Sheffield Central

2015 Result:
Conservative: 4917 (11.1%)
Labour: 24308 (55%)
Lib Dem: 4278 (9.7%)
Green: 6999 (15.8%)
UKIP: 3296 (7.5%)
Others: 375 (0.8%)
MAJORITY: 17309 (39.2%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Sheffield.

Profile: Sheffield Central has the highest proportion of students of any seat in the country, it includes Sheffield University just to the west of the city centre and both campuses of Sheffield Hallam University - around a quarter of the population are in full time education. The seat also includes the city centre itself, working class neighbourhoods of Walkley and the Manor estate to the east.

Politics: Normally an extremely safe Labour seat. The high student population saw the Liberal Democrats move into contention in 2005 and in 2010 the constituency was held by only a wafer thin majority. Following the coalition government the Lib Dems collapsed to fourth place with the Greens taking second, albeit, a long way behind Labour.

Current MP
PAUL BLOMFIELD (Labour) Born 1953, Chatham. Educated at Abbeydale Boys Grammar and York University. Former teacher and manager of University of Sheffield Student Union. First elected as MP for Sheffield Central in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 4206 (10%)
Lab: 17138 (41%)
LDem: 16973 (41%)
GRN: 1556 (4%)
Oth: 1595 (4%)
MAJ: 165 (0%)
Con: 3094 (10%)
Lab: 14950 (50%)
LDem: 7895 (26%)
GRN: 1808 (6%)
Oth: 2238 (7%)
MAJ: 7055 (24%)
Con: 3289 (11%)
Lab: 18477 (61%)
LDem: 5933 (20%)
GRN: 1008 (3%)
Oth: 1362 (5%)
MAJ: 12544 (42%)
Con: 4341 (12%)
Lab: 23179 (64%)
LDem: 6273 (17%)
Oth: 1763 (5%)
MAJ: 16906 (46%)

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

2015 Candidates
STEPHANIE ROE (Conservative) Educated at Leeds University. Solicitor.
PAUL BLOMFIELD (Labour) See above.
JOE OTTEN (Liberal Democrat) Software developer. Sheffield councillor.
JILLIAN CREASY (Green) Locum GP. Sheffield councillor since 2004. Contested Sheffield Central 2010.
ELIZABETH BREED (English Democrat)
STEVE ANDREW (Communist Party GB) Librarian. Contested Sheffield South East 2010.
THOM BROWN (Above and Beyond) Born 1995, Oxford. Educated at Sheffield University. Student.
ANDY HALSALL (Pirate) Born 1981, Germany. Former serviceman.
MICHAEL DRIVER (Workers Revolutionary)
Comments - 196 Responses on “Sheffield Central”
  1. They won’t get anywhere as long as Blomfield is MP, he is very locally popular so I hear. Oh and Manor Castle is the real issue for the Greenies getting thrashed 10:1 (or by some ludicrous margin, CBA to look it up) there is nearly impossible for them to for them to overcome.

  2. I agree with Pepps the Greens will probably struggle to advance here with Blomfield as MP, he is the type of MP that is near perfect for seeing off a Green challenge, soft left, environmentally conscientious and student oriented. Many natural Green supporters would be happy to vote for Blomfield and so long as that’s the case they will struggle to advance.

  3. Plus I think if we’re assuming Corbyn is leader at an election then, as with Brighton Pavilion, the Greens are likely to run into the problem that their demographic has a lot of crossover with Corbyn’s demographic. In those circumstances they may struggle to maintain their 2015 vote, let alone advance. Were Corbyn to be deposed somehow then the equation changes completely and you probably see a lot of ex-Corbynistas going Green.

  4. Manor Castle is definitely the weakest ward for the Greens, but they are now in second there, and in 2016 their best result there was 1/3 of the Labour vote, not 1/10. They’ve done quite well at spreading their vote into surrounding wards, but they struggle in that there is nowhere where they’re consistently ahead of Labour.

    Lots of variables for them, but difficult to predict whether they can solidify their second in central Sheffield until we know where the boundaries will be.

  5. The boundary review isn’t guaranteed to turn Hallam Labour. The last BR proposed (if I remember the figures correctly) two marginal Lib Dem constituencies, and they would presumably have lost both if the changes had gone ahead.

    I’m sure the local Lib Dems are ready to lobby very hard against that division; they will want to propose splitting wards to keep the seat intact and add something on – maybe the Crosspool bit of Crookes & Crosspool.

  6. In my opinion the most sensible boundaries for Sheffield would be (Note I believe the new constituency boundaries will be drawn on the old ward boundaries as the new ward boundaries came in too late):

    Sheffield Heeley: Gains Birley from SE
    Sheffield Attercliffe (or SE): Gains Manor Castle from Central, part of Burngreave B&H.
    Sheffield Central: Gains Hillsborough from B&H, part of Crookes from Hallam.
    Sheffield Hallam: Gains Stocksbridge and Upper Don from P&S
    Sheffield Brightside: Remainder of B&H + Ecclesfield (E,W)

    -The addition of Stocksbridge to Hallam would obviously hurt the Lib Dems but it would also lose the eastern part of Crookes which I assume is the more Labour bit given its proximity to the city centre which balances it out a bit.
    -Central losing Manor Castle helps the Greens but unfortunately for them it gains Hillsborough which is nearly
    as bad (I imagine they do have some potential in the Eastern part of Crookes though).

  7. They look sensible, much better than the last BR. I really hope they do agree to split some large wards in big cities. The fact that the review will use the old ward boundaries here makes an even stronger case for crossing them.

    And yes, Crookes is much better for the Greens and worse for the Lib Dems than Crosspool – Crookes is studenty with lots of rented terraced accommodation, Crosspool largely wealthy owner-occupiers.

    I think the Greens would be happy to swap Manor Castle for Hillsborough; they’ve never tried hard in Hillsborough, whereas they’ve campaigned in Manor Castle for years and made only limited headway.

  8. Hope they split wards in Leeds too.

  9. @rivers in Leeds you don’t need to:

    Elmet and Rothwell: Unchanged
    Morley and Outwood: Unchanged
    Leeds East: Gains Burmantofts and Richmond Hill
    Leeds Central: Gains Chapel Allerton
    Leeds West: Gains Pudsey
    Leeds North: Roundhay, Moortown, Headingley, Weetwood, Alwoodley
    Otley and Baildon: Adel and Wharfedale, Otley and Yeadon, Horsfort, Guiseley and Rawdon, Baildon
    Bradford East: Gains Calverley and Farsley, loses Little Horton.

  10. Pepps
    You don’t HAVE to split wards anywhere but in places like Leeds not doing so can involve some kooky boundaries. Pawning off Calverley to a Bradford seat amongst them.

  11. @rivers the split ward option is on top of what I did in my previous post plus moving part of Headingly into Leeds Central then moving part of Adel and Wharfedale into Leeds North so that all of Horsforth can go in the Otley seat.

  12. I’m probably just being stupid here but I honestly didn’t really understand your last post, are you saying those changes involved ward splitting as well?

  13. The loss of the Manor and Nether Edge, and adding Ecclesall and Crookes, makes this much more studenty. A friend suggested that since Sheffield Central and West is clunky, they could call it Sheffield Quinoa.

    Anyway, 2015 locals for this new seat (chosen for GE turnout):

    Labour: 17,793 (34.9%)
    Green: 13,204 (25.9%)
    Lib Dem: 10,067 (19.8%)
    Conservative: 6,035 (11.8%)
    UKIP: 3,320 (6.5%)
    TUSC: 541 (1.1%)

    Labour HOLD
    Majority 4589

    Votes cast: 50,960

  14. Indeed locals are not the best indicator

  15. Just be sure to show workings then scroll down to the “2015 election predictor” the first setoff result are estimates based on current polling.

  16. Cheers

  17. Well that will be sold off at market value

  18. I don’t see it fetching very much. If people on the council housing register don’t want to live there then there will be limited interest from buyers, even the buy to let people.

    I used to know the area that house is in well. My late great-grandmother’s house was in the next street down. My mother was actually born in the house. It never used to be that bad an area. Maybe it has deteriorated since.

  19. MW – hardly. I think that’s only the few council properties worth over £500k isn’t it.

    How much is Dobson’s worth?

  20. Natalie Bennett has been selected as the Green candidate at the next election. Because after getting blasted off the map last year against a less Green-appealing Labour and with a much better, local candidate, this will go well.

  21. ‘ In mid-2015, the 8,363 electoral wards in England and Wales had a mean population of 6,922, although population sizes ranged from 150 in St. Martin’s ward in the Isles of Scilly to 42,536 in Central ward in Sheffield. ‘

  22. The massive, transient population, mostly living in blocks of flats, and with relatively few registered voters, makes canvassing Central ward (now redrawn and renamed City ward) hell.

  23. Isn’t the new City ward somewhat smaller geographically by losing the Sharrow area ?

  24. I think Sheffield city centre (including the Anglican & RC cathedrals) was either in Central or Attercliffe until 1918 and Park until 1983

  25. Harry Porter,

    You might find the “Sheffield Archive Maps” website useful. It has maps of Sheffield from the 1890s and 1900s which show ward and constituency boundaries.

    (I’d post a link to the website but when I’ve posted links before they seem to get lost in moderation).

  26. How close will Green get here? I’d guess they’ll rise a fair bit, though Natalie Bennet is standing and she’s fairly incompetent.

  27. I would expect the Greens to drop back slightly – this election has seen no “Green Surge” and Bennett is widely regarded as a worse candidate than Jillian Creasy.

    Purely as an early guess I would expect the Lib Dems to regain second place here, albeit distantly.

  28. Nameless, do you think they’ll hold Hallam? I seem to remember you live in the area.

  29. I now live in Hallam again, and can’t anticipate anything other than a Clegg hold. Oliver Coppard has ruled out standing again, and although the tactical unwind from Hallam Conservatives will balance that out to a degree, national swing suggests a slightly increased majority for Nick Clegg.

    Watch the result in Hallam because it might be a pretty flat Lib Dem vote share with a swing from Labour to Tory. This is less likely to be students in Crookes really liking Theresa May, and more the tactical unwind from LD to Tory being roughly balanced by Remain votes going from Labour to Lib Dem.

  30. To give her Bennett her due she gave a very memorable radio performance…..

  31. £50,000, what are these homes made out of? Plywood?


  32. Thanks, Nameless. More or less my thoughts too, though I can see a scenario where Clegg gets a fairly substantial bump, possibly up to his 2010 vote share.

  33. This seat is a brilliant example of why the ‘progressive alliance’ idea is doomed. Paul Blomfield is probably the model candidate for such a grouping, but in 2010 the Lib Dems spent over £100,000 trying to stop him getting elected. Now the Greens are deploying all of their (admittedly more limited) resources in the North of England in this constituency to oppose him.

    Labour/Blomfield will win again, likely by a significant margin. But in the course of doing so will spend time and money here that could more usefully be deployed against the Conservatives elsewhere. This is what destroys the fallacy that ‘the conservatives are nowhere here so ‘progressive’ parties can fight it out between themselves with no electoral danger.

  34. There is nowhere that the Green Party can usefully deploy money against the Conservatives, and this was their third best seat last time and they are hardly an immediate threat to Blomfield. Where else do you suggest they spend their money? Just pour every last pound into defending Pavilion?

  35. Wellytab, it’s not that there’s anything wrong with the Greens contesting this seat. They’re a political party and free to stand wherever they want. There are a lot of voters who’re concerned about the environment in this seat, but probably not a plurality.

    However, it destroys any credibility to them wanting a ‘progressive alliance’ or chance of labour standing down elsewhere. The Labour party (and the same applies to the Conservatives relative to UKIP) cannot be seen to stand aside for small parties. A key part of being a party of government is that you stand across the country. There are probably a number of Labour and Conservative party staff driving round their respective weaker parts of the country sorting nominations this week to ensure they manage this.

  36. Craig – that para of yours makes no sense at all.

    Are you saying the Greens should never make somewhere a target simply because the last incumbent was a Labour MP? Surely it’s going to be in Labour or LD seats where the Greens will challenge and gain, as we saw in Brighton, Bristol, Norwich GEs and Manc, Lpool in the locals.

    Plus Labour don’t stand in N Ireland and I can assure you that Labour or Tory are not so weak in any UK seat that they require that in a GE. Only in the Locals is that ever done in a few Mets to complete a full slate of nominations. After all even the Tories have enough members in Bootle and Labour have members in Buckingham to sign the noms in a GE.

    Although I tend to agree that it would invoke ridicule if Labour stood down in a seat in England for the Greens. But that shouldn’t stop the Greens from targeting their best chances. Although on Brexit I’m not sure what you get with the Greens as eg in the Manc Metro their candidate is a Leave proponent whereas in the Lpool region Metro the Green takes the LD Remain stance.

  37. In fairness it’s not unheard of for councillors to be returned unopposed in Knowsley. I think that’s the only Metropolitan where it happens routinely though

  38. Craig, I don’t think you understand the point of a progressive alliance or the objectives of the Green Party. The former is to defeat the Tories in seats that they might win due to vote-splitting. The latter is to make progress in seats that Greens have a realistic chance of winning one day. Competing here helps the latter objective and does not harm the first because you could split the “progressive” vote five ways here and the Tories still wouldn’t be close to winning. I can’t see anything to complain about.

    For what it’s worth I don’t think they will do very well here – Blomfield is pretty fireproof and I think Bennett isn’t the best choice of candidate for this seat.

  39. The LibDems missed thier chance here in 2010, and Conservative moves towards Northern working class voters are hardly likely to attract the huge student vote. It is hard to imagine a safer Labour seat this time..

  40. Carl: “Paul will win this time but in the medium-term this will be a Green seat because it has a strong radical tradition (and the Labour Party are not radical anymore simply mangerialist).”
    April 13th, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I think the Green ship has sailed in this seat, as they came third here, behind the Tories at the last two elections. Although the seat may not survive in its current form anyway. Carl couldn’t have foreseen Labour’s swerve to radical politics. Starmer might be more managerial but I think he’d be fine in any future version of this seat.

  41. At a local level the Greens dominate here and its been a pretty fast turnaround for the Sheffield Greens. Its fair to say that in a very short time Labour seats in central are now safe Green seats. Even when the Labour Party moved the left and swallowed Greens in Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, etc. here they weren’t shaken.

    Cutting down 10,000 trees certainly has supercharged the Green vote here. Central locally is gone for Labour atm and now we’re seeing Greens with good second places in neighbouring constituencies. Hillsborough is now a Labour/Green marginal. Burgreave is solid Labour but a decent Green vote there. Crookes is now a 3 way marginal between Libs/Labs/Green. Ecclesall, Fulwood, Dore & Totley are all solid Lib Dem with decent Green vote.

    The party failure was to turn local votes in to national ones. There will have been a fair few Green to Labour in 2017 and 2019 but we’re already seeing a small unwind. Greens were 3rd in recent YouGov poll. Time will tell

  42. Matt, with those wards in Sheffield Hallam being so strong for the Liberal Democrats locally, how did Labour hold on so strongly there last year? Good campaign? A more popular candidate after Jared O’Mara resigned?

    Incidentally, I have some interest in Sheffield Central, as a cousin of mine is a Green councillor there in City Ward.

  43. I canvassed in Hallam a few times before and during the GE. The difference between campaigning in Hallam and Penistone & Stockbridge was incredible. In Hallam they picked a candidate alot earlier. Not significantly in compared with most marginals but almost a year prior to Penistone & Stockbridge picking theirs. They hit the streets immediately thanks to this but also we believed there was a by election any moment.

    Jared had resigned earlier than Angela Smith but all the same, Angela had resigned 8 months before the actual GE. We ran out of campaign material in Penistone & Stockbridge. The paid staffer quit halfway through. Moral was poor. In Hallam they organised a simultaneously sessions in almost every ward, every few hours, every day. This help manage the 100s of volunteers much better than a 100 people turning up to Asda is Chapeltown. Hallam hired volunteers to be staffers during the campaign.

    The Lib Dems and Labour ran mirror campaigns in Hallam. Two young women hit the ground early and made a name for themselves fairly quickly. Labour had the advantage of Olivia already being known but Lib Dems started earlier. Olivia resigned from cabinet over the Democracy Review which onky helped her in Hallam. At end of day with such a close margin Labour’s ground operation got more people out in end. Plus further Lib Dem unwind to Tories hurt them

  44. Just to clarify, I was referring to the Greens’ chances of success in Sheffield Central at General Elections in my previous post.

    I was surprised Labour held Hallam, but maybe they have taken a lot of those ex-Lib Dem voters long-term. But more importantly, Hallam is more like a three-way marginal now, which means Labour could win on 34.6% of the vote. That was the lowest winning vote share in England at the 2019 GE. Both Labour and the Lib Dems lost votes, but the Conservatives got over 1000 more (+2%).

  45. Bob Johnson has been selected as the new Labour group leader. Calls for new leadership which much like KS is trying to put distance between himself and the previous leadership without saying too much. Bob won the leadership against fellow left winger Lewis Dagnall 33 to 8. I’ve only met Bob once and he seems like a very likeable guy.

    I spoke to a colleague who says Ecclesfield East is still very vulnerable which is concerning given there are fair few seats that are more vulnerable to the Lib Dems

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