Farage: UKIP 'gaining momentum'
Labour has won the South Shields parliamentary by-election, retaining a seat it has held since 1935. It saw its majority reduced in Thursday's poll as the UK Independence Party (UKIP) finished a clear second, with a 24% share of the total vote. The Conservatives were pushed into third while their Liberal Democrat coalition partners finished seventh.
The party's leader, Nigel Farage, has hailed early gains in council elections across England as "remarkable" for the party. UKIP has won 42 seats so far and is averaging 26% of the vote in the wards where it is standing.
Mr Farage said UKIP had been "gaining momentum" for the past two years.