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 - 378 Responses on “Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough”
  1. Labour’s credibility will also be very difficult to regain, even if Corbyn is long gone by 2020.

    I agree with you on the economy but Labour will not be in a position to form a government in 2020 recession or not. Perhaps the 2020-25 Tory administration will be beset by the fallout of recession like Major in 92-97, allowing a renewed Labour to win in 2025. That’s Labour’s best case scenario IMO.

  2. Seems wrong to be having a discussion like this on this page/thread but although GRAHAM is right – it was unusual for a party leader after an GE defeat to resign or be forced out, to say; “…Michael Foot’s resignation in 1983 stands out as the only example up to that date since World War 2 of a party leader from the two main parties standing down following an election defeat” is incorrect as Douglas Home in Oct 64 is another.

  3. Not so. Douglas Home did not stand down as Tory leader until July 1965 and was not a direct consequence of the 1964 defeat.It had rather more to do with the doubts of some MPs that he had what was needed as Leader of the Opposition to combat Wilson effectively. Many would argue that he would have done no worse than Ted Heath in March 1966!

  4. Yes you’re right about Douglas Home.

    Anyway what about Kinnock who resigned two days after the 92 GE?

  5. That was after Kinnock’s second defeat.

  6. Brown then?

    The conversation that is being had here is really interesting and the contributors are entitled to share their views.

    I also reject your assertion of an ‘unnecessary, untimely & nasty personal attack on the Labour leader’ as my comments were relevant, timely (given the loss of Harpham) and a perspective of the social standing of Labour and its views towards the people it claims to support. It is therefore sad that Labour has lost one of the few working class members of the party and the party will be poorer because of it.

    The new labour leader is incongruent.

  8. D ALEX
    There was a request that any comments other condolences be postponed until after the funeral..which was observed for over two days on this page until you posted what must rank as one of the most brainless posts ever on UKPR (as well as insensitive ).

    You wrote: “Delay in discussion just helps the status quo.” – ???

    & then you wrote : “It is sad that one of the few real working class members of Labour died (a miner!) especially considering the stinking rich privately educated Labour Leader from Islington but times change.”

    His family was never very affluent and JC went to a grammar school. You may have been thinking about Cameron and Osborne’s families who certainly are “stinking rich”
    Then you say “Ken Livingstone has said in the Evening Standard that he would consider standing as a MP again and he was linked to the by-election in Wales.” Just because it was a piece in the Mail does not give you the

    Then the mind bogglingly beige statement: “Meanwhile, Galloway has always been active in by-elections”. This is not true unless demographics perfect for him.

    Then to cap it off you say “and the demographic here could be perfect. for Galloway).” What?! The Muslim population is not high and other demographics plainly would not suit GG who is standing in the London Mayor election! In any case GG has only stood in ONE by election (BRADFORD W in 2012)

    I think you should either admit you were wrong or shut up (on this issue).

    There is a pertinent saying:
    “Time and tide stands for no man”

    The tide and time until election day is onward.
    Hence the request being put to one side & valid discussion.
    Ken Livingstone is actively looking for a safe seat to win and become a MP again to help out Jeremy Corbyn. [Fact]

    George Galloway is one of Jeremy Corbyn’s oldest friends [fact] It is a mistake to think that Galloway appeals only to one particular demographic as Galloway is old Labour and would sit happily next to Corybn and Livingstone. In fact, George Galloway has said he wishes to do a ‘Livingstone’ and win the Mayoral Election to prove his worth and convert back to The Labour Party. Yet, this opportunity in a seat with demographics perfect for him (old Labour) could give him cause for contemplation. [Which is valid]
    With reference to the affluence of privately educated [at a school with fees in todays money of £7K] Corbyn who was raised in a 7 bedroom Manor house which in today’s money is worth over £1.2million – the numbers speak for themselves.

    Corbyn is not a man of the working class or who has ever struggled and has a salary that puts him in the top decile of workers in this country. It’s not like the loss of politicians like Harpham who worked a real job down the mines. This is why it’s a shame for Labour that they have elected another member of the Islington set.

  10. 1. Ken Livingstone merely said in the interview that you refer to, & I quote; ‘Of course I would be tempted. I love running things and I love Jeremy.’ Tempted, he said, and that was his only statement on the matter of returning to Parliament. So he is NOT “actively looking for a seat” as u put it.

  11. 2. This is far from a “perfect” constituency for Galloway.

    3. Why are you quoting his old school’s current fees? When he joined – in 1961 – there was no fees. For a bright 11 yr old to go to a grammar school this was nothing unusual. Neither was it “privileged” in the sense that the public schools certainly were back then.

  12. 4. Corbyn’s dad was an engineer and his mum a scientist / teacher. The house was bought by them after it was a hotel and they converted it a home. Hardly something that anyone ought to be ashamed or guilty of.

    I mean it not privileged, inherited wealth is it?

    5. I would say so someone who went at the age of 19 to a very poor country and devoted himself to helping underprivileged people and then worked for an empliyer fighting for people in places of work, is someone who has done ‘real jobs” in the real world.

    I would put him above someone who say, had a very privileged rich upbringing, went to incredibly expensive public school and then went straight into public relations or banking. Wouldn’t you?

    As your username might suggest, you are talking with your mouth full. Corbyn went to a fee-paying prep school prior to the Grammar School. Corbyn is privileged from a wealthy family and has had opportunities given to him that are not representative of the experiences of the general population. Corbyn is from the manor born and not of the working classes. Corbyn has had life experiences no different from David Cameron or George Osborne and fits in snugly with the establishment.

    I was not aware that Corbyn went on a gap year at the age of 19 but being able to afford holidays abroad (on a humanitarian mission?) as as privileged as the polo he used to play whilst he was in his private school. The same private school that gave him advantages over the working classes and enabled him to take the place of someone who couldn’t afford the same boost to get to Grammar School.

    The tide comes further inward as they say and Livingstone is as good as any to be parachuted into that seat.

  14. PS: the manor house was on the Duke of Sutherland’s estate. Jeremy Corbyn is as far removed from the working classes as you could be. Corbyn’s team are extremely privileged. The founding member of momentum is James Schneider, the son of a millionaire who lived in a multi-million house near Regents Park. Seumas Milne, another millionaire who was privately educated at Winchester College. The proportion of Labour MPs either with private school or Oxbridge backgrounds who won seats last year was up on 2010. Corbyn is an establishment politician and it is sad that people with real life experience like Harpham did aren’t doing better in a party that says it represents them.

  15. More posts by you riddled with inaccuracies and speciousness and, quite frankly, nuttiness.

    Just a couple of things.:
    D ALEX:”…as privileged as the polo he used to play whilst he was in his private school”.

    He played BICYCLE polo, man. BICYCLE polo.

    Can you not get your facts right or are you so blinkered you only see what you’re conditioned to?

    Comparison of CON/LAB MPs : (as per Smith Institute)
    Private schools…52% / 12%
    Oxbridge. ………….54% / 18%
    Manual workers…《1% / 7%

  16. % of CON MPS with business, finance, banking, accountancy occupations prior to GE 2015:


    (Smith Institute report 2015)

  17. Nothing I have written has been factually inaccurate. The fact that you are differentiating between types of polo Corbyn played is hilarious. Any type of polo is not a working class pursuit. Im not sure what you are trying to achieve but Corbyn is not a man of the people. Pick out anything I have said and it is all true. Here’s another fact – more pits shut under Labour than the Conservatives!

    Harpham was someone who had a real job, a solid Labour MP and a true loss to the party.

  18. It’s not Corbyn’s background that is his problem as the electorate do seem to appreciate that people can’t help their background. It because he has a great deal of ‘questionable’ (to put it lightly) beliefs and is personally associated with some extremely unpleasant people and organisations. These ‘principles’ tend to be diametrically opposed to the fundamental beliefs of the vast majority of the electorate and that is why Corbyn is one of the worst possible people Labour could have picked as leader.

    It does amaze me that a lot of the political left seems to have their heads in the sand about Corbyn. It is obvious he is nationally unpopular outside of the Labour selectorate, his net approval rating was -39 in the last YouGov poll. I wonder what it will take for the Labour base to finally realise that if they want to defeat the Tories they have to win over a lot of Tory voters, which you evidently don’t do by lurching off to the far left.

    As for this seat is was sad to hear of Harpham’s premature death. Labour should now select someone involved in local politics like he was and not parachute someone in (least of all Ken Livingstone).

  19. Ken Livingstone would never stand for parliament outside London, that should be total obvious to anyone

  20. There is a slight caveat regarding the figures quoted above for the number of MPs from the main parties who attended private school. While more Labour MPs undoubtedly attended state school, all state schools are definitely not equal. For example someone who attended the London Oratory would have received a standard of education far better than someone who went to the same comprehensive I attended. Being state aducated is not a reliable indicator of lack of privilege.

    The figures could partially be a reflection of the fact that Labour MPs tend to come from backgrounds where their parents have the means and/or inclination to play the state school admission system to their advantage (purchase house in decent catchment area, attend church etc). They want the political cudos of sending their kids to state school, but not just any state school.

  21. @Kieran W

    Much of what you say is true but it is only a small caveat. Undoubtedly the case that many more Tory MPs have had a privileged education than Labour MPs. I don’t think it is fair to beat them with this stick though – they didn’t choose what school to go and shouldn’t be blamed for taking advantage of the opportunities they had.

  22. Before we look any further, what is the cv of Oliver Coppard like? He was the only Labour candidate in Sheffield not to be elected at the recent General Election; but he did make deep inroads into Nick Clegg’s majority.

    After that, Sheffield has for long been a very active place politically and there is a long record, including David Blunkett and Harry Harpham, of Sheffield Councillors in effect being promoted to become MPs.

    I doubt whether Labour will need to look far before finding an excellent candidate for this seat.

  23. Harry Harpham’s funeral will take place at Sheffield Cathedral at 12.15pm on Tue Feb 16, followed by a private cremation.

  24. There were two other Sheffield cllrs on the shortlist when Harpham was selected (see top of page two of this thread) so they may both be interested again I guess, probably along with other cllrs. And Coppard may well be a good shout too, though not a cllr. The candidate will almost certainly come from within Sheffield.

  25. Kieran, I’ve always thought that the sort of parents who play the admissions system tend to be more Tory inclined.

    And how are we actually defining state and private schools? Since 1998 the division between state and private schools has been clear cut (leaving aside the point that academies technically have the same legal status as private schools), but in the past we had direct grant grammar schools and the assisted places scheme that blured the boundaries.

    And i wonder how many people how are slagging off private schools have first hand experience of them? I don’t, but I have friends and family who do. Remember that not all private schools are like Eton and Harrow. There are plenty of schools at the bottom of the market where spending per student isn’t much better than in state schools and where parents have to make real financial sacrifices to be able to afford the fees. It’s not unheard of for kids from council estates to go to fee paying schools.

  26. I write as somebody who went to a private school throughout my school career (Prep and Senior). Very true that many make sacrifices to send their kids to private schools, also true that many come from well-off backgrounds (though at the school I was at – a small school with moderate fees in comparison to Eton, Harrow etc. – that tended to mean owning a reasonably successful business rather than inherited wealth and so forth). I can’t say many people I knew came from council estates but there were certainly people who lived in a no better than average house in not great parts of Enfield (the school I went to is on the Potters Bar/Enfield border). I don’t blame any parents for spending money on sending their kids to what was and still is just about the best ranked school in Enfield and of course don’t blame any kids!

  27. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against private schools or exceptionally privileged people (like Corbyn DEEPTHROAT), however my point has been that their life experiences are not representative of the majority of people in this country. We must also recognise the advantages that people who go to these schools have over those who go to your local state school. As such, I believe that there are better people out there (perhaps away from London) who can help people within this country more effectively. I think the difference can be seen in the support of the banking sector (including with EU reforms by Cameron) over supporting manufacturing and industry.

    I often think that political and media types under-estimate the SNP with the perception its all about ‘nationalism’. When the reality is the SNP MPs are a much better cross-section of society than many other political parties as such they are in touch with the needs of people living day to day life.

    The other issue with Corbyn as highlighted by PEPPERMINTTEA is the “questionable’ (to put it lightly) beliefs” [am assuming your including ceding falklands to Argentina here] and his associating with “extremely unpleasant people”

  28. “When the reality is the SNP MPs are a much better cross-section of society than many other political parties as such they are in touch with the needs of people living day to day life”.

    The evidence just doesn’t support that:

    Their background is no more representative of the general population than MPs from other parties.

  29. Thank you for the information about Harry Harpham’s funeral, Deep Throat.

  30. What but are you referring to Kieran? If you look at SNP actual work background the majority have had real jobs. Hence the majority having been to a state school.

  31. Don’t forget that the secondary school culture in Scotland is radically different from that in England, although if one inspects carefully there is a cut-throat pecking order amongst the Scottish academies, particularly in Edinburgh.

  32. “What but are you referring to Kieran? If you look at SNP actual work background the majority have had real jobs. Hence the majority having been to a state school”.

    Have you looked at the document I linked to above? In the table on p4 over half the SNP parliamentary party fall in the “politics” or the “media” categories of occupational background. They have nobody at all with a background in agriculture, manual work or the armed forces. Admittedly the figures for the latter three aren’t great for any party, but that doesn’t sit well with any claim that the SNP caucus is more representative.

  33. I looked at that Kieran, but those tiny tick boxes don’t tell the full story do they! You would need a wider analysis for greater comparison.

  34. “I looked at that Kieran, but those tiny tick boxes don’t tell the full story do they?”

    If what you say we’re true there would be at least some supporting evidence in that study. There isn’t. If you have any then please post. For as long as it’s empirical study versus unsupported assertion then there really is only one winner.

  35. That’s the point Kieran, those tiny boxes are not representative of people’s life experiences or work history. hence no supporting information – not enough info to compare there.

  36. You made the initial assertion that the SNP parliamentary group is more representative. Where’s your evidence?

  37. I have just had a very quick look at the statistics about MPs to which Kieran W has just given us links. I notice that they come from the Smith Inistitute, which I would not note for its in-depth statiistical analyses.

    I would in particular like to know what differences in previous work experience for the different political parties reach statistical significance using conventional tests, and bearing in mind that if you do a number of tests some are likely to show statistical difference by chance. Doing a Mark 1 Eyeball test (‘cos I am lazy?!), I am not sure how much difference at all there is between the backgrounds of MPs from the different parties. If there are differences, they are less than those one would have found a generation or two ago.

    The main difference with the SNP group is that they are younger, which may well be explained by the fact that most of them are newly elected. I am not sure how far a younger group of MPs means that they are more representative of their voters.

  38. Frederic Stansfield: not much considering that age is now by some margin the most significant factor in a person’s likelihood to vote: turnout is 44% amongst under-25’s versus 85% amongst over-65’s.

    I expect that, when the SNP say their MPs are more representative of their voters, they mean that they are not all career politicians. Mhairi Black, for example, is on record as saying that she would quit politics the moment Scotland achieves independence.

  39. ‘Career politicians’ is a ghastly phrase in my opinion.

  40. Almost worth supporting Scottish independence to see the back of her

  41. I had no idea Mhairi had made such a vow. I wholeheartedly agree with HH’s thoughts. Perhaps we could then be spared more of the sycophantic ‘ooooh isn’t she a clever wee thing’ prattling that her election has prompted (her plaudits omit to mention that Rosemary West would have been elected to Paisley South last year).

  42. Wrote ‘plaudits’, should have written ‘cheerleaders’. It’s been a long week.

  43. What is wrong with MHAIRI BLACK, the 21 year old Member of Parliament, the youngest elected member since 1880, who holds a first class honours degree in politics and who won her seat with a 6000 majority from a Shadow Cabinet member?

  44. CORRECTION,…she is the youngest since The REFORM ACT 1832.
    Incidentally, and rather tangentially, she is also a rather good piano player.

  45. We might remember that Jan Paderewski (I hope I have got the spelling right) was both President of Poland (in 1919) and an internationally famous pianist.

    Very possibly, Mhairi Bllack would do more good for Scottish Nationalism by going on a world concert tour in aid of her cause than by spending time unproductively on the opposition benches at Westminster. Given the limited powers of Scottish MPs these days she could easily combine the two roles.

  46. Yes! We must find more for the über talented Mhairi to do.

  47. She should have taken her first in politics from bagpipes university and done something useful in the real world for 10 years before standing for parliament.

    Of course she’s far from the only MP to have moved direct from tiresome student politico to parliament with absolutely nothing else on their CV, but she is the most striking example. She is also the best advertisement for not giving MPs a pay rise.

  48. Potential future Labour leaders, as I see them: Jarvis, Ali, Creasy, Kinnock, Onn, De Piero, Starmer, Clive Lewis.

  49. The person I’d most like to see take over if Corbyn resigns before 2020 is Angela Eagle.

  50. “Of course she’s far from the only MP to have moved direct from tiresome student politico to parliament…”

    There are many who would say that it’s better than someone going straight from university into banking or finance straight into parliament and we’ve got many more than one of them in the current House of Commons.

    There are millions of students and people under the age of 25 so surely at least one 21 year old in Parliament is not a bad thing?

    But sadly, BLACK is the latest in a long line of maligned female PPCs/MPS on this website, following TOLHURST, BORWICK & PATEL et al.

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