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 909.

    I voted for nobody because the was no UKIP box! shame! I'll have to do it 2015! :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 908.

    When the people of these shores stop sharpening their axes on the most vulnerable of our populace, when they take time to look up and take account of just what this coalition are up to, then the majority will not vote tory. The tories are extremely disappointing in leadership, policies and character.

  • rate this

    Comment number 907.

    905.mike ivybridge
    and taking into account the exponential rise in UKIP support over just the past few years it would be reasonable to expect them at least in opposition or even in government in 2015.
    Today some council seats, Tomorrow the world, eh?

  • Comment number 906.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 905.

    The low turnout hides the reality that there are a lot more UKIP supporters out there who didn't vote. This applies equally to all the parties but the turnout is not too small to project an accurate turnout, and taking into account the exponential rise in UKIP support over just the past few years it would be reasonable to expect them at least in opposition or even in government in 2015.

  • rate this

    Comment number 904.

    896.Blistering Blast of Truth
    I was kind of expecting that. The left have a kind of boxed in syndrome. only the mention of Benefits, Public Sector growth, Mass immigration, Unions, and Massive debt seem to be the subjects on which they can synapse :-)
    Do they? wouldn't know. Sounds to me you are just trying to cover up your National/Nationalist gaffe though.

  • rate this

    Comment number 903.

    #850 you should know it's who is bothered to turnout that matters. 20% of those who bothered voted right wing in a Labour area. You will have coalitions until we get a credible party who represents the majority. Sadly there's no one on the horizon we have let down by the two major parties for a century, UKIP isn't the answer but neither are the other parties.

  • rate this

    Comment number 902.

    Non of the usual main parties can cover themselves in glory, they are all guilty of ignoring the people who voted for them once the ballot has been set, people have had enough of their lies and deceit and have decided to try something else. I'm not myself convinced that UKIP will be the answer come the general election, but the way things are shaping up, non of the above sounds about right to me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 901.

    This was a protest vote the dyed in the wool Tories will soon jump the fence when a general election is nign. i think the party who has trouble are the Lib-dems no one trusts a party that ditches its manifesto to jump in to bed with another party, They may regret thir actions. But as there is no money available Cameron and Gideon will find it for the bribes come 2015.

  • rate this

    Comment number 900.

    We had those freedoms long before the Human Rights Act was dreamt up. We fought wars to defend those rights before the EC was even a pipe dream.
    Yet we've stood by and watched our industry decimated by free market bank lackies, our employee rights disintegrate and our infrastructure get sold to foreign companies who can then hold us to ransom.

    Rule Britannia? Pah! Rip off UK

  • Comment number 899.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 898.

    I am sad that the BNP got as many votes as they did.

  • rate this

    Comment number 897.

    I wonder how long it will take UKIP voters to realise that UKIP cannot achieve a single one of their goals from local government,.

    Its going to be the UKIP MEPS all over again, sit back, do nothing, collect the wages & ride the gravy train. (check out the proportion of UKIP MEPS that have been done for corruption comapared to other UK parties)

  • rate this

    Comment number 896.

    892.Gyles Mitchell-Rose
    Ergo Nationalists can mean many things I hope I am not losing you here ?
    Nah, I am afraid you lost me mate. I think you lost yourself.

    I was kind of expecting that. The left have a kind of boxed in syndrome. only the mention of Benefits, Public Sector growth, Mass immigration, Unions, and Massive debt seem to be the subjects on which they can synapse :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 895.

    UKIP isn't a protest vote.....people feel very strongly about immigration and for many people it is THE most important issue. The Tories are doing what they can to get people on benefits back to work, it's just taking too long. But the immigration issue is affecting schools, housing, crime , the benefits bill and the NHS.

  • rate this

    Comment number 894.

    Looking forward to the pie fights already. If we go down, we might as well do it laughing. Shame Lord Suggs isn't here, he would have loved it. Slapstick Politics. With Farage as Stan Laurel.

  • rate this

    Comment number 893.

    The clowns were sent in. Why?
    Well done Nigel and the rest of the troupe.

  • rate this

    Comment number 892.

    889.Blistering Blast of Truth
    Ergo Nationalists can mean many things I hope I am not losing you here ?
    Nah, I am afraid you lost me mate. I think you lost yourself.

  • rate this

    Comment number 891.

    Conservatives have delivered everything they promised that did not directly affect their own interests. Labour still want to borrow to get out of debt. Lib dems lack credibility because people remember the rock solid guarantees they tore up because they did not get elected. So Labour win a safe seat and UKIP come second. No surprise at all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 890.

    If there was a "None of the Above" place on the ballot forms???


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