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Emma Lewell-Buck: "South Shields has made history tonight, and I'm so proud to be part of that history, being the first ever woman MP for this town.
"I think people know what I will do because I've been knocking on their doors for four weeks now.
Former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik described the South Shields result as "appalling" and demanded a "credible explanation from Nick Clegg regarding the recovery strategy".
The Lib Dems secured just 352 votes.
Mr Opik lost his Montgomeryshire seat in 2010.
UKIP's candidate Richard Elvin says coming second is "a message to all three mainstream parties that UKIP is the official opposition".
Speaking after the results, he said: "It's an absolutely fantastic result for UKIP. To come from nowhere to take 25 per cent at its first attempt is absolutely stunning.
"It's a message to all three mainstream parties that Ukip is the official opposition.
"We have proved that in Labour strongholds and we have done it again in South Shields."
Latest ITV News reports
Labour's Emma Lewell-Buck has made history tonight after becoming the first female MP in South Shields.
Results for local council ballots will be keenly studied in Westminster for pointers towards the 2015 general election.