Sheffield, Brightside & Hillsborough

2015 Result:
Conservative: 4407 (11%)
Labour: 22663 (56.6%)
Lib Dem: 1802 (4.5%)
Green: 1712 (4.3%)
UKIP: 8856 (22.1%)
TUSC: 442 (1.1%)
Others: 171 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 13807 (34.5%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Sheffield.

Profile: This is the most working class of the Sheffield seats, and generally suffers from the highest levels of unemployment in the city. It is made up mostly of the inter-war and post-war housing estates like the huge Shiregreen and Parson Cross developments. While right-to-buy has reduced the proportion of council homes, over a third of the housing remains in the social sector. The constituency includes Hillsborough stadium, home to Sheffield Wednesday but perhaps more immediately associated with the 1989 stadium disaster.

Politics: A falling electorate in the seat resulted in boundary changes for the 2010 election but while the historic Hillsborough name was retained as part of the new constituency name, this seat is overwhelmingly made up of the old Sheffield Brightside seat. Brightside has been a Labour stronghold since before the second world war, often one of their safest seats in the country. It was previously represented by the left-winger Joan Maynard, once Chair of the Socialist Campaign Group and David Blunkett, once a similarly left-wing figure as leader Sheffield council, but later to serve as Home Secretary under Tony Blair.

Current MP
HARRY HARPHAM (Labour) Educated at Sheffield University. Former Parliamentary researcher and miner. Sheffield councillor since 2000. First elected as MP for Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 4468 (11%)
Lab: 21400 (55%)
LDem: 7768 (20%)
BNP: 3026 (8%)
Oth: 2252 (6%)
MAJ: 13632 (35%)
Con: 2205 (9%)
Lab: 16876 (69%)
LDem: 3232 (13%)
BNP: 1537 (6%)
Oth: 779 (3%)
MAJ: 13644 (55%)
Con: 2601 (10%)
Lab: 19650 (77%)
LDem: 2238 (9%)
UKIP: 348 (1%)
Oth: 715 (3%)
MAJ: 17049 (67%)
Con: 2850 (8%)
Lab: 24901 (74%)
LDem: 4947 (15%)
Oth: 543 (2%)
MAJ: 19954 (59%)

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

2015 Candidates
ELISE DUNWEBER (Conservative) Elmbridge councillor since 2011.
HARRY HARPHAM (Labour) Educated at Sheffield University. Parliamentary researcher and former miner. Sheffield councillor since 2000.
JONATHAN HARTSON (Liberal Democrat)
JOHN BOOKER (UKIP) Sheffield councillor since 2014.
JUSTIN SAXTON (English Democrat)
MAXINE BOWLER (TUSC) Contested Sheffield Central 2005 for Respect, Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough 2010 for TUSC.
Comments - 367 Responses on “Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough”
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  1. I expect Blunkett will stand down at the next election, though he’s still young enough he could stay on if he wants.

    This should become still safer for Labour at the next election. UKIP have a chance of beating the Conservatives.

  2. my forecast for 2015

    Lab 59
    UKIP 13
    LD 11
    Con 9
    Others 8

    David Blunkett is currently on ‘dodgy moral ground’.

  3. The most interesting thing about the problems in Sheffield with Roma is that many of those complaining are muslims.

    If this really turns into a big issue next year I wonder if you might not see some black and Asian voters seriously considering UKIP.

  4. It wouldn’t be unheard of, though it’s rare. UKIP are after all not the same as the BNP, and do have quite a number of non-white members. No doubt however many of those complaining will stick with Blunkett. I will refrain from commenting on the actual issue on this site.

  5. ‘UKIP are after all not the same as the BNP’

    It’s probably most accurate to describe UKIP as the equivalent of the Danish People’s party. I did go to Copenhagen in Sept 2011 so know vaguely what I am talking about.

  6. Its another of those my 2nd cousin thrice removed once stopped in a service station in this constituency posts – they are your equivalent of “A closer look”!

  7. ”ts another of those my 2nd cousin thrice removed once stopped in a service station in this constituency posts – they are your equivalent of “A closer look”!”

    Hey Joe- Don’t diss my closer looks! If you’ve got a problem with me posting here, why not just make it crystal clear???!

  8. I’m not dissing them – just that they are becoming his catchphrase in the way your closer looks are for you.

    You are terribly defensive The Results – I value your contributions.

  9. I know Joe, I was just being a little bit sarcastic!

    Thanks for your kind words, I appreciate what you post as well.

  10. I could list the constituencies where I have detailed knowledge, but for one reason or another they are quite numerous. My work takes me all over the western half of London, and I know the majority of London pretty well for other reasons. As a student I got to know both Brighton & Cambridge very well, but also have been a very frequent visitor to many other parts of the country. I do however have some very large gaps – NW Wales, NE Scotland, the whole of Northern Ireland, urban Yorkshire, Lincolnshire & Shropshire are among the areas where my visits have been either rare or non-existent.

  11. SW London is the area that I’m most familiar with although I also have good knowledge of much of central London as well as inner north/SE London. Much of east London is unknown to me as are the outer parts of north and west London. Outside the capital, Brighton and the Bournemouth/Poole conurbation are the areas that I know best. I really do need to visit more parts of the UK though. I certainly want to go to Oxford again and also wish to visit Cambridge, Bristol, York and the Lake District among others.

  12. LAB HOLD MAJ : 44%
    LAB 58
    LD 14
    UKIP 11
    CON 9
    OTH 6
    GRN 2


    Labour 11,212 (48.67%)
    UKIP 7,288 (31.63%)
    Green 1,702 ( 7.39%)
    Liberal Democrat 1,176 ( 5.10%)
    Conservative 909 ( 3.95%)
    TUSC 686 ( 2.98%)
    Independent 65 ( 0.28%)

  14. Reports that David Blunkett is to stand down at next election.


    So it looks like Sheffield is going to have another new MP (this and Heeley are more or less guaranteed Labour holds, perhaps Brightside & Hillsborough more so). Interested to see if it’s going to be an Open Selection or an AWS and who’s going to seek the nomination.

    The Heeley CLP selected an impressive looking local candidate (I thought it was either going to be her or Meg Munn’s office manager). Let’s see if this branch can do the same 🙂

    Blunkett is Sheffield’s remaining high profile Labour MP. Despite living in the city for years I still have no clue what his reputation as a local MP was like.

  16. Maybe my friend Cllr. George Lindars-Hammond will go for it – would be fun to see a 23 year old elected if not the wisest decision.

  17. This remains pretty much Labour’s safest seat in Sheffield, though Heeley & SE are also very safe. Very unusually for that election in such a safe seat, there was actually a 4% further swing to Blunkett in 2001, and his share of the vote soared above 70% though the turnout was pretty low.

  18. UKIP may have a chance at second place next year.

  19. Looking at the council group both Ian Saunders (Beverley and Holderness) and Jack Scott (Sheffield Hallam) stood in 2010 GE. So they could be expected to have parliamentary interest.

    I don’t expect the female Cllrs who failed to get on Heeley shortlist too be much competitive in the case of an open shortlist. So they may decide not to join in.

  20. I’ve met Jack Scott and he seems pretty able although after a strong UKIP challenge in May I’m not sure the council will be best pleased with another by-election in Arbourthorne so soon. Also he’s not as identifiably local as Blunkett (he lives in Stannington but is from Leicestershire) which might work against him. I’ll keep an eye on the selection process.

  21. Actually, one more advantage for Jack Scott is that he increased the Labour vote in Sheffield Hallam in 2010 – quite the achievement.

  22. In the five wards that make up Brightside & Hillsborough, Labour holds every single seat locally so they have a very deep pool of councillors to possibly put their names forward for selection. Or it might be a local, non-councillor who ultimately takes the baton like in Hallam or Heeley.

    The most visible (looking from the outside) problem has been tensions surrounding the Roma community in and around Page Hall. What happened in November was a flashpoint and if things aren’t resolved properly (things seem to have died down since then but you never know when underlying problems of this nature can flare up again) chances are the new MP could have a real job on his or her hands.

  23. “I’m not sure the council will be best pleased with another by-election in Arbourthorne so soon”

    I guess he would carry on until May 2015.

    PPCs usually don’t resign their council seat immediately if they represent a ward pretty close to the constituency they are selected for.

  24. Is Cllr Chris Weldon from Firth Park the same one sitting on the NEC in the Trade Union section (Unite)?

  25. David Blunkett is retiring. He is a man of considerable achievements.

  26. Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough Labour selection will take place on October 25th.

    The Council Deputy Leader Harry Harpham is in the running. His ward is in Sheffield SE constituency but he works as researcher for Blunkett.

  27. Harry Harpham was a striking miner in 1984/85 – might do him some good here for romantic Sheffield reasons even if there aren’t that many former miners about. He’s not been without controversy on the council though.

  28. The BNP seem to do better in seats that have a quickly increasing Muslim and ethnic minority population. I geuss each vote is a message to the minorities that live there.

    UKIP do better in areas 90%+ White British.

    I think this shows a difference in mentality of the two parties somehow.

  29. They did back then, but the organisation has been in terminal decline following 2010. No way are they going to replicate their performance in this seat or anywhere else where they held their deposits last time.

  30. …Just to add, I don’t think every ward in Brightside & Hillsborough are uniform in terms of ethnicity. Burngreave is by far the most diverse ward, and Firth Park has a sizeable number of Pakistanis. The other three wards are much less ethnically diverse.

  31. It’s pretty odd how big ethnicity has to do with voting. I wouldn’t have imagined that until I got into this stuff.

  32. People tend to vote based on common identity much more than they’d like to think or admit. It’s a bit better than it used to be.

  33. Lab gain from Con.

  34. “Harry Harpham was a striking miner in 1984/85 – might do him some good here for romantic Sheffield reasons even if there aren’t that many former miners about.”

    I’m afraid you are showing off your youth again Mr Nameless. May I inform you that ALL Yorkshire area miners were “striking miners” in 84/85, whether they personally wanted to be so or not. A very significant minority of them (eg. my uncle) did not want to be on strike but had absolutely no choice in the matter as the pickets closed almost all the collieries down. Therefore the term “striking miner” is superfluous, and certainly doesn’t imply that the said person agreed with the strike.

    Your comment also made me think a bit. Sure there were no collieries within the boundaries of Sheffield, but even by the 1980s the city still had quite a large industrial coal consumption. The coking works, for example, would still have employed large numbers of people then (the largest famously at Orgreave). Maybe a Labour expert on here would know whether coking plant workers would have been in the steel workers union or the NUM? (I’m guessing the former). How sympathetic were the steel workers and workers at other local industrial plants to the miners strike?

    If Mr Harpham was a miner in 1984, unless he had only just joined as a teenager, he must be getting on a bit now.

  35. @Joe James B


  36. Harphamn worked at Clipstone Colliery in Nottinghamshire

    I am not good at judging people age but he could be already 60 year old

  37. Interesting. Presumably he refused to go along with the UDM, which dominated locally.

  38. He was the NUM Rep there. He moved to Sheffield in 1985 after the strike….maybe because no-one wanted him in Mansfiled?!

  39. Probably right. Mansfield was held by Labour by just 56 votes in 1987 following the strike (although a swing of more than 10% in 1992 delivered the seat back into the safe Labour column).

    It is difficult to recall now the extreme anger and division among miners that the strike caused.

  40. The miners’ strike caused a massive rift in the Mansfield Labour party, which partly explains the near loss of the seat in 1987. The incumbent MP Don Concannon was a moderate and quite supportive of the UDM. He was deselected and replaced with the NUM-supporting Alan Meale. Many UDM members voted Conservative in that election.

  41. So – the LD candidate here left the lib dems and only actually decided he supported them after they offered the candidateship.

    How desperate can they be?

  42. pretty desperate

  43. Cheers H. Hemmelig, I hadn’t thought of that. Having said that, I suspect a lot of younger voters here will also not be aware of the situation and will think “Striking miner? Good!”.

    I suspect Harpham will be selected although it’d be interesting to see who he’s standing against in the selection.

  44. “Mansfield was held by Labour by just 56 votes in 1987”

    I wonder would JJB have predicted that if this site had been around in 1985?

  45. Labour only had a pretty narrow majority in Mansfield in 1983 & thus the 1987 result was by no means out of left field. It is one of those seats where Labour had to fight to win in the 80s but have had no difficulty before or since.

  46. The Respect Party has announced it will be standing Nasser Younis in Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough in 2015.

  47. Given that Respect probably only have the resources to run a limited number of candidates, I would not have thought that this seat would be their best choice to concentrate on.

    Arguably, David Blunkett has becaome a bit of an “Uncle Tom” for the political establishment, but he is still well embedded as a local MP and Anthony’s description of this seat as “ultra-safe” is well founded.

  48. Agreed Frederic, seems like a strange choice of seat for Respect to contest.

  49. Since we’re here, which seats are Respect’s best prospects this time? Bradford West obviously. Anywhere else?

  50. I’d expect Respect to do reasonably well should they decide to stand in Bradford East, they should retain their deposit there at the very least.

    As for others, its difficult to call, they tend to prosper in areas with a high proportion of Muslim’s (possibly the reasoning behind standing in Sheffield Brightside – 14.8% Muslim).

    They polled 8.5% in the Rotherham by-election in 2012 so you’d assume they will probably stand there again.

    But, as Frederic stated, their resources must be very limited, so its all down to where they choose to stand and exactly what sort of campaign they can afford to stage.

    Galloway himself admitted that he would have never won Bradford West had it not been such a short campaign – Respect just can’t afford to compete over a prolonged campaign. Personally, if I were Galloway, I’d be throwing every single penny at Bradford West – possibly stand in Bradford East too if there is enough money in the kitty.

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