Penistone & Stocksbridge

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12968 (27.7%)
Labour: 19691 (42%)
Lib Dem: 2957 (6.3%)
UKIP: 10738 (22.9%)
Others: 500 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 6723 (14.3%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: Yorkshire and the Humber, South Yorkshire. Part of the Sheffield council area and part of the Barnsley council area.

Main population centres: Penistone, Stocksbridge, Chapeltown, Dodworth.

Profile: The seat covers the north-western suburbs of Sheffield and the steel town of Stocksbridge, set to the north west of Sheffield on the edge of the moors. The northern part of the seat drawn from the borough of Barnsley covers the rural villages in the foothills of the pennines around the market town of Penistone and, to the east, the former mining village of Dodworth. Most of the seat is made up of traditional industrial areas, loyal to Labour, though with the decline of coal and steel and the old allegiences that went with it, there is more new build housing and commuters into Sheffield and Barnsley.

Politics: By the standards of South Yorkshire, one of Labour`s most reliable bedrocks in England, this counts as a marginal. Labour have only just over 40% of the vote and it is only the division of opposition support - once between Conservative and Liberal Democrat, now between Conservatives and UKIP that keeps the seat in Labour hands..

Current MP
ANGELA SMITH (Labour) Born 1961, Grimsby. Educated at Tollbar Secondary and Nottingham University. Former College Lecturer. Former Sheffield councillor. First elected as MP for Sheffield Hillsborough in 2005. PPS to Yvette Cooper 2007-2010.
Past Results
Con: 14516 (31%)
Lab: 17565 (38%)
LDem: 9800 (21%)
BNP: 2207 (5%)
Oth: 2428 (5%)
MAJ: 3049 (7%)
Con: 6890 (15%)
Lab: 23477 (51%)
LDem: 12234 (27%)
BNP: 2010 (4%)
Oth: 1273 (3%)
MAJ: 11243 (25%)
Con: 7801 (18%)
Lab: 24170 (57%)
LDem: 9601 (23%)
UKIP: 964 (2%)
MAJ: 14569 (34%)
Con: 7707 (15%)
Lab: 30150 (57%)
LDem: 13699 (26%)
MAJ: 16451 (31%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Sheffield, Hillsborough

2015 Candidates
STEVEN JACKSON (Conservative)
ANGELA SMITH (Labour) See above.
ROSALYN JANE GORDON (Liberal Democrat)
COLIN PORTER (English Democrat) Contested Barnsley East 2010 for the BNP.
Comments - 77 Responses on “Penistone & Stocksbridge”
  1. @Maxim I agree that UKIP took far more from the Tories in this seat. I imagine that this seat will eventually be lost by Labour unless it is butchered in a boundary review (which is quite possible). I imagine to people with much longer political memories than me find it very surreal that this seat is a far better Tory prospect than their traditional stronghold of Sheffield Hallam.

    This is the kind of seat where Corbyn could do real damage to Labour. As I have said on other threads the constituencies put most in jeopardy by the hard left’s take over of the Labour party are seats where the 2015 winning Labour vote share was only in the high 30s or low 40s with fairly large Tory and UKIP votes, very white British, low public sector employment (i.e. this seat). The hype about Labour losing Oldham West and Royton (or Ogmore or Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough for that matter) though was and is ridiculous because Labour was well clear of 50% in all three in 2015.

    I don’t think Corbyn will do overwhelmingly worse than Miliband in 2020 in terms of vote share (assuming he’s still around) because he is still overwhelmingly popular with the labour activist base. But I imagine that his leadership will push the Tory vote share up and cause the opposition to coalesce more than usual around the most viable non-Labour candidate in marginal seats.

  2. Under the 2011 proposals the boundaries in this area were considerably redrawn. Approx 2/3 of the seat was to go into a new seat called Sheffield North and Dodworth (safe LAB) and 1/3 into Sheffield Hallam, which was to become Sheffield Hallam and Penistone – a seat that was notionally LD if contested in 2010 but in 2015 would, I imagine, have been a three way marginal… Of course it won’t necessarily be the same this time.

  3. As I said before a Batley and Spen by-election would have been fascinating if contested by the Tories and UKIP and held whilst May is still enjoying her honeymoon.

    Even if it had been held around now I imagine Tooting would still have been a Labour hold, perhaps with slightly less of an increased majority. Though the seat is vulnerable in a GE.

  4. I must say Maxim I’m curious as to why you find this seat so fascinating. Of all the former mining seats where the Tories get a decent vote share this is probably the least interesting.

    Its worth pointing out that both the Lab vote share was up on 2010 and Tory vote share down on 2010 which doesn’t point to a seat that’s rapidly trending Tory unlike the likes of Bishop Auckland.

    As for the boundary review the likelihood is this seat will either dip into Barnsley proper (thus killing Tory hopes stone dead) or it will be carved up completely.

  5. This seat is very unlikely to survive the boundary review, but if something like it does, it’s really not promising for the Tories. It was bigged up as a possible gain in 2010 and even (by some people) in 2015, but they are now a distant second, only just ahead of UKIP.

    The Sheffield section is poor for the Conservatives and not improving – what little vote they had seems to have gone to UKIP, along with much of the Lib Dem vote and some of the Labour vote.

    The Conservative vote comes from around Penistone, but they have failed to make advances in either Penistone East or West. Hard to say in Dodworth as locally it’s dominated by independents, but there’s no evidence of advance there either.

    Even if UKIP disappear, their vote is very unlikely to go en bloc to the Conservatives; while some UKIPpers here are former Tories, many loathe the party for historical reasons.

    And I’m unconvinced that Miliband being a Doncaster MP had any real impact on the local votes; he wasn’t often in Barnsley or Sheffield, and the Labour shares held up well in the 2016 local elections.

  6. Plus, as Rivers says, if the seat does survive, taking wards from Sheffield or other bits of Barnsley will hinder the Tories still further. Their only hope would be adding in bits of Kirklees, which would be justifiable but unlikely due to the South – West Yorkshire boundary. And while the bits of Kirklees near the border are good for the Tories, they’re not that good – just adding one or two wards in wouldn’t be enough, they’d need to swap out a chunk of Sheffield, by which point you’re pretty much adding a bit of Barnsley to the Colne Valley seat which the party already holds.

  7. Maxim
    I agree with Wardofdreams, the UKIP vote here isn’t monolithically Tory, in fact this is precisely the type of WWC seat where I’d guess UKIP probably did more harm to Labour than the Cons if anything.

    As for the “Milliband bounce” if such a phenomena occurred I doubt it had a major effect. You can’t really compare to Kinnock in 92 since h was in fact Welsh, party leaders always over perform in the region they are from. While Milliband did represent a South Yorkshire seat he isn’t from South Yorkshire and very clearly so, in fact I’m not sure if you recall but many people were speculating that Milliband was such an obvious parachute into his seat it might actually harm Labour in South Yorkshire. That turned out to not be the case but to spin it on its head and claim this actually helped Labour here? Seems a bit of a stretch.

  8. “If you look at 2015 here UKIP doesn’t seem to have hurt Labour much, if at all. Whereas the Tories clearly suffered from the UKIP spikes in South Yorkshire”

    As always there is a lot of churn going on. Its very possible that UKIP did more harm to Lab here but Lab clawed a little bit of support back from the Tories and where the overwhelming beneficiaries of the Lib Dem collapse? I’m not saying that happened but you cant really say “UKIP vote up, Lab vote stable, Tory vote down UKIP thus took more votes from the Tories” its never that simple.

    “What I’m saying is that in a lot of seats where the opposition was split between UKIP and Cons in 2015, I don’t see it remaining that way”

    I’m inclined to agree but I think the votes will split somewhere in the ballpark of 50/50. To be in serious contention the Tories need to pick up 75% or more of the UKIP vote and I just don’t see it.

  9. I would have though the most sensible thing to do would be to give Sheffield borough exactly 5 seats (yes you would have to split one or two wards). There is no need to cross into Barnsley at all.

  10. Of course it is but we all know that many UKIP voters especially in seats like this are former Labour voters, that’s not new news, the contentious issue is how many and that is up for debate and their have been many disagreements on this site over that issue.

    Ultimately its impossible to know for certain where the vote increases/decreases came from especially since some of the increase will be first time voters and some of the decrease will be people who voted in the past but didn’t in 2015. As I said an awful lot of churn, the only thing that is guarantied is that a sizable % of that UKIP vote (how sizable I don’t know) will have come from ex Labour voters and a sizable chunk of those “Red Kippers” wont vote for the Tories.

  11. Its within the realms of possibility but I’d say its very top end of what the Tories can hope for and they’ll need a fair few ex kippers to pull it off. Even the very best polls only just have the Tories sneaking this.

  12. Nicola Wilson is the Tory candidate.

  13. Not a bad candidate for a surprise Conservative gain though it’s a long shot.

  14. Was slightly surprised to learn just how middle-class this constituency is these days- 32.3% managerial/professional which is slightly above the national average.

  15. Lots of commuters along the M1.

  16. UKIP candidate will be John Booker, a councilor within the constituency first elected 2014.
    Apparently UKIP in north Sheffield is holding itself together, even if the voters are largely leaving it.

  17. YouGov’s MRP analysis now rates this seat as slightly less likely to return a Labour MP than Battersea.

    The mid point of their projections is 45-43 in Penistone and Stockbridge and 44-40 in Battersea.

  18. I suspect it far more likely that Labour hold this than they gain Battersea

  19. LAB hold

  20. Both this seat and Don Valley saw swings to Labour in 2015 due to UKIP which has now unwound. The Conservative manifesto most likely lost both these seats.

    They are now clearly both seats that the Conservatives would need to form a majority government.

  21. One thing that became clear to me as the night went on, was that Cons actually did better in Northern targets where UKIP actually STOOD a candidate than where they stood down (upon which their remaining ‘can’t vote Tory’ voters just went for / back to Labour and helped stave off Tory advances).

  22. Angela Smith faces a motion of confidence tonight in her CLP I believe.

  23. Angela Smith has lost a vote of confidence 27-20 – and has issued a statement citing ‘a carbel of hard left members’.

  24. Angela doesnt have to worry sbout the cabal. The boundary review will be her undoing

  25. Is her seat disappearing or is it moving notionally into the blue column?

    (Also, I remain unconvinced the Tories will get these boundaries through parliament. A change which preserves 650 MPs might pass, but the current proposals rely on turkeys voting for Christmas.)

  26. The Ecclesfield wards are going into Gill Furniss’ renamed Sheffield North & Ecclesfield, Stocksbridge is going into Dan Jarvis’ Barnsley West & Stocksbridge and Penistone is going to shore up Labours vote in Colne Valley & Penistone

  27. The likelihood is the new boundary might not happen and it will be deselection that ends her career. I suspect as a point of principle many of the MP’s facing deselected will actually get deselected rather than announce their standing down before the formal process occurs.

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