Sheffield, Hallam

2015 Result:
Conservative: 7544 (13.7%)
Labour: 19862 (36%)
Lib Dem: 22215 (40.2%)
Green: 1772 (3.2%)
UKIP: 3575 (6.5%)
Independent: 97 (0.2%)
Others: 167 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 2353 (4.3%)

Category: Marginal Liberal Democrat seat

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

Main population centres: Sheffield, High and Low Bradfield, Dungworth, Worrall.

Profile: A largely rural seat covering the south-west corner of Sheffield. This is an affluent and wealthy seat, one of the richest outside of the south-east and one of the best educated in the country. The western part of the seat is within the Peak District and is largely desolate moorland, stretching up into the pennines. Below that are small villages like like High and Low Bradfield, Dungworth, Worrall and Ringinglow. The seat then covers the westernmost fringes of Sheffield itself, some of the richest and most affluent suburbs of the city like Ecclesall and the more Conservative Totley and Dore.

Politics: A wealthy, middle-class and mostly owner-occupied seat this was a safe Conservative seat between the first world war and the 1990s. However it fell to the Liberal Democrats` Richard Allen in the anti-Conservative landslide of 1997 and he successfully passed it onto the future Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg in 2005. In 2015 some polls suggested that Clegg could lose his seat to Labour, but ultimately he held on.


Current MP
NICK CLEGG (Liberal Democrat) Born 1967, Buckinghamshire. Educated at Westminster school and Cambridge university. Former speechwriter to Sir Leon Brittan. Contested MEP for the East Midlands region 1999-2004. First elected as MP for Sheffield Hallam in 2005. Europe spokesman 2005-2006, Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary 2006-2007, Leader of the Liberal Democrats 2007-2015. Deputy Prime Minister 2010-2015. Clegg was touted as a possible leadership contender following Charles Kennedy`s resignation, though eventually he backed Sir Menzies Campbell. After Campbell`s own resignation the following year Clegg defeated Chris Huhne to become leader of the Liberal Democrats from December 2007. His performance in the first leaders` debate in the 2010 election produced a huge spike in Liberal Democrat support, which largely faded by the time of the election, but was enough to secure a hung Parliament. Clegg subsequently negotiated a coalition deal with the Conservative party, taking the third party into government for the first time since the second world war.
Past Results
2010
Con: 12040 (24%)
Lab: 8228 (16%)
LDem: 27324 (53%)
UKIP: 1195 (2%)
Oth: 2348 (5%)
MAJ: 15284 (30%)
2005*
Con: 12028 (30%)
Lab: 5110 (13%)
LDem: 20710 (51%)
GRN: 1331 (3%)
Oth: 1248 (3%)
MAJ: 8682 (21%)
2001
Con: 11856 (31%)
Lab: 4758 (12%)
LDem: 21203 (55%)
UKIP: 429 (1%)
MAJ: 9347 (24%)
1997
Con: 15074 (33%)
Lab: 6147 (14%)
LDem: 23345 (51%)
Oth: 125 (0%)
MAJ: 8271 (18%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
IAN WALKER (Conservative) Born 1958, Fulwood. Engineer.
OLIVER COPPARD (Labour) Born Sheffield. Educated at High Storrs school.
NICK CLEGG (Liberal Democrat) See above.
JOE JENKINS (UKIP) Educated at Dundee University. Student.
PETER GARBUTT (Green) English language teacher.
STEVE CLEGG (English Democrat)
JIM STOP THE FIASCO WILD (Independent)
CARLTON REEVE (Independent) Educated at Bradford university. Digital media consultant and lecturer.
Links
Comments - 2,097 Responses on “Sheffield Hallam”
  1. HH – “Depends what more comes out. Sexism and homophobia leaves him on thin ice already, IMO anything seriously racial and he’ll be a goner.” Well, yes obviously. Apparently at the PLP yesterday he said that he had had racist opinions when he was younger & apologized for them too, as well as the misogyny & the homophobia. He is skating on thin ice for sure but at least he has admitted that he had some pretty repulsive opinions in the past (hopefully, only the fairly distant past).
    The FB group which I co-run has decided to make a statement about this – in a nutshell we are sad about it, we welcome his resignation from the committee as necessary, we accept his contrition and apology but trust that he will show clearly that he has changed.

  2. “Well, yes obviously. Apparently at the PLP yesterday he said that he had had racist opinions when he was younger & apologized for them too, as well as the misogyny & the homophobia”.

    Wasn’t he in his mid twenties when he made some of these remarks? Doubtless we were all idiots in one way or another in our teens. Certainly I am grateful that social media wasn’t so unbequitous when I was that age, lest my stupider remarks and actions be preserved for posterity in the manner today’s youth have to be so wary of. If O’Mara was a bit past that kind of age though he was old enough to know better.

    It just goes to show what dubious characters can get elected if they happen to be in the right place at the right time. That’s not a partisan point btw. The same can legitimately be said about the current member for Wellingborough, and the most recent Conservative member for Peterborough.

    O’Mara owes his postition largely to his predecessor as Labour candidate (and the circumstances of the coalition) having already successfully mobilised what is a decent sized natural Labour vote in this constituency, and a bit of tactical unwind in the form of an increased Conservative vote.

  3. while most of us here whether we are in our 20s or remember our 20s vaguely will be repulsed by the immaturity of a man at that age making sexist and homophobic remarks sadly O’Mara is not alone in holding such views at an age we remember as relative maturity. I know people the same age as me who have made such remarks.

  4. My first boss was an (admittedly very bright) overgrown man child who told homophobic jokes regularly. I guess I should put my claim in now seen as everyone else is at it.

  5. O’Mara has had the whip withdrawn pending a party investigation.

  6. I’m sure Rivers is very disappointed with Labour leadership, given he believes reporting O’Mara’s behaviour “barrel scraping stuff”

  7. As a way of attacking the opposing party, this is barrel-scraping.

    Mr O’Mara won’t be the only MP (of any party) who has these sorts of comments floating online.

    The vetting issue is similar to the one that affected the SNP after their greater than expected gains in 2015.

  8. Yes i suspect we shall see more in the future unless candidates social media is vetted. Suspending O’Mara saves the leadership from facing accusations of being apologists etc

  9. For the sake of clarification yes I believe this whole saga has been dismal, O’Mara’s comments where vile obviously but I reiterate the point that worse things have been said more recently and by more high profile people that didn’t result in anything like this kind of witch hunt and I’m disappointed with the Lab leadership for capitulating to this but primarily angry with certain Lab MP’s who have fed this by calling for O’Mara’s suspension. When your political opponents throw this kind of dirt at you the best solution is to weather it and if necessary deal with it internally not turn it into a public spectacle. Had O’Mara not been suspended this would have died down in a week (just like the Clive Lewis story has) as is we’ve now made it truly newsworthy.

  10. From what I’ve read O’Mara lost the opportunity to have this matter dealt with internally when he failed to draw the attention of the party to these past remarks at an earlier stage. A lot of organisations will back you up in cases of past indiscretion, as long as you come clean early.

    Rivers, I think the actions of the leadership show that you called this wrong. I would suggest the homophobic language in particular is the kind of thing that Labour people are uncomfortable with in a way that isn’t reflected in your dismissive attitude regarding the whole affair. Maybe I lead a sheltered life, but I’ve not heard anyone use language like that since my days in the school playground of a rough and ready comprehensive in N Derbys in the 1990s.

  11. If Barnaby is right then the PLP may already be aware of these allegations. Tbh it was newsworthy before he was suspended. Maybe its because I can remember my school days more recently but I have very recent recollections of some deeply offensive remarks by people who are around my age. The local rag are calling on OMara not to resign and turn it around

  12. Once again I have to say that even if all the comments are shown to have been made in the early noughties, that’s only 2 years before he was a council candidate.
    He could redeem himself possibly, but he has a helluva lot of work to do in order to achieve that.

  13. “Maybe I lead a sheltered life, but I’ve not heard anyone use language like that since my days in the school playground of a rough and ready comprehensive in N Derbys in the 1990s.”

    If that’s true then yes, you’ve led a very sheltered life indeed. But not altogether surprising as you’ve spent your career in academia. In 20 odd years in the mining and steel industries I constantly hear banter that makes O’Mara’s comments seem pretty tame by comparison. Though the worst of it is normally overseas (surprisingly, I’d rank the USA as the very worst for offensive male banter), you’d still hear worse than O’Mara any day of the week if I took you into the meltshop at Port Talbot or Scunthorpe.

    I also worked in a Russian bank for some years and still work closely with city institutions, and as Tristan says, this kind of language is still commonplace there, especially after work hours.

  14. On O’Mara specifically, he’s clearly a bit of a bellend who should never have got through the vetting process for becoming a PPC, nevertheless I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for him all the same. The Guidoisation of politics whereby people are relentlessly kicked when they are already down on the floor is something to be regretted IMO. It’s also refreshing in a way to see that it’s still possible for candidates who are not smarmy identikit SPADs can sneak through into parliament.

  15. “If that’s true then yes, you’ve led a very sheltered life indeed. But not altogether surprising as you’ve spent your career in academia. In 20 odd years in the mining and steel industries I constantly hear banter that makes O’Mara’s comments seem pretty tame by comparison”.

    I don’t feel as though I am missing out. In education at any level “banter” of that type would simply be unacceptable in any remotely work related setting. Even a reputation for engaging in that type of behaviour well away from work would be seriously damaging to your professional credibility.

  16. “I don’t feel as though I am missing out. In education at any level “banter” of that type would simply be unacceptable in any remotely work related setting. Even a reputation for engaging in that type of behaviour well away from work would be seriously damaging to your professional credibility.”

    Didn’t mean to imply you were missing out, this is just a feature of many private sector industries whilst your experience is I would guess pretty standard in the public sector these days.

    Whilst boorish banter has undoubtedly reduced in UK workplaces overall since the 80s, globalisation can have the opposite impact in industries like mine where we are travelling and dealing with foreign companies in less enlightened cultures much more than was the case in the past.

  17. I’m shocked that the USA is still considered bad for this kind of stuff. I’m not sure why, I just am.

  18. Why the shock given the antics of the current Potus?

  19. “I’m shocked that the USA is still considered bad for this kind of stuff. I’m not sure why, I just am.”

    In terms of guys openly leering at women and discussing them in a similar way to O’Mara’s various comments, you’d have to go a long way to beat the US rust belt. Of course it’s a totally different story in the big liberal cities like New York.

  20. Kieran
    Maybe I lead a sheltered life, but I’ve not heard anyone use language like that since…

    I agree with HH, that language is still far too common in some quarters but most interestingly not always even behind metaphorical locker room doors. O’Mara’s homophobic remarks stood out to me because the US animated TV show Family Guy actually made an almost identical joke in one episode. Now for those that aren’t familiar with it Family Huy is a pretty controversial show and was actually suspended for many years but that hasn’t stopped it being massively popular, the big difference I suppose is that Family Guy lays into everyone and everything, when your insulting literally everything (including themselves) its hard to be singled out as sexist, racist, homophobic etc

    And this is without even mentioning some of the things you still see in the deeper parts of the web like 4chan

  21. Family Guy exists to disprove the idea that the Americans don’t do irony.

  22. In all serious I don’t know how serious 4chan posters are. I doubt many of them hold genuinely white nationalist views.

    But I guess this is the point, no? Nowadays if you’re in the public eye, a single bad-taste joke will get you in a ton of hot water – regardless of whether you meant it. And, conversely I guess, 4chan’s anonymity means that it’s a natural repository for the Pandora’s Box of human hatefulness that people wouldn’t express in public.

  23. Family isn’t even the worse thing out there. South Park probably is the most controversial popular show out there. I’ve always thought that Family Guy was tame in comparison to American Dad and King of the Hill.

  24. Matt

    It tends to be right-wing family values types that have problems with those shows.

    There is nothing inconsistent with being on the left and having a liking for tasteless humour (as opposed to genuinely racist/sexist etc stuff). Family Guy is mostly Mel Brooks type stuff, (perhaps slightly more Irish than Jewish in humour style – Jewish humour tend to be found more in American Dad).

    Like HH, I have witnessed the latter first hand so can easily tell the difference unlike some of the more sheltered people out there.

  25. I do find this quite funny.
    A party which increasingly obsesses with a Metropolitan PC agenda, and to quite ridiculous levels, relemtless discussion of “gender” and equality – for some.
    Laurie Penny and Owen Jones must be very embarrassed or spitting blood.

    The Conservative vote increased here substantially after years of going nowhere – I think it hasn’t increased since 1979.

  26. Metaphorically speaking.

  27. Not sure why sexism, homophobia, et al. is so amusing. Even if you find ironic its a bit insensitive considering the charges of verbal and physical abuse but maybe thats even more amusing. But then maybe im just part of this PC Brigade….

  28. You added that to what I said. Get a life.

  29. I amend the second last sentence of my post at 1.59 today to be ….. I wonder if they are.

  30. You added to mine well done

  31. Joe, the Tory vote returned to its 2010 level, which supports the idea that it was Tory tactical votes that kept Clegg in in 2015, and the unwinding of that tactical vote that forced him out in 2017.

  32. Jared O’Mara has been ‘signed off’ sick for 3 months by his GP.

    His office insists he will continue to carry out limited work for constituents here, but won’t be attending Parliament on medical advice.

  33. If this is related to his cerebral palsy, which is an incurable conidition, it’s probably not going to go away any time soon. It does appear that his health is preventing him from representing his constituents, and, regardless of his own politics, that is not fair on the people of Sheffield Hallam. A by-election is very possible.

    Let’s hope his illness isn’t so serious.

  34. From what ive heard its mental health rather than his hemiparaplegia. It would still be ashame imo if this sets a precedent for people with debilitating disabilities being selected as prospective parliamentary candidates

  35. I do think that the amount of time this enquiry is taking is unacceptable

  36. PT – I doubt it’s that (or can even be cited any longer to get time off work), especially when isn’t that the same condition that a Minister has and a Peer who both manage to attend regularly.

  37. LO: people can have the same condition with differing levels of severity.

    Still, it does seem overall that he’s just not very well-suited to being an MP. It’s a very demanding job, after all.

  38. A difficult situation. It would be unfair if a person with disabilities could not stand for election but constituents should be represented in parliament. The same situation applies with maternity/paternity leave. Perhaps an MP unable to attend should be allowed to nominate a deputy for a short period.

  39. Matt: We’ve had a blind home secretary in this country – I think that glass ceiling has been irrevocably shattered. I doubt JOM’s case is going to stop anyone selecting disabled PPCs in the future.

    If it’s a mental health thing – well, I sympathise, but in my personal experience, going to work every day is one of the best things for one’s mental health. And that would be doubly true for a job as worthwhile as representing one’s constituents in parliament.

  40. Not sure I agree. Now Blunketts been Home Sec we can sit back knowing Disabled Rights is a job well done.

  41. I think O’Mara’s disabilities are the least of his problems.

    Sexism and homophobia, as well as being lazy… kinda makes him a bad fit.

    As is the believe that red bigots are less worse than blue ones.

  42. Please don’t get me wrong. OMara has said some offensive things and if he’s foubd guilty of physically and verbally abusing women in his club he will be expelled.

  43. Matt: my point about David Blunkett wasn’t anything to do with disability rights. I merely meant that his precedent means that there is no glass ceiling within British politics – that it would make local parties unlikely to block a candidate for their disability.

  44. With respect I think that’s a tad naive. While I’m sure the local parties would never prevent people with disabilities standing I’m not so sure that region would be as sympathetic. At least that’s my experience of it. David Blunkett was a very able man and I would never dismiss the obstacles he’s had to overcome. This isnt a race to the bottom to compete over who is more disabled but there are MPs like the honourable member for Elmet and Rothwell who is both hard of hearing and too has cerebal palsy who have recieved a harder time than Blunkett did.

  45. I think if you are referring to Yorkshire folk… most would rather select a candidate on merit, rather than London parachutes or daft AWS discriminatory tactics.

    Blunkett was clearly a capable politician and reflective of a wide range of views that will be held across South Yorkshire… I don’t know Shelbrooke but he’s been re-elected twice with increased majorities and the largest vote tally of any Tory candidate in West or South Yorkshire…

    However on first glance it did look like he was taking a nap… and in the social media age, and hyenas on left and right waiting to pounce… some grief was inevitable.

    O’Mara seems like the sort who has probably found himself in some scrapes during his partying days… and clearly isn’t suited to being an MP regardless of my views of his political views… regardless of any disabilities he has.

    They clearly aren’t an obstacle to him being a suitable MP.

  46. No I mean the regional party. I have recently moved to south yorkshire and most people don’t seem to know of OMara

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