Middlesbrough by-election, 2012

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Middlesbrough by-election, 2012
United Kingdom
← 2010 29 November 2012 2015 →
Candidate Andy McDonald Richard Elvin George Selmer
Party Labour UKIP Liberal Democrat
Popular vote 10,201 1,990 1,672
Percentage 60.5 11.8 9.9

Candidate Ben Houchen Imdad Hussain
Party Conservative Peace
Popular vote 1,063 1,060
Percentage 6.3 6.3

Map showing the Middlesbrough Parliamentary constituency within the English county of Cleveland.

MP before election

Stuart Bell

Subsequent MP

Andy McDonald

The Middlesbrough by-election was a by-election for the Parliament of the United Kingdom's House of Commons constituency of Middlesbrough. The by-election was caused by the death of its Member of Parliament Sir Stuart Bell.[1] It was held on 29 November 2012,[2] the same day as by-elections in Croydon North and Rotherham.

The deadline for nominations was 14 November.[3][4] The election returned a Labour member of parliament, with UKIP second and the Liberal Democrats third.[5]


UKIP selected Richard Elvin, chairman of the North East Regional Committee, as their candidate. He contested the Houghton and Sunderland South seat for UKIP in 2009. The Liberal Democrats selected George Selmer, who works in employment services, as their candidate.[6] Stockton borough Councillor Ben Houchen was the Conservative candidate.[7]

In November 2012, Councillor Imdad Hussain, who had been suspended from the Labour Party for two years after failing to disclose he had been banned as a company director, resigned from the party and announced he would be standing for the Peace Party in the by-election.[8]

Campaigner Mark Heslehurst launched his candidacy as a self-styled 'independent Labour' candidate.[9] He has no description on the ballot paper. Mark Heslehurst organises events to raise awareness of an issue related to his estranged partner and son,[10] which has involved walking 500 miles to Downing Street.[11]

The BNP candidate was Peter Foreman.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate John Malcolm is the Tees, Esk & Wear Valley Health Unison branch representative.

Current independent Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon mooted the possibility of standing in the by-election, depending on the quality of other candidates,[12] but did not submit his candidacy.


Hustings were held at St Barnabas' Church on 26 November 2012, hosted by Friends of the Earth. The lively proceedings went well, with members of the audience asking over 20 questions on topics ranging from education and services to employment and the environment. Six of the eight candidates were invited.[13]


The Labour Party held the seat, with Andy McDonald elected as the new MP. Along with other by-elections held on the same day, there were sharp declines in the vote for the governing coalition parties, although this was the only one of the three at which they both retained their deposit, and the only one at which the Liberal Democrats finished ahead of the Conservatives. UKIP finished in second place. Previously they had only come second in one other parliamentary election (the Barnsley Central by-election in 2011). They also came second in the Rotherham contest held on the same date as the Middlesbrough election.

The result is also notable as the first time the Peace Party had ever retained their deposit at a parliamentary election.

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
Middlesbrough by-election, 2012
Death of Sir Stuart Bell
Turnout: 16,866 (25.91%) −25.5
Labour hold
Majority: 8,211 (47.7%) +21.7
Swing: 3.3% from UKIP to Lab
Andy McDonald Labour 10,201 60.5 +14.6
Richard Elvin UKIP 1,990 11.8 +8.1
George Selmer Liberal Democrat 1,672 9.9 −10.0
Ben Houchen Conservative 1,063 6.3 −12.5
Imdad Hussain Peace 1,060 6.3 N/A
Peter Foreman BNP 328 1.9 −3.9
John Malcolm TUSC 277 1.6 N/A
Mark Heslehurst no description 275 1.6 N/A
General Election 2010
Turnout: 33,455 (51.4%) +2.7
Labour hold
Majority: 8,689 (26.0%)
Swing: 6.4% from Lab to Lib Dem
Stuart Bell Labour 15,351 45.9 −11.7
Chris Foote-Wood Liberal Democrat 6,662 19.9 +1.2
John Walsh Conservative 6,283 18.8 +2.3
Joan McTigue Independent 1,969 5.9 +5.9
Michael Ferguson BNP 1,954 5.8 +3.3
Robert Parker UKIP 1,236 3.7 +1.3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MP Bell dies after cancer battle". Bradford Telegraph & Argus. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Middlesbrough by-election date announced, by Robert Merrick, The Northern Echo, 2 November 2012
  3. ^ Election Notice Middlesbrough.gov.uk
  4. ^ By-election candidates confirmed, Middlesbrough Council
  5. ^ "Middlesbrough by-election: Labour's Andy McDonald wins". BBC News. BBC. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ More candidates announced for Middlesbrough's MP role Northern Echo
  8. ^ Bradford councillor resigns from Labour party, Telegraph & Argus, 6 November 2012
  9. ^ Mark Heslehurst Home Page
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ 500 mile walk to try and get son back ITV News
  12. ^ Mayor Ray Mallon not ruling out Middlesbrough MP bid, BBC News, 19 October 2012
  13. ^ [3], Evening Gazette, 27 November 2012