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. The failure of the Lib Dems-perhaps even doing worse than in 2015-may be one of the few crumbs of comfort at the end of this!

  2. All I would say is that I hope, if the Tories can’t win a majority, they somehow fall well short – the worst thing for them would be to be a minority government.

  3. On the exit poll they’d probably be propped up by the two Unionist parties and limp back into power

  4. September election with Boris swaggering his way to PM. (?)

  5. Bye Clegg.

  6. Yep, former DPM gone. This could well revert to a Lab/Con marginal before long

  7. I went into election night in a Lib Dem seat expecting an increased majority of around 5,000 – instead he’s out.

    It isn’t a little annoying that it happened this time around, but wouldn’t have happened without​ all the work from 2013-15. Oliver’s Army was here to stay.

  8. Plopwellian Tory,

    Don’t know if you are familiar with the seat but it is affluent and heavily owner occupied so should be able to support a significant Conservative vote.

    The Lib Dems first took the seat (and the wards within it) with the aid of tactical votes from Labour (see 1980’s/90’s results). Clegg held on in 2015 by reversing the trick and getting tactical votes from the Conservatives! A neat ploy -,but one which obviously could not be pulled off a second time with both the larger parties at circa 40% + nationally.

  9. I would love to see the ward breakdown here. Total guess but I would think Labour won Crookes and Ecclesall quite easily, and lost the other three.

  10. Mrnameless – were you at the count? My impression was that the LDs did very poorly in Stannington. Don’t remember seeing anything from Ecclesall but I’d be surprised if you won it ‘easily’.

  11. I wasn’t, but had sources there on both sides who were sending me messages.

    That’s interesting though, I had a hunch that the problem for Clegg would be the more C2DE Lib Dem vote in Stannington, Totley and Lodge Moor going Tory.

    Loxley was 2/3 Leave and I suspect that cost the Lib Dems quite dear.

  12. Yes, matches with my experience. It was the areas you mention, rather than the likes of Ecclesall, that was the big problem for Clegg.

  13. Labour vote up 2000 though, had to come from somewhere – and I don’t think it can just have been from Crookes and Fulwood students, since they had turnout over 75% in 2015.

  14. True – but you were probably up in the Brexity bits too.

  15. Really sorry to see Clegg lose. He’s grown into a real statesman, unrecognieable from 2010.

  16. Yes, Tories’ natural vote here seems rather suppressed still due to tactical voting in 2015 / 2017.

  17. At its roots this constituency is basically a 30/30/30 split with 10% others and floating voters. Tactical voting has manipulated that over the years, but I suspect we’ll now see that unwind a bit.

    Without a single focal point for campaigns, the Lib Dems may struggle a little more at a council level. Certainly now voters have a taste for voting Labour and having it succeed, it puts Crookes ever more out of reach and, in years where the council is doing better, might put Ecclesall and Stannington into play.

    That the Tories could get a 10% boost here with no national effort whatsoever might be a signal for CCHQ to throw some money at it in future, and for the local party to start trying to rebuild their base in Dore and Totley.

  18. In my experience, Tory unwind was due to three factors: Brexit, Farron, not taking Labour threat seriously

    Clegg’s loss is a real blow to Parliament, made worse by the guy who is replacing him. Coppard I feel could have been a good MP. O’Mara … not so much.

  19. In light of the result here I’m hoping to revive a writing project I started last year, covering the story of Sheffield Hallam from 2010 to the Labour gain on Thursday.

    I’d be particularly interested in speaking to those involved with the 2010, 2015 and 2017 General Election campaigns, especially if you were part of the Liberal Democrat, UKIP or Green campaigns. I have quite a few Labour and Tory contacts.

    Email me on [email protected] if you can help out.

  20. I was sorry to see Clegg lose. He’s shown a lot of conviction as a vocal remain supporter in the past year. Students in Crookes and Fulwood being the obvious factor for Labour. Can’t fully judge garden signs, but I was surprised driving through Millhouses (part of Ecclesall ward) to see how many Labour signs there were pre-election. High level of owner occupied households and middle class (though not on Dore/Whirlow level), area of Lib Dem strength since the 90s. I think Hallam CLP held a large-ish rally near the main shopping arcade a week or so before the polls.

    Oliver Coppard deserves a lot of credit for paving the way for this. Even when the polls were getting for Labour, I expected Clegg hold with an increased majority. Conservative tactical voting for him has pretty much gone.

  21. …getting *better for Labour

  22. Neil – I noticed the same thing in Leeds North West, even in 2015. Lots of Labour signs outside very nice houses. These kinds of seats might be well-off but they’re just not favourable for the Tories anymore. Too educated, too international, too liberal.

  23. sign posts have been a rarity in this election the only place I noticed any really was tons of lib dem posters in Harbrough which meant nothing in the end

  24. Remember the days of Lib Dems targeting Harborough and Bosworth? Long gone. They lost second place in Bosworth this time. If it hadn’t been for the coalition devastation, they probably would have taken Bosworth at some point.

    They still have the Oadby & Wigston council, of course.

  25. The left of centre parties seem much better at them. I saw four Conservative stakeboards or posters up in Hallam, to many dozens for Labour and quite a few for the Lib Dems. They got 14,000 votes.

    Natalie Bennett seems to have had more posters up than she actually had voters.

  26. The farmers still put up boards for the Tories. The journey from stansted i noticed a few grant shapps posters. Tom Pulsgrove had a few in east northants

  27. If stakeboards were votes, there’s be a hung parliament with LDs as largest party, Labour in a close second, and Greens just ahead of Tories.

  28. Turnout wouldn’t be high either

  29. Why didn’t Clegg stop Osborne robbing the young to bribe the old ?

    ‘ Student loan debt in the UK has risen to more than £100bn for the first time, underlining the rising costs young people face in order to get a university education.

    Outstanding debt on loans jumped by 16.6% to £100.5bn at the end of March, up from £86.2bn a year earlier, according to the Student Loans Company. England accounted for £89.3bn of the total.

    The rise in student debt has been driven partly by rules introduced in 2012, allowing universities in England to charge up to £9,000 a year in tuition fees. In the year ending 31 March 2012, student debt was less than half the current level, at £45.9bn.

    Burnside predicted that over the longer term, student loan debt was likely to double to £200bn in six years. ‘

  30. Jared O’Mara is one of four MPs yet to deliver a maiden speech. There were 84 MPs elected for the first time this year, once Sinn Fein have been discounted.

    Parliament is now in recess for a further three weeks and won’t meet again until 9th October.

    Posted for information, and without further comment.

  31. Who are the other three?

  32. I cant provide much insight into this since I’ve only hard the odd comment and rumours but apparently with O’Mara’s Cerebral Palsy he’s found it very difficult to attend debates and set up a Westminster office that’s easily accessible etc.

    I’m sympathetic to this but at the same time quite confused. if ex MP Anne Begg (a wheelchair user) was accommodated for then surely O’Mara shouldn’t be too much difficulty, I understand he can’t stand for extended periods for example which would normally pose an issue giving a speech but surely Westminster isn’t SO archaic as to not treat him as an exception and let him contribute while sitting down? I mean the recent rule change about not requiring male members to wear a tie was supposedly in large part due to O’Mara who (due to insufficient motor control in one of his arms) can’t actually put a tie on himself.

    I’d hate to think we’ve actually went backwards since Begg was an MP.

  33. Cerebral palsy doesn’t seem to have held Robert Halfon back but perhaps Jared O’Mara has a more severe case of the disease.

    I can sympathise with the tie thing, though. I remember trying to put on a tie one-handed when I broke my arm about fifteen years ago. Took me at about half an hour.

  34. “Cerebral palsy doesn’t seem to have held Robert Halfon back but perhaps Jared O’Mara has a more severe case of the disease”

    Halfon isn’t the only one, Paul Maynard (Tory MP for Blackpool North) also has a form of Cerebral Palsy, they all have different variants of it though and from what I gather O’Mara’s is the most severe of the three though obviously it can be worse again and render a person completely incapable of looking after themselves.

  35. Doesn’t seem to have prevented him from allegedly abusing/assaulting women (according to Guido). I’d think working in a nightclub with CP would be more challenging than the HoC.

    I sympathise with his illness but everything I’ve heard about him suggests he’s a total bellend.

  36. The Labour MP is in a lot of trouble here over his offensive comments about women –

  37. The Michelle McManus stuff isn’t misogynistic, just offensive (and it’s was something that was being said pretty openly at the time). The Jamie Callum stuff is just plain weird , although I don’t think it’s homophobic,l. As for Girls Aloud…were there many heterosexual men in their 20’s who would turn any of them down in 2004? You can’t market yourself on your sexuality and then.complain when people make the obvious comment. And let’s not kid ourselves…a huge part of Girls Aloud’s appeal was their appearance.

  38. I wonder if there are any other cases of a high profile, senior politician losing their seat to a total b……er, a controversial character?

  39. Sigh tet more barrel scraping from Guido, O’Mara posted this over 10 years ago when he was young and clearly quite stupid, and compared to some of the stuff others have posted in the past (remember the Tory PPC for Darlington who wrote a blog claiming women were at fault for being raped) of which Guido didn’t even bat an eyelid.

    This along with the moronic Clive Lewis story from a few days ago is real bottom of the barrel stuff and should be seen for what it is. A brazen attempt to smear left wing MP’s by holding them to vastly higher standards than those on the right.

  40. Today has me convinced that I actually died some time around April 2015 and have since been serving time in purgatory.

    I hear the Lib Dems select their candidate this week.

  41. If he wasn’t a member of the Women and Equalities Committee it would just be an embarrassing story and tomorrow’s chip paper. As it is, he was a member of that committee. He’s resigned from it now though which was right and proper. That should be the end of the matter.

  42. “This along with the moronic Clive Lewis story from a few days ago is real bottom of the barrel stuff and should be seen for what it is.”

    Agreed. Jared O’Mara doesn’t seem like a particularly nice guy but this is a nothing burger. I’ve always thought it was silly to punish MPs for things they did years before they were even elected – I thought Naz Shah was treated harshly, and this story is a whole order of magnitude more out-of-proportion than the Naz Shah case.

    Ian Lavery, on the other hand, that one warrants some scrutiny.

  43. It’s not absolutely clear yet that all of his comments date from the early 2000s. Some are saying that at least one seriously misogynistic comment is a lot more recent, in fact from earlier this year. I wouldn’t say it’s a nothing burger, but his resignation from the committee is welcome to most of us in the Labour Party and he has apparently expressed complete contrition at a PLP meeting last night at which he was applauded by all MPs present including the leader and said that awful phrase, that he’s been on a journey. The consensus is that it’s time to move on, but any repetition of this kind of behaviour would be extremely serious.

  44. IMO this is a story that will run and run. O’Mara is highly likely to either be deselected or defeated by the Lib Dems next time. You don’t easily get away with homophobic stuff these days and it’s very likely Guido has a lot more to follow.

  45. I agree that it will continue to run, there’ll be more to follow and people who have been ‘victims’ will come out of the woodwork…

    It is worse than the Clive Lewis episode because you can take the contents of a speech out of context, either by accident or deliberately to provide you with what you need for the faux outrage that will inevitably follow.

    It is going to be very difficult for him to continue as a Labour MP, with negative comments on record about women and gay people… he just needs to be outed for racist comments and he’s completed the full set… with Labour being really loud and proud about 50-50 splits of men vs women etc etc.

    What doesn’t help him (not that it should matter but…) due to the fact that he replaced a high profile, ex leader of a party, and representing a constituency with lots of affluent and/or wealthy areas…

    I live in a working class mixed constituency myself, certainly not moneyed like Hallam… and wouldn’t be impressed with an MP who calls people ugly bitches (after trying to get with them) and uses terms like marmite motorway…

    It is pub language… one might say that even idiots deserve representation, of course.

    As mentioned, deselection is a possibility. If I was in his CLP I’d want him out, 100%.

    Anyone defending him ought to consider what they’d say if he was a UKIP candidate… and apply the same standards to him.

  46. I hadn’t read his more homophobic stuff when I commented last night. Really not sure what to make of it. As PT said, I don’t think anyone was under the illusion that he was a nice guy, but this could be serious for him.

  47. I dont live in Hallam but Hillsborough so I cant say the liklihood of his deselection. Barnaby has already mentioned the PLP meeting that has taken place in which members like Wes Streeting have said they heard what O’Mara has had to say and are willing to give him a second chance. So if there are calls for his head by the Labour Party it will be from Hallam CLP.

  48. Depends what more comes out. Sexism and homophobia leaves him on thin ice already, IMO anything seriously racial and he’ll be a goner.

  49. I wonder what causes someone to ‘change their views’ on issues like these…

    Is he sorry about what he said, or sorry that he got caught?

    I’m not sure what Labour do in terms of vetting but I’d have thought one question would be along the lines of ‘have you said anything in person or on social media that could potentially cause embarrassment or bring the party into disrepute?’

    Guido have published something else now, saying that Spanish people are Dagos and Danish people are sexually attracted to pigs.

    I would post what the story said but I’m sure it would fall foul of comments policy…

  50. I was going to say that too as Guido said there was more to come about Mandela and Ghandi. Labour are also investigating a claim by a club goer as well.

    My own views on homosexuality have changed quite substancially in 10 years. 10 years ago I didn’t believe sex and sexually attraction between a man and a woman was natural let alone two people of the same gender. I perhaps wouldnt label myself bisexual but I certainly find men and women attractive. My ex used to joke ‘my boyfriend was asexual’.

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