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 - 2,125 Responses on “Sheffield Hallam”
  1. I also wonder if they can win any council seats in Tower Hamlets in 2018 as you can very legitimately argue that they only hold seats there due to Tower Hamlets First splitting the left-wing/Labour vote. On the other hand there has and continues to be favourable demographic shifts in the riverside wards in that borough. What do people think?

  2. No all wards in which the Tories won councillors were split except the 1 councillor Limehouse ward (which they won over Labour by only 56 votes):

    St Katherine’s and Wapping: 2/3
    Limehouse: 1/1
    Canary Wharf: 1/2
    Island Gardens: 1/2
    Blackwall and Cubitt Town: 1/3

  3. Re Tower Hamlets its anyone’s guess, there is definitely some pro Tory shifts in the riverside wards but if (as most expect) the former TH First vote breaks overwhelmingly for Labour its really is hard to see the Tories holding on given the size their majorities in said riverside wards.

    I leave it to others to make a guess on that one.

  4. In terms of where Labour are most vulnerable, I’d guess Surrey, where since 2009 they’ve only held the single Stanwell seat, and even there they are vulnerable to both the Conservatives and UKIP.

    Not really a surprise given how expensive all of Surrey has increasingly become, and the resulting changes in demographics. Areas where they’ve held seats in the past look unlikely targets now, although in time bits of the London fringes might become more favourable – Epsom & Ewell West might be winnable at some point.

  5. @rivers well there are a large number of rural councils where Labour is already dead and buried and a large number of others where they have one or two councillors with marginal majorities that could easily lose in a bad year thus wiping Labour off those councils. As for the Tories, northern/midlands cities/regional centres are obviously where they are having serious problems (with the notable exception of Derby where they are doing rather well of late) and thus they could well be the next places they are wiped out in local government representation.

  6. Without splitting wards, I can’t for the life of me see how you can get a South Western Sheffield seat into quota, the ward sizes just don’t seem to allow it.

  7. I think there has to be and probably one with Rotherham as well as I just don’t see how the numbers go otherwise with the size of Sheffield’s wards.

  8. @Paul they will have to split wards.
    @Maxim seen as they will have to split wards there is no need for a cross borough seat Sheffield can have exactly 5 seats. If you draw a Barnsley-Sheffield cross borough seat you are forced to draw another one between Sheffield and Rotherham.

  9. “Enfield LB and Redbridge LB look quite shaky. The Tories in Redbridge could be cut to Bridge, Church End Monkhams, Fairlop and Fulwell in future”

    Merton LB could be another very bad one, Lower Mordena nd Cannon Hill look to be demographically going in direction of East Mitcham. Labour could also win Merton Park and West Barnes at some point too leaving the Tories with no councillors in Morden.

  10. This seat is being radically changed at the next GE – it’s losing Crookes and Ecclesall to a new Sheffield Central and West seat, and taking on Stocksbridge and Upper Don and Penistone East from P&S, Beauchief and Greenhill from Sheffield Heeley.

    That’s geographically demented, given it’s almost cut in half but for a sliver of countryside between Dore and Fulwood. Labour will lose out from the loss of Crookes and Ecclesall, but have previously won B&G, while the Lib Dems are nowhere in Penistone or Stocksbridge.

    2015 local elections in the new seat’s wards (2015 picked for GE turnout):

    Labour: 15,993 (27.9%)
    Lib Dem: 16,086 (28.0%)
    Conservative: 12,257 (21.4%)
    UKIP: 7,978 (13.9%)
    Green: 4,997 (8.7%)
    TUSC: 74 (0.1%)

    Lib Dem HOLD
    Majority 93

    Votes cast: 57,385

    Some adjustments must be made. In 2015, there was no Lib Dem candidate in Penistone East, which I can’t imagine they would have allowed to be the case if it were a Lib Dem defence. There are a few hundred votes there for them, probably.

    On the other hand, we know the Greens were suppressed effectively by the Labour campaign last year, and that they overperformed by a factor of just under three at local elections vs. the General Election in Hallam. The suppression of the Tory vote by the Lib Dems also wouldn’t have been as effective with one Tory held ward, and would have meant an active Tory campaign in at least part of the seat.

    It’s difficult to call, but I would put this as a narrowly Labour notional seat, though in practice it could be a three way marginal with sufficient Conservative effort.

  11. Good grief this is Maxim’s wet dream come true. A Con win if they hammer down the LD tactical vote and Corbyn leads Labour to their expected disaster.

  12. In 2015, Labour would have won. In 2020, I agree the Tories could win.

  13. I’m not so sure Maxim, sure its more Tory friendly but not by that much. likelihood is any Tory advance would just split the opposition and see Labour home.

  14. Also I suggested this last night and I’m going to suggest it again by spamming it everywhere, maybe we should keep discussions on boundaries confined to the relevant European region thread? Thus avoiding spamming every seat thread?

  15. Has someone at the Boundary Commission got it in for Nick Clegg? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  16. If this stays as the new seat the council votes in Stocksbridge and Penistone E will look quite different by 2020….

  17. But haven’t the wards changed now? Surely that will be taken into account in a revision? This suggestion must go down as the daftest looking constituency imaginable! Surely there can be no seat which is both so long and so narrow at the narrowest point? I do think the Sheffield lib Dems will be fairly confident of winning this in 2020 though. A core of 4 solid wards, less students, and a bunch more Tory votes to squeeze

  18. It’s seats like this where notionals are pretty much useless. People in the areas outside the old Hallam boundaries would previously have no reason to vote Lib Dem and would vote very differently in a Lib Dem/Lab marginal.

  19. To be fair the current Penistone and Stockbridge seat used to have quite the Lib Dem vote back before their collapse, couldn’t that be used to extrapolate potential Lib Dem support in the Barnsley wards?

  20. Probably not, given that Lib Dem voters pre-coalition and the people who would be voting for Nick Clegg are unlikely to be the same group.

  21. There is a contributor over on VoteUK who has worked out ward by ward. He’s emailed me the results for Sheffield (and the P&S wards) and they match up extremely closely (the same or 20 either way) with those from the areas which I had worked out. I have then calculated notionals from these, which I trust much more than Anthony Wells’, which are by his own admission fairly rough, and do not take good account of areas where parties do not stand.

    Hallam & Stocksbridge
    Lab – 18,614 (32.93%)
    LD – 17,341 (30.68%)
    Con – 11,210 (19.83%)
    UKIP – 7,620 (13.48%)
    Grn – 1,217 (2.15%)
    Oth – 517 (0.91%)

    Central & West
    Lab – 22,237 (43.53%)
    LD – 9,794 (19.17%)
    Grn – 8,686 (17.00%)
    Con – 6,659 (13.03%)
    UKIP – 3,263 (6.39%)
    Oth – 450 (0.88%)

    Lab – 21,791 (43.38%)
    UKIP – 8,125 (16.17%)
    Grn – 7,549 (15.03%)
    LD – 6,968 (13.87%)
    Con – 5,011 (9.97%)
    Oth – 793 (1.58%)

    I think Clegg may well have held on these boundaries, given how successful the LD squeeze was in areas which were worked hard. In S&UD the LD collapse was very clear to see when they stopped working it (IIRC 2014, though could have been 2012).

  22. Correction to the above figures:

    Hallam & Stocksbridge
    Lab – 18,406 (32.98%)
    LD – 16,345 (29.29%)
    Con – 11,947 (21.41%)
    UKIP – 7,556 (13.54%)
    Grn – 1,066 (1.91%)
    Oth – 492 (0.88%)

    Central & West
    Lab – 25,107 (49.14%)
    LD – 10,768 (21.08%)
    Con – 6,034 (11.81%)
    Grn – 5,900 (11.55%)
    UKIP – 2,829 (5.54%)
    Oth – 450 (0.88%)

    Lab – 25,831 (51.43%)
    UKIP – 7,636 (15.20%)
    Con – 6,922 (13.78%)
    LD – 4,912 (9.78%)
    Grn – 4,428 (8.82%)
    Oth – 501 (1.00%)

  23. The boundary changes have turned Nick Clegg’s and Greg Mulholland’s seats into notional Labour seats.

    I think that they will hold on, particularly if we have another election like 1983.

    Roy Jenkins defeated the Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvingrove (Neil Carmichael) in the new Glasgow Hillhead (notional Labour majority approx. 2000). Richard Wainwright effectively gained the notionally Labour Colne Valley and David Alton gained the notionally Conservative Liverpool Mossley Hill. Rochdale may also have been a notional Liberal gain from Labour in 1983.

    Greg Mulholland has only to overturn a notional Labour majority of 2000, which would not seem too difficult given Labour’s current polling and 1983 as a precedent.

    Nick Clegg has a greater task of overturning a notional Labour majority of nearly 4000.

    The boundary changes have increased the number of Tories from 7500 + to 12000 +, so there is a large Tory vote for Nick Clegg to squeeze, particularly within the Stocksbridge part of the new constituency.

    We also saw a huge increase in Labour’s vote in Hallam in 2015 from 8000 to nearly 20000, while Clegg’s vote fell from 27000 to 22000. As the Tory vote fell from 12000 to 7000 its fair to say that much more than 5000 previous Lib Dems switched to Labour. It’s possible that there could have been a huge anti-coalition protest vote against Nick Clegg, which could partly but not fully unwind.
    These are the reasons why I believe Nick Clegg and Greg Mulholland will hold on, should they stand again.

  24. Why would Tories vote tactically for Clegg? It makes more sense not too, and hope he is defeated after which the Tories have a decent chance of setting themselves up as the new challengers to Labour in the seat.

    This is all assuming Clegg even stands of course. Once Brexit gets under way in earnest, I suspect he will stand down.

  25. Dalek,

    I agree. There was just as much anti-Clegg voting for Labour in Hallam in 2015 as there was pro-Clegg voting from Tories. Both Labour and the Lib Dems put unprecedented effort into this seat but the legacy has been that the Sheffield Lib Dems have emerged stronger, gained 2 seats from Labour in all-out elections for Sheffield City Council this May, and won a by-election in Mosborough from 4th place a couple of weeks ago. In the current Sheffield Hallam they hold all but two council seats and the new proposal (if it goes through) would replace Ecclesall by another Lib Dem ward in Beauchief and Greenhill.

    So what happens is that Crookes (where the students voted Labour in 2015) is replaced by Stocksbridge (which is currently a UKIP-Labour ward, with a history of electing Liberal Democrats) and Penistone East, which is much smaller and an unknown quantity since no Lib Dem has stood there for years (decades??). I suspect the novelty of anyone paying attention to the voters in Penistone will see a considerable Lib Dem vote in the next local elections..

    Finally, Hallam is very fertile Lib Dem territory and a candidate other than Clegg would probably have done better in 2015…

  26. I think Greg Mulholland would be in more difficulty to be honest, but the new seat is really a three way marginal.. Lots of Tory votes in Horsforth (where I lived for 25 years) and lots of Labour ones in Kirkstall… Lots of students in Kirkstall too.. Thee Lib Dems do still win Horsforth in local elections, when they have the sitting candidate, but the Tories won it easily in 2015.

    If Mulholland can squeeze the Tory vote as he did in 2015 he has a chance

  27. If the seat is created on these boundaries (a big as its boundaries make no sense), it’s not too bad for the Lib Dems, mostly bringing in areas where they have a chance. I agree they will be favourites, particularly as Labour are likely to throw less at the seat than in 2015.

    The Lib Dems do have potential to win votes back off Labour, and in Sheffield it seems they have started bouncing back from their weakest position in many years. There aren’t many Conservative votes to squeeze, and they aren’t likely to have much luck with UKIP votes, so they need to target Labour (and to a limited extent the Greens) to hold.

  28. The Conservatives are nowhere in Sheffield, which forms the large bulk of this seat – not just in Parliamentary elections, but also in council elections, where Clegg and coalition politics aren’t the most important factors.

    It will be very difficult for the Tories to frame this as anything other than a Labour-Lib Dem contest, given the 2015 result in Hallam and the general politics of Sheffield.

    While there isn’t much more Conservative vote to squeeze in Sheffield, their strong vote in the Penistone East ward is ripe for squeezing, as the Lib Dems didn’t bother standing there in 2016.

    Will be interesting, the choice of Lib Dem candidate is likely to be a factor.

  29. Just been reading about the shameful behaviour of the Labour-controlled council in conjuction with South Yorkshire police, using anti-union legislation The Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992 to awake residents to move their cars at 4.30 in the morning, without prior warning, so they could start chopping down trees in Rustlings Road residents had been fighting to save. The council’s own tree panel felt the majority could be saved. A couple of OAPs arrested.

    Hopefully there will be electoral consequences.

  30. Or: On advice from the police, Sheffield City Council carried out the planned replacement of a few trees which were dying, dead or causing an obstruction to the pavement. This is something the Lib Dems have been stirring up for several months because it’s easier to scream at the council about a contract the Lib Dems signed than it is to have an ideology.

  31. I would also add that Rustlings Road is directly opposite a large park and woodland.

  32. Big trees within a few metres of a house are a menace, pure and simple. Most homeowners would agree with that. They mess up the house foundations and have a habit of blowing down in gales. They constantly need pruning at huge expense. Aside from a vocal minority I’m sure most residents will be in agreement.

  33. Not to mention covering parked cars in gallons of birdshit day in day out. Speaking from experience here on my leafy tree lined suburban road.

  34. Having just returned from Liverpool – I was struck by how many streets had NO trees. It was a little depressing. The answer must be – chop SOME down and more pruning. The residents should be made to make a contribution as properties on a tree lined street are worth / sell for more money.

  35. So to bring this over from Richmond Park to where it belongs:

    Current Sheffield Hallam includes:
    Dore & Totley

    New Sheffield Hallam & Stocksbridge:
    Dore & Totley
    Stocksbridge & Upper Don
    Beauchief & Greenhill
    Penistone East (from Barnsley)

    Obviously, losing Ecclesall is bad for the LDs. That’s a pretty solid ward for them. Losing Crookes is actually about as good for them as it could get; they haven’t done great there lately. (Mr. Nameless is better at explaining why; basically, students.)

    Beauchief & Greenhill has been a Lib Dem ward lately, by quite some margin, so that’s fine for Cleggy. Then there’s Stocksbridge. In the past, it was LD (until 2010 for like, decades beforehand). So not awful for them, plus it’s voted UKIP more than Labour lately. That’s not great for Clegg, but it isn’t great for Labour, either (although probably better for the latter on balance).

    Penistone East is sort of the wild card. In 2016, it went Tory (as it has for some time, being probably the most solidly Tory ward on Barnsley Council). It was 1657 votes for the Tory, 1254 for Labour, 414 for Green.

    In this case, Tory voters could be squeezed, but the ones in Penistone probably aren’t as malleable for the Lib Dems as the ones in Dore & Totley were.

    That said, I’m pretty solidly of the belief that Labour are likely to fall back in Hallam. I can’t imagine that — having failed to take the seat in 2015 — there will be the same level of anger against the Lib Dems. Even on the new boundaries, this just isn’t a good seat for them at all.

    According to electoral calculus: the new seat contains 34% of the old Penistone and Stocksbridge, 20.5% of Sheffield Heeley, and 57.9% of the old Hallam. The rest of Hallam ended up in Sheffield Central and West.

    Sort of depends, in my mind, on if the provisional boundaries stick. If Ecclesall moves back (in exchange either for a chunk of Penistone & Stocksbridge or, less optimally, for Beauchief & Greenhill), then that’s a pretty great Lib Dem seat. But if it’s the way it is now, I think it’s much more of a coin toss.

  36. Crookes: yep, basically students and a lot of public sector employees. It has more in common with Walkley and Broomhill than with the rest of Hallam.

    Losing Ecclesall is probably worse for Labour than for the Lib Dems. They’ve never won but it’s been trending their way for the last few years. Everything in that ward facing the Porter Valley is prime middle class Labour territory sprinkled with students.

    Much eill depend on the candidates.

  37. Do you think the LDs would hold the new seat, Nameless?

  38. I’m not convinced winning back LD>LAB switchers here will be easy. Previously this was a seat where Labour appeared to be an also ran and so many left-leaning voters will have voted tactically for the LDs (who, in any case, sometimes gave the appearance of being to the left of Labour pre-2010). Now that it is clearly an LD/Lab marginal with the Tories not remotely in contention the tables have turned. Left-leaning voters no longer have a tactical reason to vote LD and, if they are won back, it will need to be because they decide the LDs are their first preference rather than to keep the Tories out

    In 2015 Clegg depended on Tory tactical votes and, I suspect, he or his LD successor will need these again in future to hold on. But that won’t be straightforward either. In 2015 there was a very specific factor at play that will have encouraged Tories to vote tactically – the fear that Clegg’s demise would put pay any hopes of a renewed coaltion in a hung parliament. At the next election that clearly won’t apply, whilst Clegg’s EU stance will not go down well with many Tory-inclined voters.

  39. Difficult to say. My instinct is yes, because Labour are in a state. While plenty of the Clegg-voting Tories would come home, not all would, and if Coppard doesn’t stand again the Labour vote would soften in a few directions.

    The range of probabilities extends from a Lib Dem hold with a slightly increased majority, to a narrow Labour gain against split opposition. The probability is with the earlier end of that scale.

  40. I guess the other factor is that the existing Ballam is strongly Remain. Taking out Ecclesall and Crookes and putting in Stocksbridge and Penistone is likely to change that. I think the Lib Dems would much rather have Labour Remain voters than Labour Leave voters in the constituency.
    The new proposed constituency is probably one of the stupidest in the UK however, because of the twin ruled of not crossing region boundaries and not splitting wards. I get the feeling the BC will split wards in Sheffield and would be interested to know if folks on the spot like Mr Nameless agree..

  41. I work down in Meersbrook, near Beauchief and Greenhill, and can confirm it would be idiotic to put it in the same seat as Penistone and Stocksbridge.

    You could make a good case for a Sheffield North West seat consisting of Stocksbridge and Upper Don, Stannington, Crookes, Walkley and Hillsborough. You’d then have a Sheffield South West seat of Fulwood, Ecclesall, Dore and Totley, Beauchief and Greenhill and Graves Park.

    The former would be a Labour-held semi-marginal, and the latter a Lib Dem-held semi-marginal. Much better.

  42. That actually strikes me as a very good idea, although I think it’d probably work better to keep Stannington in with Hallam/South West, where it would seem to fit more naturally, although I defer to you.

    Do people think there is a good chance of the BC actually revising this one?

  43. I presume that does not work within the strict number limits without a bit of ward splitting though?
    Having grown up in Ecclesall I agree entirely that those congruencies make much more sense on football support grounds if nothing else!

  44. Congruencies! Damned autocorrect is really getting me this evening!

  45. I agree with Mr Nameless that Stannington has more in common with Stocksbridge than with Fulwood or Ecclesall
    . Whereas Beauchief is more or less contiguous with Totley. Graves Park is a bit out of it but as a boy I knew more about it than about Stannington (even though my older brother lived there! )

    You can put Netheredge in with Ecclesall if you want no problem

  46. Mr Pitt,

    Stannington isn’t really very similar to the rest of Hallam. It’s separated from Crookes and Fulwood by the steep Rivelin Valley and unless you’re on foot and up for a hike, you have to leave the constituency and go through Malin Bridge to get from there to Crookes, and on to the rest of the seat.

    An accurate description of Stannington ward would be an upmarket extension of Hillsborough with some social housing and rural areas glued on.


    Using Boundary Assistant’s Plan Builder, Sheffield North West would be within the limits, with 71618 electors. Sheffield South West would be a bit too small (68,000) so would need some ward splitting.

  47. Hmm. Strange to put an upmarket area with the northern sections, though, no?

  48. Hallam is quite comparable to Cambridge, which Labour did win, albeit narrowly. I think if they hadn’t been standing against Clegg, who could mobilise a large pro-Coalition Tory vote, Labour would have won.

  49. ‘Hallam is quite comparable to Cambridge, which Labour did win, albeit narrowly. I think if they hadn’t been standing against Clegg, who could mobilise a large pro-Coalition Tory vote, Labour would have won.’

    Though equally the Labour motivation would not have been there. Would they even have attempted to win the seat?

  50. Yes, I think so. There was genuine enthusiasm in many quarters for Coppard as distinct from just anti-Clegg – and in South Yorkshire, it’s not as though there was much else for (particularly student) activists to be doing.

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