South Shields by-election, 2013

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Coordinates: 54°59′56″N 1°25′44″W / 54.99889°N 1.42889°W / 54.99889; -1.42889

South Shields by-election, 2013
United Kingdom
← 2010 2 May 2013 2015 →

The South Shields seat in the House of Commons.
Triggered by vacation of seat by incumbent
  First party Second party
  Official portrait of Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck crop 2.jpg Blank
Candidate Emma Lewell-Buck Richard Elvin
Party Labour UKIP
Popular vote 12,493 5,988
Percentage 50.4% 24.2%
Swing Decrease1.6% New party

  Third party Fourth party
Candidate Karen Allen Ahmed Khan
Party Conservative Independent
Popular vote 2,857 1,331
Percentage 11.5% 5.4%
Swing Decrease10.1% New party

Map showing the South Shields Parliamentary constituency within the English Metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear.

MP before election

David Miliband

Subsequent MP

Emma Lewell-Buck

The South Shields by-election was a by-election held for the United Kingdom House of Commons constituency of South Shields.[1] It was triggered by the resignation of David Miliband, the previous Member of Parliament (MP) and former Shadow Foreign Secretary, who had held the seat for Labour since 2001. The by-election took place on 2 May 2013, coinciding with local elections across England.[2]

The by-election was won by Emma Lewell-Buck of the Labour Party with 50.4% of the vote. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) came second with 24.2%, with the Conservatives dropping to third with 11.5%. The Liberal Democrats' candidate came seventh with just 1.4%, the Liberals' or Liberal Democrats' lowest share of the vote at a by-election since 1948.[3]

Resignation of David Miliband[edit]

The seat became vacant after David Miliband, the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) and former Foreign Secretary, announced on 27 March 2013 that he intended to resign from Parliament, in order to take up a position as head of the International Rescue Committee in New York City.[4] In an interview with the BBC, he also explained that he "feared" his continued involvement in British politics was a "distraction" to his brother Ed's leadership of the Labour Party.[5] Miliband's resignation was formally announced on 15 April.[6]


The date for the by-election was scheduled for 2 May 2013 to coincide with local elections across England, although none of those local elections were for councils or positions in South Shields - the nearest elections being for the county councils of Durham and Northumberland, and for the directly elected Mayor of North Tyneside.[2]

Candidates and campaign[edit]

The Labour Party selected South Tyneside councillor Emma Lewell-Buck as its candidate on 10 April 2013.[7] Mark Walsh, a fellow councillor, had been considered the favourite to be selected, but withdrew for "personal reasons" hours before the vote.[8]

The Conservative Party selected the previous 2010 candidate Karen Allen to once again stand for the party[9] on 11 April 2013.

The Liberal Democrats chose Hugh Annand as their candidate on 11 April 2013.[10] Annand had previously stood in North East Hertfordshire and has also been chosen as the seventh candidate on their East of England party-list for the 2014 European elections.[11][12]

The UK Independence Party announced on 7 April 2013 that Richard Elvin would be their candidate.[13] Elvin, the cousin of One Direction band member Harry Styles,[14] finished second in the 2012 Middlesbrough by-election with 12% of the vote.[15]

Alan "Howling Laud" Hope, the leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and perennial by-election candidate, stood as the party's candidate.[16]

Comedian Simon Brodkin, in character as Lee Nelson, was duly nominated as a candidate for 'Lee Nelson’s Well Good Party', but then withdrew his nomination.[17][18]


Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
South Shields by-election, 2013 [18][19][20]
Resignation of David Miliband
Electorate: 62,979
Turnout: 24,780 (39.3%) −18.4
Labour hold
Majority: 6,505 (26.3%) −4.1
Emma Lewell-Buck Labour 12,493 50.4 −1.6
Richard Elvin UKIP 5,988 24.2 N/A
Karen Allen Conservative 2,857 11.5 −10.1
Ahmed Khan Independent 1,331 5.4 N/A
Phil Brown Independent Socialist Party 750 3.0 N/A
Lady Dorothy MacBeth Brookes BNP 711 2.9 −3.6
Hugh Annand Liberal Democrat 352 1.4 −12.8
Alan "Howling Laud" Hope Monster Raving Loony 197 0.8 N/A
Thomas Darwood Independent 57 0.2 N/A
General Election 2010 [21]
Electorate: 64,084
Turnout: 36,518 (57.7%) +7.0
Labour hold
Majority: 11,109 (30.4%) −10.4
Swing: -6.4% from Lab to Con
David Miliband Labour 18,995 52.0 -8.8
Karen Allen Conservative 7,886 21.6 +4.0
Stephen Psallidas Liberal Democrat 5,189 14.2 -5.0
Donna Watson BNP 2,382 6.5 N/A
Shirley Ford Green 762 2.1 N/A
Siamak Kaikavoosi Independent 729 2.0 N/A
Victor Thompson Independent 316 0.9 N/A
Sam Navabi Independent 168 0.5 N/A
Roger Nettleship Fight for an Anti-War Government 91 0.2 N/A

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "David Miliband to step down as MP". BBC News. 27 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "South Shields byelection date set". The Guardian. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  3. ^ George Eaton "Labour holds South Shields as UKIP takes second", New Statesman, 3 May 2013
  4. ^ Miliband, David (27 March 2013). Letter to Alan Donnelly, Chair of South Shields Constituency Labour Party. 
  5. ^ "David Miliband 'feared being distraction' for Labour". BBC News. 27 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "By-election after Miliband quits". MSN. 15 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Female S Tyne councillor wins Labour nomination". Shields Gazette. 10 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Hughes, Andy (10 April 2013). "Shock Withdrawal Of Labour Party Favourite To Replace David Miliband As South Shields MP". Sky Tyne & Wear. 
  9. ^ "Conservatives name candidate for South Shields by-election". ITV Tyne Tees. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Lib Dems select South Shields candidate". North East Region Lib Dems. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Hertfordshire North East candidates - their election pledges". 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  12. ^ "European selection results – complete". 2012-12-01. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  13. ^ Candidate announcement Official UKIP Twitter account
  14. ^ Seamus Duff (2013-04-21). "Harry Styles describes Taylor Swift as a 'pain in the a**e' in upcoming documentary". Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  15. ^ "Labour wins Middlesbrough by-election, with UKIP second". The Mirror. 
  16. ^ "Loony leader’s bid to be South Shields MP". Shields Gazette. 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  17. ^ Dipper, Andrew (19 April 2013). "Comedian Lee Nelson announces plans to stand in South Shields by-election". Giggle Beats. 
  18. ^ a b "South Shields by-election", South Tyneside Council
  19. ^ "South Shields Constituency - 02 May 2013 Parliamentary By-Election". Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "South Shields by-election: Labour wins as UKIP makes big gains". BBC News. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "UK General Election results May 2010, part21". Richard Kimber's political science resources. Retrieved 3 May 2013.