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
Con: 12040 (24%)
Lab: 8228 (16%)
LDem: 27324 (53%)
UKIP: 1195 (2%)
Oth: 2348 (5%)
MAJ: 15284 (30%)
Con: 12028 (30%)
Lab: 5110 (13%)
LDem: 20710 (51%)
GRN: 1331 (3%)
Oth: 1248 (3%)
MAJ: 8682 (21%)
Con: 11856 (31%)
Lab: 4758 (12%)
LDem: 21203 (55%)
UKIP: 429 (1%)
MAJ: 9347 (24%)
Con: 15074 (33%)
Lab: 6147 (14%)
LDem: 23345 (51%)
Oth: 125 (0%)
MAJ: 8271 (18%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

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)
CARLTON REEVE (Independent) Educated at Bradford university. Digital media consultant and lecturer.
Comments - 2,177 Responses on “Sheffield Hallam”
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  1. I think it’s a bit misleading to describe this constituency as “largely rural”. It does of course contain a lot of land outside the built-up area of Sheffield, but that rural area contains a very small portion of the voters. Most of the electors live in built-up west Sheffield.

    (And Ringinglow is tiny.)

  2. Fulwood ward by-election, May 2nd

    Lib Dem 2,536
    Labour 1,185
    Conservative 826
    UKIP 501
    Green 379

    Lib Dem HOLD

    Turnout 37.5%

  3. Fulwood by-election, May 2nd.

    Lib Dem 2,563
    Labour 1,035
    Conservative 826
    UKIP 501
    Green 379

    Lib Dem HOLD

    Turnout 37.5%

    Ballot papers rejected – 10

  4. Anthony – Can you please remove the first of my two posts about the Fulwood ward by-election as the figures are wrong. Thank you.

  5. I spent yesterday afternoon with an old friend & his wife. His father, a man of traditional centre-right Labour views (and a former SDP supporter), now sadly has dementia. He often forgets things like where he is – on a recent trip to Manchester he failed to grasp he wasn’t in the South – but apparently when he hears the words Nick Clegg his dementia suddenly disappears. He has no time whatsoever for Clegg & can still very lucidly list the policies where he has, according to this gentleman, betrayed his erstwhile principles & helped the Tories.

  6. I apologize for the rather partisan nature of that tale, but it did amuse us yesterday.

  7. That man clearly has sense.
    Sheffield Hallam should be a safe Lib Dem seat, but if there is a strong organised anti-Clegg vote in this seat, especially as it is next to a university – who knows what will happen.

  8. Much though some Labourites want to salivate at the idea of the Great Traitor (TM) being booted out in 2015, the local election results in 2011 and 2012 show little indication this is remotely near the cards.

  9. Can’t really argue with that. Clegg is as safe as houses here.

    There’s in any case a lot less salivating here than there was a couple of years ago. On the old site Sheffield Hallam had the highest number of comments I believe. Now I think people recognise it as a boring, bomb-proof Lib Dem bastion.

  10. Labour may nose into second place
    but it’s going to stay with the Lib Dems even if they lose 5-10%.

    LD 45%
    Lab 24%
    Con 22%
    UKIP 5%
    Green 3%
    Oths 1%

  11. JJB- yes I was thinking myself that Labour could well move into second here. If so, it would have to be the most affluent constituency in England where the Tories would be in third.

  12. One of the more plausible reasons for Nick Clegg’s change of heart on boundary changes is that the proposed Sheffield West and Penistone seat was rather interesting.

    The most likely change in this seat is that Labour will overtake the Tories. Which will hide a more complex pattern of voting Lib>Lab, Con>Lib. But Clegg will likely hang on with the current boundaries.

  13. C may stay second though

  14. Lib dem 43. Labour 15. Con 13 if like CC nat projection

  15. Since that means a total vote share fall of 22% for the three main parties, who’s picking up the votes? UKIP 2nd on 24%?

  16. Yes, I don’t think it’ll happen like that – I was just following through the changes from the CC elections which of course didn’t happen here and aren’t typical of this seat anyway.

    I’d have thought the LDs will get about 43-46%
    with a race for 2nd and 3rd depending which of the two main parties is doing (relatively) well.

    Hard to predict UKIP – 5% perhaps.

  17. Labour have selected Oliver Coppard as their parliamentary candidate.

  18. Nick Clegg was reselected as LD candidate on or about 8th December 2012:

  19. well, I’ve heard some surprising news items here, but this wasn’t it, Andy.

  20. It wasn’t meant to be. I’m trying to keep track of selections from now until the election.

  21. Is the Conservative Party still in existance in Sheffield? Don’t seem to hear much from them.

  22. Hardly. They lost their last councillor some years ago and the Sheffield Conservative office reportedly shut down due to lack of funds last year. Hallam was a seat they had for over six decades and was their only real stronghold in Labour dominated South Yorkshire. I always felt that the Lib Dems were beneficiaries of Tony Blair’s landslide victory. By 97 the mood was anti-Tory, but in Sheffield Hallam, Labour never stood a chance of winning it, so it was for the Lib Dems to take the baton.

    What’s unique is that the Lib Dems have made themselves into a long term fixture in the more affluent parts of Sheffield (e.g. the south western suburbs like Dore and Fulwood). Whereas the Tories might have regained other constituencies from them since 1997, doesn’t look like they will here. Whenever an election is coming up, you do see Tory placards outside households but it’s just not translated into election success.

    The swing in 97 must have been significant if it could overturn Irvine Patnick’s 6,000+ majority into a LD majority of over 8,000.

  23. *Clegg (LD) 16,146
    (Lab) 15,948
    (Con) 14,033
    (Green) 1,653
    (UKIP) 1,491

    LD Hold
    LD maj 198

  24. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives will, regrettably, be as close to defeating Clegg as that.
    Neil is of course basically right. However, in 1992 there was actually quite large 3rd-place vote for Labour in this constituency. Other seats with similar psephology were actually won, or at least nearly won, by Labour in 1997 – S Dorset is one example that comes to mind. It was only in a few seats where a strong 3rd place Labour vote was truly swept aside by tactical voting for the LDs; this seat & N Norfolk were the principal examples. In other seats where the LDs gained from the Tories & squeezed Labour heavily, there was a more negligible Labour vote – my own seat of Richmond Park would be a good example, and there are plenty of others. But it’s true to say that Labour had never been close to winning here, even in landslide years, in the past, which of course isn’t true of N Norfolk.

  25. Of course, Hastings & Rye is an even better example of what I started the above post with. Hastings had never been close in the past, either, though Labour had at times got to about 4,000 behind the Tories there. The writ of New Labour ran very large in 1997 & its momentum swept aside some very strong apparent LD challenges such as Bristol W & Conwy.

  26. Lib dem hold with about 44pc and labour fairly likely to come second even if the tories are relatively strong nationally

  27. “Is the Conservative Party still in existance in Sheffield? Don’t seem to hear much from them.”
    The short answer is no. some years ago membership of the local party, the hallam part, was in the region of 400+ now, and I can’t confirm this but the figure is something like 150 – 200 (could be significantly less then this). as is the case with most parties, sheffield tories are overwhelming in their 60s which not much “young blood” being recruited.

    Neil & Barnaby I think in essence you are both correct, there has been a significant demographic shift in the electorate over the last 20 or so years (public sector workers have replaced “old money”, a bit simplistic I know). the problem for the tories is that they haven’t adjusted to this change and have failed to robustly challenge the lib dems.

    while there are fair number of lib dems in hallam that espouse to the whisy washy views of ‘social democracy’ there are equally a fair number that are naturally conservative (small ‘c’ perhaps) that vote lib dem not through ideological conviction but because at a locally level at least, words are translated into action (eg the lib dems actually get things things done).

    sheffield is in some respects unique in SY it is the only city that doesn’t have any tories. this simple fact alone suggests to me that there is clearly an internal weakness in the local party.

  28. sheffield tories are overwhelming in their 60s *with* not much “young blood” being recruited.

  29. Overall that’s not a bad prediction, maybe the Lib Dems might do a fraction better than that.

    The figures will contain a lot of churn….I imagine quite a few 2010 Lib Dems will switch to Labour, with some 2010 Tories probably tactically switching to Clegg…in such a scenario, as you say, it’s not difficult to imagine Labour coming second.

  30. clegg is bound to do well here as he leads the party

  31. If I was in charge of Tory strategy I would forget this seat totally now. We are far too weak in Sheffield and the demographics in the richer part of the city are groups that are no longer friendly with the Conservatives.

    IMO Clegg is as safe as houses here and any decline in his vote will give Labour a bigger boost than the Conservatives.

  32. Clegg will no doubt hold in 2015. At very, very worst his majority will be reduced to somewhere between 5,000 to 6,000. The Lib Dems have turned the western parts of Sheffield into their most reliable territories over the years. Parts where Labour would have to work 100 times harder to win and where the Tories have just vanished.

    It’s very possible that Labour could finish a distant second, given that they’ve out polled the Conservatives in local elections since 2010 in these wards; and the gap between both parties at the 2010 elections narrowed considerably when Clegg took a mammoth share of the vote.

  33. ‘If I was in charge of Tory strategy I would forget this seat totally now. We are far too weak in Sheffield and the demographics in the richer part of the city are groups that are no longer friendly with the Conservatives.’

    Agreed. Especially as there are now some potential Tory prospects elsewhere in the southern half of the West Riding, i.e. Don Valley and Pensistone & Stockbridge.

  34. *Penistone and Stocksbridge even

  35. ^I honestly think Don Valley would’ve been a consistently stronger Labour seat if it anyone but Caroline Flint as the MP. Incredible how marginal that seat became in 2010. She seems a tad obsessed with the south east to be a Doncaster representative. Had it been a local who was selected for 97, Flint could have taken her pick of any southern seat IMO.

  36. I don’t doubt that Ms Flint has her detractors, Neil. But as Richard has pointed out on the old site, Don Valley’s demographics are gradually changing, and in ways which could present some opportunities for the Conservative party in the long run. Whether or not the party takes those opportunities is a different matter.

  37. The Tories should perhaps try to get the Dore-Totley seat back in local elections
    but sadly this area has completely gone in General Elections.
    I still don’t quite know why
    – can all these nice houses really be inhabited by “arrogant and ignorant public sector managers”, as I think Harry Scott-Parker eloquently put it.

  38. Whatever happened to Harry Scott-Parker? He used to post on here quite a lot.

  39. He was great fun.
    If you wanted a nice dose of clear blue water.
    I think he moved from the area – perhaps he couldn’t stand all the wet liberals.

  40. He seemed to only ever really crop up on the Sheffield seats IIRC.

  41. Tory, isn’t the Conservatives’ election strategy known as 40-40? I think it involves campaigning hard for their 40 most marginal seats while focusing on gaining the 40 most vulnerable Labour or Lib Dem seats. Are Don Valley or Penistone and Stocksbridge in the top 40 Tory target list?

    I read about the strategy last year.

  42. I think that does sound about right
    but also to improve organisation in the marginals
    so we can withstand a smaller lead over Labour if that comes about.
    I’d also want to privately exclude some of the Labour marginals from the target list so as to retain weak Shadow Ministers.

  43. Hampstead and Kilburn will be a fascinating contest IMHO.

  44. If Glenda Jackson stood, Labour would hold on.
    If the Tories do recover the position, I think it’s one of several very affluent seats which could buck the London demographic and political long term trends

  45. JJB is Simon Marcus on the Cameronite wing of the Conservatives?

  46. I don’t really know him – he doesn’t have that kind of image but I couldn’t say whether he is signed up policy wise or not

  47. Oh right I see.

    Do you fancy his chances in H&K?

  48. It really is too difficult to say. I think it was a good result for the Tories last time, and the kind of people there will have changed somewhat – a bit like in Richmond Park, for example,
    and some of the LD vote will be right leaning
    but Labour could very easily increase their vote or majority if they have a good night.

    It is a better than average prospect for a C gain though for the above mentioned reason.

  49. Thanks for your insight. It’s certainly not one you can predict.

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