The new South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck, has visited the House of Commons for the first time to take her seat.
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.
– Emma Lewell-Buck, winning Labour candidate
"UKIP did make inroads but ultimately the people of South Shields have spoken and they want a Labour MP.
"I have seen how people live under a Coalition Government and are really struggling, and I want to make a difference."
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.
South Shields by-election gave 1.4% for Lib Dems. I ask for a credible explanation from Nick Clegg regarding the recovery strategy.From @lembitopik on Twitter:
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."
Lib Dems have come 7th here! 3rd last time. But candidate said he always expected to poll poorlyFrom @PaulBrandITV on Twitter:
The result for the South Shields by-election gives Labour a majority of 6,505 after claiming more than 50 per cent of the vote.
- Labour - 12,493
- UKIP - 5,988
- Conservatives - 2,857
- Independent candidate - 1,311
- Independent Socialist Party - 750
- BNP - 711
- Lib Dems - 352
- Monster Raving Loony Party - 197
- Independent candidate - 57