Penistone & Stocksbridge

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12968 (27.7%)
Labour: 19691 (42%)
Lib Dem: 2957 (6.3%)
UKIP: 10738 (22.9%)
Others: 500 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 6723 (14.3%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Penistone, Stocksbridge, Chapeltown, Dodworth.

Profile: The seat covers the north-western suburbs of Sheffield and the steel town of Stocksbridge, set to the north west of Sheffield on the edge of the moors. The northern part of the seat drawn from the borough of Barnsley covers the rural villages in the foothills of the pennines around the market town of Penistone and, to the east, the former mining village of Dodworth. Most of the seat is made up of traditional industrial areas, loyal to Labour, though with the decline of coal and steel and the old allegiences that went with it, there is more new build housing and commuters into Sheffield and Barnsley.

Politics: By the standards of South Yorkshire, one of Labour`s most reliable bedrocks in England, this counts as a marginal. Labour have only just over 40% of the vote and it is only the division of opposition support - once between Conservative and Liberal Democrat, now between Conservatives and UKIP that keeps the seat in Labour hands..


Current MP
ANGELA SMITH (Labour) Born 1961, Grimsby. Educated at Tollbar Secondary and Nottingham University. Former College Lecturer. Former Sheffield councillor. First elected as MP for Sheffield Hillsborough in 2005. PPS to Yvette Cooper 2007-2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 14516 (31%)
Lab: 17565 (38%)
LDem: 9800 (21%)
BNP: 2207 (5%)
Oth: 2428 (5%)
MAJ: 3049 (7%)
2005*
Con: 6890 (15%)
Lab: 23477 (51%)
LDem: 12234 (27%)
BNP: 2010 (4%)
Oth: 1273 (3%)
MAJ: 11243 (25%)
2001
Con: 7801 (18%)
Lab: 24170 (57%)
LDem: 9601 (23%)
UKIP: 964 (2%)
MAJ: 14569 (34%)
1997
Con: 7707 (15%)
Lab: 30150 (57%)
LDem: 13699 (26%)
MAJ: 16451 (31%)

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

Demographics
2015 Candidates
STEVEN JACKSON (Conservative)
ANGELA SMITH (Labour) See above.
ROSALYN JANE GORDON (Liberal Democrat)
GRAEME WADDICAR (UKIP)
COLIN PORTER (English Democrat) Contested Barnsley East 2010 for the BNP.
Links
Comments - 135 Responses on “Penistone & Stocksbridge”
  1. Sadly I’ve seen for abuse in the party with my own eyes and I’m ashamed to say I did sweep it under the rug. We’re going back a few years but these people are now councillors and could have stopped that. There’s always been a ‘pile-on’ for want of a better word. Not always political but people have friends and bums on seats. I’m trying to do something about it now. I’ve reported abusive behaviour and contributed to ongoing investigations

  2. Angela Smith has defected to the Liberal Democrats.

  3. Lib Dems’ new pitch seems to be: “are you bored of political deadlock? Make that deadlock worse by joining us!”

  4. She must be held in very low esteem by the enthusiastic Leavers in Penistone – the constituency voted 61% Brexit.

  5. I wonder if the significant number of defectors from various parties actually have any sort of game plan or whether this is just a case of making one final gesture before leaving politics.

    Seems inconceivable to me that Umunna standing in Westminster will win him the seat and obviously in a lot of other cases we are seeing in place LD PPCs not willing to stand down. Equally Tory rebels probably have little hope of getting a seat either as independent or LD.

    The interesting thing about ChangeUK people joining Lib Dems is that they may be pressurised to vote in Corbyn as temporary PM if that option becomes realistic and would they do this?

    Lib Dems are in an awkward situation, probably needing to win over Tory voters to make their gains but equally cannot be seen to be even partly responsible for allowing no deal to happen. and risk a remain backlash.

  6. I only just spotted that the majority here was slashed to just 1,000 in 2017 and the Tories have selected a young local Mum who used to be a teacher. [Local Tory selected in the Stoke target too]

    So I’ll add that to my list of unhelpful (for Labour) moves by their MPs in ultra marginals in the North.

    Any news on Chris Williamson standing as an Ind in Derby?

  7. @ Lancs

    It does feel to me like overall accumulations of the defections/resignations/not standing again that have been happening are firstly less helpful to the various shades of remain and secondly definitely not going to help Labour other than in Vauxhall (which was a long shot for anyone else anyway).

    Lib Dems may gain the odd one out of all of this but nothing like the numbers joining them. Tory Leave only likely to lose the odd one.

  8. You’re right.

    There’s a couple in marginals staying and fighting such as Caroline Flint, but the rest such as Kevin Barron seem to be standing down rather than losing the seat.

    I hadn’t thought Tynemouth (Ronnie Campbell) could be ‘in play’ but I recall it was a hyper marginal in 1992 and in 2005 it was one of the seats I was alluding to (where there was a huge DE swing from Lab to the Cons).

    But most of the rest have never been Tory, ie they weren’t even won when Maggie got landslides of 100 – 144, yet the Lab majorities are now far smaller in 30 seats than they were in 1987.

  9. @ Lancs

    Don’t suppose you have a list of all the various things going on in terms of the people who are likely to affect the next election by standing as LD or independent. It’ll be interesting to see how many seats are in play that otherwise wouldn’t have been.

    I can get the ball rolling:
    Buckingham- In play- probably Tory win but wouldn’t know about Bercow’s local popularity
    Westminster- Staying Tory I would think- any outside chance Labour had will have probably been wrecked by Umunna standing, although outside chance he could attract Tory votes more than Labour and turn it into a 3 way marginal.

    I’m not sure which other seats have been confirmed for defectors to LD or standing as independents?

  10. “Buckingham- In play- probably Tory win but wouldn’t know about Bercow’s local popularity”

    Bercow will IMO hold Buckingham as long as Labour and the Lib Dems don’t stand, which they surely won’t.

  11. ‘Bercow will IMO hold Buckingham as long as Labour and the Lib Dems don’t stand, which they surely won’t.’

    I think he’s got every chance

    Contrary to what many assume, Bercow is actually highly regarded in Buckingham, and it’s a Remain-supporting seat

  12. And the Brexit party will take some of the Leave vote, leaving Bercow to mop up most Lab+LD+Tory Remainers. He also seems to be quite well regarded as a constituency MP, which is normal for speakers in terms of “putting a word in the right ear” for their constituents.

    If the Tories major on anti-HS2 rather than Brexit it might give them more of a chance.

  13. “Westminster- Staying Tory I would think- any outside chance Labour had will have probably been wrecked by Umunna standing, although outside chance he could attract Tory votes more than Labour and turn it into a 3 way marginal.”

    I disagree with this. The Tory vote in Westminster is highly vulnerable in a GE. Labour’s vote there (ethnically and socio-economically) is much stickier and I don’t see Umunna getting much of it. I could see a Labour gain there, against the trend.

  14. Shevii – I meant more of seats being affected by Lab MPs throwing in the towel (Ashfield, Rother Valley, Tynemouth plus 5) in seats which are either v marginal or have changed hands in the past. There’s a list on the Retiring MPs thread on Vote2012. I think it stood at 18 Labour MPs, 10 Cons and 5 Others.

    But you’re right that there are now some where the whipless Member or an Ind intervening could affect the outcome eg West Brom, Derby N, Birkenhead. Also heard that an SNP MP may do this – if not reselected – but not had it confirmed yet.

    As I said, Hezza, Rory, Amber & Grieve some unaware of the law (how ironic): standing as an Ind Cons isn’t permitted. Have to be Ind or form their own Party. Incidentally, Rudd has now clarified to say she won’t stand as an Ind Cons in Hastings but is likely to elsewhere.

    So it’s conceivable that eg Rory & Amber could swap or Vaizey & Soames. But all would seem a bit odd and pointless IMHO.
    So as with Chuka, it saves their blushes, gets them publicity as well as the extra severance pay of a losing Member.

  15. “it’s conceivable that eg Rory & Amber could swap or Vaizey & Soames.”

    In Soames’ case I know for a fact that is untrue. He has confirmed locally that he is standing down, will not join another party and will indeed vote for his Conservative successor in Mid Sussex at the GE.

    Hastings is not well suited to a wet Tory MP which is why it’s a puzzle that the Tories have imposed two leftish Tory MPs there since 1992. The constituency, especially the fishermens’ lobby, also gave Jacqui Lait a very hard time and contributed to her defeat in 97. Hastings town is very deprived in places and it’s not inconceivable that Labour might win.

  16. ‘Hastings town is very deprived in places and it’s not inconceivable that Labour might win.’

    I think it’s one of their more straightforward gains

    Demographically this seat has been trending in Labour’s direction for the last few decades

    Obviously if Labour trail the Tories by 20 pts or whatever then they won’;t be making any gains, but under normal circumstances I’d expect a Labour gain

  17. HH – that’s good to hear re Soames.

    Tbf to him he was the only whipless MP who seemed genuinely upset at the move.

    Which makes sense given that he’s been in the Party for 50 years longer than Rudd, Perry etc.

    Indeed I found an article (Guardian!) citing Perry, Mensch, Soubry & Rudd as the next Thatcher [which is bizarre on all levels but did at least point out that 3 of them had been in other Parties before so in my mind it’s hardly a shock that they all left the Tories after a decade or so.] Unless due to their own prejudice they think shouty is all it takes to be successful.

  18. Lancs

    What also sets Soames apart is that he hasn’t experienced any acrimony with his constituency party. If you look at his twitter feed and that of the leaders of Mid Sussex District Council and Mid Sussex Conservative Association you will see that all three remain painfully careful not to say anything critical of the others. And all three tweet in support of the others especially on local matters. I think Soames was meaning to stand down in any case, he has made a lot of hints over the last year.

  19. That makes sense. Rudd cites that – support for her local Cons Party – as her reason for not wanting to stand in Hastings, but I think she’s doing a Chuka as I’ve said.

    Other than Rory I can’t see any of the 21 being ‘up for the fight’ of a real campaign as an Indy in their current seat.

    The only Indy likely to win isn’t any of them: it remains the East Devon Ind Cllr I’ve mentioned before.

  20. Overall I don’t think the political climate is a good one for independents (genuine ones, not MPs who have left their parties) at a national level. It’s much harder to run a local campaign based on local issues when there’s so much political noise about the bigger picture. Dr Richard Taylor was able to mobilise Kidderminster against a local hospital closure in the sinpler times of 2001, but if that were happening today he’d likely be drowned out by the general insanity going on everywhere, all the time.

  21. Which is to say I am sceptical of Claire Wright’s chances in East Devon, even if a naive uniform swing calculation like, “oh look, she’s ten points behind, but the Tories have dropped ten points since the last election” would make it a very close race.

  22. “Dr Richard Taylor was able to mobilise Kidderminster against a local hospital closure in the sinpler times of 2001, but if that were happening today he’d likely be drowned out by the general insanity going on everywhere, all the time.”

    Apologies if I’m wrong but I think you’re a fair bit younger than me hence might well not have an adult memory of 2001…I wouldn’t say 2001 was “simpler times” (9/11 and foot-n-mouth say hello), but they were certainly different times.

    What you also probably don’t remember is just how dire hospitals were after 20 years of Thatcherism…that includes Blair’s first government, which spending-wise was continuity Major. Like it or not, Brown’s massive NHS spending splurges from 2002 onwards changed everything – arguably Dr Taylor’s victory was part of the reason for it. Simply, independents can win if they tap deep into a highly potent issue (see also Blaenau Gwent).

  23. PT – I won’t repeat what I’ve predicted previously as it’s probably still on the East Devon thread.

    But the reason I suspected she was different pre-2015, was that she was the most popular Cllr in England and that reminded me of Cllr Steve Radford who came 2nd in Lpool W Derby in 1997 and 2001, where I briefly lived during 2001.

    Because he used to hold that title polling 85% in one year – and so it’s a good place to start as you take your ward with you in the GE as well which at least guarantees saving your deposit – and also both face an incumbent was non-existent on the ground and who both underperform in GEs.

    I agree with you in part by accident, in that the Brexit issue may stop her winning because the West Country is Eurosceptic and she is very much a Green Remainer. However there equally wouldn’t be enthusiasm from staunch Leavers to vote for wealthy Sir Hugo.

    But the main problem there for an Indy is the sheer size of the seat which makes it impossible to leaflet drop everyone on polling day for example even with a team of volunteers. Plus unlike Kidderminster the LDs still stood against her and are set to again which seems particularly odd given B&R.

    In a two way fight she’d win, but Lab & LDs & Inds for their own reasons choose to also stand in E Devon.

  24. ‘In a two way fight she’d win, but Lab & LDs & Inds for their own reasons choose to also stand in E Devon.’

    I hope they seriously re-consider that position whenever the next election is to be held

    As incompetent, incoherent, vulgar and downright nasty as Johnson is, the Brexit-votting WWC public seem to have swung behind him fairly decisively, so the only chance opposition parties have of preventing a Tory majority is to be tactical

    If they are not we will end up with a 1980s position whereby despite the Left having a majority, the Tories were able to win landslide general elections because the opposition vote was do splintered

  25. “As incompetent, incoherent, vulgar and downright nasty as Johnson is, the Brexit-votting WWC public seem to have swung behind him fairly decisively, so the only chance opposition parties have of preventing a Tory majority is to be tactical”

    You might be right….personally I’m not so sure.

    It is not easy to win a majority with WWC votes alone on a 30% national vote share.

    Word is that Boris may voluntarily go into opposition and let PM Corbyn extend….what if Corbyn turns out to be a more moderate PM than most of us fear?

  26. ‘Word is that Boris may voluntarily go into opposition and let PM Corbyn extend’

    That’s probably his best bet – a Corbyn government would be incoherent, badly run, and would have at least half the country (especially those that matter – newspapers, business, ruling class) dead set on getting them out

    I can;t see Corbyn doing a Blair or a Clinton

  27. Yes please JC4PM

  28. There’s an amusing piece in the Telegraph that this MP is complaining that she won’t receive the £22k payment – severance on losing – because she is contesting a different seat.

    It seems that IPSA have closed the loophole re losing Members’. Luciana and Chuka won’t be pleased!

  29. Am I a bad person for having been quite pleased with that piece that you mention?
    I particulatly liked Angela Smith’s protest that she was FORCED to leave the Lanour Party and then she was FORCED to change seats.
    She wasn’t at all! She could have stood here as an Independent. But she took a rational choice to move seats.

    I don’t think amyone will have the slightest bit of sympathy for her.

  30. I think we can all agree that no one cares about Smith’s bleating.

  31. I can sympathise with her not wanting to campaign against old comrades in her former CLP, some of whom will still be friends.

  32. Ladbrokes has this as:

    Cons 1/5 fav
    Lab 7/2

    (Brexit Party 4/1 to win a seat – though if you think they will you can get better odds choosing the seat eg 12/1 in Barnsley)

  33. Relating to what Matt said in the Chesham and Amersham thread, interesting to see the Tories now have a councillor in Stocksbridge and Upper Don (in this constituency), partly due to it being a three-way splitting the ‘progressive’ vote at the May elections.

    Conservative: Lewis Chinchen 1,822 … 32.2% (+18.8)
    Labour: Lisa Banes 1,325 … 23.4% (-11.5)
    Liberal Democrats: Martin Brelsford 1,317 … 23.3% (+12.0)

    Seems to be the first elected Tory councillor in Sheffield since 2007, when the one in Dore & Totley lost his seat.

  34. It’s a local election, there are local factors. Labour have a lot of places where they ought to be concerned but Sheffield isn’t one of them.

  35. Matt doesn’t seem to agree!

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