Labour majority to halve in South Shields, UKIP surge, Lib Dems lose deposit

Britain's South Shields by-election has bolstered UKIP growth hopes while causing great embarrassment for Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats

by The Commentator on 2 May 2013 23:02

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Today's by-election in former Labour MP David Miliband's seat of South Shields has ended in large Conservative and Lib Dem losses, and what some sources are claiming will be a halved Labour majority from 2010.

Full results: CON 2857, LDem 352, BNP 711, Independent Socialist 750, UKIP 5988, Monster Raving Loony 197, Ind 1331, LAB 12493.

As the ballots were counted it soon became apparent that Labour, as expected, would hold the seat comfortably, with long-time Labour councillor Emma Lewell-Buck set to be announced as the winner shortly.

ITV earlier reported that UKIP was confident about coming in second and scrambled deputy leader Paul Nuttall up to the area to help the local party celebrate. Sources initially claimed that UKIP's candidate, Richard Elvin, was set to bust the recent Eastleigh record of 28 percent by bringing in over 30 percent of the local vote, however the final results kept the UKIP candidate in the mid-20s.

The Conservative Party hit around just 10 percent, with the Liberal Democrats losing their deposit in the fight with just 372 votes.

UKIP played down the predictions. “We think we have got 25 per cent of the vote,” said a UKIP official. “Not bad since we didn’t even have a candidate 17 days ago.”

Labour’s vote dropped to the “mid 40s” having come in at 52 per cent in the 2010 General Election. The turnout on Thursday was around 39 per cent, or 24,736 votes.

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