 863.

    I wonder when the average UKIP voter will wake up to the fact that Marta Andreasen was spot on when she prophetically described Farage being like a Stalinist dictator. When it's too late, probably.

  • rate this

    Comment number 862.

    Why did UKIP do so well? Because millions of us are fed up with immigration and being run by Brussels. When will the government get the message?

  • rate this

    Comment number 861.

    UKIP regurgitate myth.
    Farage's key assertions about the net cost to the uk of being in the EU and the levels of legislation from Brussels are both wrong!!

    Immigration has as much to so with dodgy UK employers seeking to maximise profit through exploitation of "flexible" east european labour as if has to do with understaffed Border control.

  • rate this

    Comment number 860.

    The Tories (and the others) don't want to admit that the voters of the UK like UKIP because they represent the majority view. We don't want the EU, we don't want immigration and we don't want the Human Rights Act. We want to be able to govern our own country and deport all foreign criminals, terrorists and their families. Get the message Mr Cameron and very quickly.

  • Comment number 859.

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

  • Comment number 858.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 857.

    856. BritishSubject
    "UKIP mean what they say and say what they mean."

    Unfortunately what they say is pretty meaningless without the ability to see it through...and with no experience and only a single issue guiding them they are not going to get very far before they fall flat on their faces.

  • rate this

    Comment number 856.

    Who cares if the middle-class, "elite" listen to the people ? All that will mean is more false manifesto promises in run up to the next GE.

    UKIP laid out their stall long ago and stuck to it. The people have seen through the liblabcon . Anyone voting for them at the next GE is deluding themselves that it will make any difference.

    UKIP mean what they say and say what they mean.

  • rate this

    Comment number 855.

    The attraction of UKIP is Nothing is off limits
    down with Wind turbines . bring back smoking in pubs. abolish the EU, limit immigration etc

    from that point of view UKIP is just an amalgum of disperate protest votes, if you want to vote against anything then vote UKIP, doesnt really work for a govt though

  • rate this

    Comment number 854.

    Couldn't be better for the democratic process. Which after all relies heavily on an educated electorate (rather than a manipulated one) to function properly. So many UKIP elected to local council seats will highlight the dangers of electing single issue candidates. There is enough time before the general election to highlight just how lacking in competence UKIP are.

  • rate this

    Comment number 853.

    Both England, and, Wales have managed to have pathetic election results showing their politics has not changed over the past sixty eight years. Instead of having party politics dictating whom you elect why not have free elections wherein politics is forbidden and councillors are elected on merit instead of allowing political lapdogs to gain power over a bemused electorate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 852.

    @762: "The BBC really is making a pig's ear of handling HYS."
    They've also managed to implement HYS very badly.
    The moderation is appalling...

    A post of mine was removed yesterday - from an HYS item from 2 weeks ago!!

    I had a rant to:

    Very satisfying it was too - they probably wont listen or change though...

  • rate this

    Comment number 851.

    Tory's shafted absolutely excellent!
    Bet back at party headquarters lots of headlines including the word clown are being put forward for press dissemination. It the Posh boys that look silly, this is a massive vote of NO CONFIDENCE.
    Time for a change of Government? I think so!

  • rate this

    Comment number 850.

    ukip got just over 20% of a 32% turnout. So about 6% of the voters available. Hardly incredible or world changing. Vote for them at next election will probably give us another coalition who have no intrests in our voices and just carving things up for themselves.. Oh well will have to wait and see...


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