Sheffield South East

2015 Result:
Conservative: 7242 (17.4%)
Labour: 21439 (51.4%)
Lib Dem: 2226 (5.3%)
Green: 1117 (2.7%)
UKIP: 9128 (21.9%)
TUSC: 185 (0.4%)
Others: 348 (0.8%)
MAJORITY: 12311 (29.5%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Sheffield, Beighton, Mosborough.

Profile: The post-industrial eastern part of the city, this has seen massive redevelopment over recent decades as the coal mining and steel making industries have declines, from massive council and private housing developments in the south-east of the city around Halfway and Waterthorpe to the building of the Meadowhall shopping centre, Don Valley Athletics Stadium and the (currently mothballed) Sheffield Airport in the eastern part of the city. Sheffield South-East also has a significant Muslim population, concentrated in the Darnall area.

Politics: This is the successor to the old Sheffield Attercliffe seat, renamed for the 2010 election. It is a safe Labour seat, represented by the party since 1935.

Current MP
CLIVE BETTS (Labour) Born 1950, Sheffield. Educated at King Edward VII School and Cambridge University. Former economist. Sheffield councillor 1976-1992. Contested Louth 1979. First elected as MP for Sheffield Attercliffe in 1992. Government whip 1997-2001.
Past Results
Con: 7202 (17%)
Lab: 20169 (49%)
LDem: 9664 (23%)
BNP: 2345 (6%)
Oth: 2028 (5%)
MAJ: 10505 (25%)
Con: 5329 (14%)
Lab: 22250 (60%)
LDem: 6283 (17%)
UKIP: 1680 (5%)
Oth: 1477 (4%)
MAJ: 15967 (43%)
Con: 5443 (15%)
Lab: 24287 (68%)
LDem: 5092 (14%)
UKIP: 1002 (3%)
MAJ: 18844 (53%)
Con: 7119 (16%)
Lab: 28937 (65%)
LDem: 6973 (16%)
MAJ: 21818 (49%)

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

2015 Candidates
MATT SLEAT (Conservative)
CLIVE BETTS (Labour) See above.
GAIL SMITH (Liberal Democrat) Contested Sheffield South East 2010.
MATTHEW ROBERTS (English Democrat)
Comments - 90 Responses on “Sheffield South East”
  1. Surprised there’s nothing on Sheffield SE on here.

    Although I live in Sheffield I haven’t actually been to this part of the city in a number of years (don’t really need to for work or travel purposes). I used to have some friends around the area and I took my driving test at the test centre which is based in the constituency off the Parkway.

    No doubt that Attercliffe would be strongly Labour, I am a bit surprised that places like Birley has remained Labour. While there is deprivation in the area, I always recall there being a very suburban character to other estates as well about a decade ago. The very south eastern tip of Sheffield borders north east Derbyshire.

  2. I have never been to this constituency, and hardly know any of Sheffield. I have read that areas of this constituency are surprisingly owner-occupied & semi-detached, and would be interested to know if such areas were historically always in the Attercliffe seat. Labour came very close saving Attercliffe even in the meltdown year of 1931, losing by only just over 100 votes, which was better than they managed in Brightside which in recent years has been even safer than this seat is.

  3. Mosborough, Beighton and Birley (so the majority of the current constituency) were in Derbyshire until the late 1960s, and would have been in a Derbyshire seat until I think 1983.

  4. It’s also in very close proximity to the southern part of Rotherham borough, namely the Rother Valley constituency. There’s a gorgeous park in that area of the same name.

    The transport infrastructure in the south east of Sheffield is also very developed compared to where I live. Frequent bus services and the blue line of the Supertram make it very well connected to the centre. Perhaps having Crystal Peaks helps out.

  5. Orgreave must also be in this seat I think, or if not it is very close by.

    I remember often being driven past the infamous coke works as a child when it was still open in the 1980s. In the early 1990s the road past it was closed off and the whole site ripped up and opencasted. I think it has been redeveloped now though the original road past the site never re-opened.

  6. I thought that Orgreave was in the Rother Valley constituency

  7. I think it’s in Rotherham actually, or at least, split between Rotherham and Rother Valley. It seems to have been at roughly the point the three seats meet.

    It was adjacent to the railway line that forms the boundary between Sheffield South East and Rotherham/Rother Valley. The Advanced manufacturing park that was built on part of the former site is in Rotherham, but I’m guessing the coke works and colliery also extended into the rest of the brownfield site to the south of that, which extends into Rother Valley.

  8. The bulk of the site remains fenced off and unbuilt on – too expensive to clean up the contamination of heavy metals, presumably.

    The opencasting of the site changed its topography quite noticeably, flattening what was quite a steep hill.

  9. The civil parish of Orgreave is in Rother Valley. The northern end of the site where the Advanced Manufacturing Park is is in Catcliffe parish, which is in Rotherham constituency.

    There are medium term plans (using the name “Waverley”) to build housing on most of the site. Some development has already started.

  10. Correction: I now think the Mosborough/Birley/Beighton area went into Sheffield Attercliffe in 1974, not 1983.

    From 1955 to 1974 Sheffield Attercliffe consisted of the wards (1952-67 ward boundaries) of Attercliffe, Darnall, Handsworth and Tinsley. By modern ward boundaries this would correspond roughly to Darnall, Woodhouse and Richmond wards.

    In 1918 it was defined as the then Attercliffe and Darnall wards. So it was much smaller in area than it is now (blame slum clearance) and covered the northern part of the current area.

  11. I think that Attercliffe ceased to be a part of the constituency even when the name Sheffield Attercliffe was kept. At least, that was how it looked when I saw a map of the constituency after the 1983 changes – I could be wrong.

  12. Attercliffe ward was abolished in 1980, its electorate having been severely reduced by slum clearance. Most of Attercliffe proper was in Burngreave ward from 1980 to 2004, and thus in Central constituency from 1983 to 2010. It was moved into Darnall ward in 2004, and so back into this constituency in 2010 — when the name was changed to South East!

  13. that is rather silly isn’t it.

  14. LAB HOLD MAJ : 37%
    LAB 53
    LD 16
    CON 14
    UKIP 11
    GRN 3
    OTH 3

  15. 2015 IMHO

    Lab 55
    UKIP 15
    LD 13
    Con 11
    Others 6


    Labour 10,206 (44.70%)
    UKIP 7,129 (31.22%)
    Liberal Democrat 2,202 ( 9.64%)
    Conservative 1,777 ( 7.78%)
    Green 1,252 ( 5.48%)
    TUSC 267 ( 1.17%)

  17. Ikea’s going ahead after a long planning process. Neil will be pleased I imagine.

  18. Yes I read about it earlier. For a moment I was fuming at Eric Pickles for the delay lol. Glad he didn’t postpone his department’s final decision too long.

  19. The Conservative candidate is Matt Sleat.

  20. He’s a senior politics lecturer at the University of Sheffield.

  21. And husband of 2010 Hallam candidate Nicola Bates.

  22. He might have a shot of third place here, behind Labour and UKIP. I suspect the LDs may hit fourth.

  23. This will be a Labour hold, but UKIP will easily be in second, and both the Tory and Lib Dem votes will drop significantly, so it’s hard to say which will end up third.

  24. Labour Hold. 15,000 majority.

  25. A company called Albion Steel has announced that it is going to build the first new steel plant in the UK since the 1970s. I think it will be located in this constituency.

    Exceptionally good PR for George Osborne….I expect he’ll be up here with his high vis jacket on pretty soon.

  26. If Corbyn wins the Labour leadership, which appears very probable, he is likely to split the party badly, particuarly in working class seats like this.

    Let us suppose for psephological discussion that the Corbyn Party will lose alf the Labour vote, and that of this half 50% will go to UKIP.
    Then Labour would get 26% of the vote and UKIP would get 35%. it would not be a landslide for UKIP; but a reasonably comfortable win. Labour would probably come third, behind the Conservatives as well.

    Clive Betts will be 70 if the next General Election is held in 2020. He is an effective city boss style politician and in normal circumstances he might stay on for one last parliament. However, it must be questionable whether he would think it worth the hassle staying on in a Corbyn led party, particularly as an opposition survivor after a big Tory General Election win.

    One last point, have there been any discussions on this site as to how boundary revisions might affect Sheffield, both in terms of the number of MPs and in terms of the prospects of the various parties?.

  27. Don’t be daft. A halving of the Labour vote equates to about 15% nationally. Even if Labour were led by Harold Shipman they’d do substantially better than that. Seats like this will remain safe enough, it’s the small town marginals they will need to worry about. FWIW I don’t think it will be impossible for Corbyn to poll 30% or so nationally but the many people he will appeal to are not in the right places electorally and he will probably also push the Tory vote up to 40%.

  28. It is an interesting question as to what percentage of the national vote Corbyn would get in 2020. Perhaps 20 – 25%?

    In addtion, I would expect Corbyn to lose votes far from evenly across the country. My estimate is that Labour would do particularly badly in seats like this one with a low ethnic minority population and a high working-class one. I would expect Corbyn to do better in London and perhaps in some univerity seats.

    There were plenty of LibDem seats in 2015 in which their vote halved, and considerably more..

    If Labour do geerally badly in 2021, they will fai to pick up the samll town middlle England seats they lost in 2010and then some more in 2015. In addition, if there is a further 3-4% swing they will lose more of these seats, and the Tories will be beginningt o take core Labour seats, for instance in places like Wrexham and Coventry.

    The issue I am considering here is whether the recent flood of middle-class entrants to the Labour Party, combined with a very left-wing leader, will lose Labour a further group of seats where local demographics and aspirations are becoming way out of line with the Party. ,This could lose Labour a number of seats they held in 1935, such as Workington, Rotherham and South Shields, at which point it becomes very debatable whether Labour could ever recover.

  29. Around 28% might be a good bet, the same as Foot. Labour have lost votes with the white working-class since 1983 but that’s more or less compensated by the increase in the EM population and female public sector workers to a lesser extent.

  30. Corbynomics will appeal to the public sector workers and the Benefits Street segment of the WWC and that will be enough to comfortably hold poor urban seats like this one. It will be the strivers and self employed tradesmen with which he will have a lot of difficulty, many of them have abandoned Labour already in any case but it will probably put the marginal out of Labour’s reach.

  31. While there are obviously other issues involved, the SNP stood on what you might call a light version of a Corbynite platform (including the pro-immigration bit) and did much better in the traditional Labour heartlands, including in very white, working class seats, than they did in the more middle class parts of the country. I don’t think that it’s going to be in seats like this that Corbyn’s Labour would have problems.

  32. Sheffield Mosborough By-election Result:

    Liberal Democrat 1,711
    Labour 1,279
    UKIP 466
    Conservative 229
    Green 67

    LibDem gain from Labour

  33. That’s a dreadful result for Labour.

  34. The last time Labour failed to win that ward was when the Lib Dems won control of the city council back in 2008.

  35. That Smith article is frankly pathetic, from what I’ve heard Labours supposedly “brilliant” candidate lived on the other end of Sheffield, a fact the genuinely local Lib Dem made very clear and was able to capitalise with a 14% turnout.

    Beyond that though this is a crap result but lets conveniently ignore the two by election holds held on the same day as well shall we and focus exclusively on the bad.

  36. Rivers, where did you get that figure from? I have that the Turnout was 28% down 2% on the May Local elections.

    The candidate selected was from Stocksbridge, which is a fair distance away, but equally the previous councillor didn’t live in the ward as well.

    While the Labour drop in vote share is certainly a cause for concern for Labour, Lab to LD votes on their own wouldn’t have swung this bye election, the drop in the UKIP vote was in fact larger.

    It does seem ridiculous that the Daily Mail has enough time on their hands to write two articles on this council bye election result.

  37. “…but lets conveniently ignore the two by election holds held on the same day as well shall we and focus exclusively on the bad”.

    Win a few, lose a few doesn’t really cut it for an opposition that’s supposed to be going places. Arguably Labour should be winning all four wards contested this week. The UKIP hold in Maidstone was in a ward Labour had won as recently as 2012. More evidence after the recent result in Gravesend that Corbyn led Labour finds the going difficult in Kent.

  38. I’m not from Sheffield I don’t know Sheffield very well therefore I cautiously suggest that perhaps this result was a great result for the Lib Dems than a dreadful result for Labour. The fall in the Labour vote is bad but the rise in the Lib Dems is quite phenomenal. In 2008 the Lib Dems were beating Labour in the locals nationally, in 2012 the Lib Dems vote almost halved nationally from the last time these seats were contested.

  39. This is a bad result for Labour no two ways about it but what I find silly is that one Corbyn is being blamed and second that such a big deal is being made of this.

    Local by-elections are bizarre creatures, drawing any conclusions from them is dodgy especially when for some reason the Lib Dems have been on something of a role winning dozens of seats on huge swings as of late.

    Blaming Corbyn is also silly in this instance (especially since the Lab candidate was ardently anti Corbyn and supposedly avoided all mention of him) but its a classic case of Corbyn’s fault when things go wrong but nothing to do with him when things go right. Over the past couple of months every time Lab has made a local by election gain or saw big swings in their favour supposedly it was all to do with the great local candidates, carefully avoiding any mention of Corbyn yet everytime we do badly (like this time) Corbyn was supposedly solely to blame, its downright feeble.

  40. Kieran
    “Win a few, lose a few doesn’t really cut it for an opposition that’s supposed to be going places”

    Look at the history of local by elections, they are hyper localised and on normally tiny turnouts and often bare no resemblance to the bigger picture. The Tories endured some frankly crushing local by election defeats in the run up to 2010 as did Labour in the run up to 97. Very little (good or bad) can be drawn from them. If we do then recent results suggest we’re heading for a Lib Dem government in 2020…

  41. Kieran
    I should clarify that last comment by saying I’m not defending Corbyn here, its just since when has so much attention been heaped on a single local by election result? As I said they rarely reflect the national picture. Corbyn might be heading for a landslide victory or he could be heading for a crushing defeat but this by-election isn’t evidence for either just like the recent local by-elections Labour have won are not evidence for either.

  42. Poor result for Labour here, they should have held. But trying to pin this on Corbyn is beyond credibility. At the 2016 locals, Labour won easily, UKIP a way behind in second, then the one Tory candidate just ahead of the Lib Dems. And the party leader in May, already well established in the public eye?

    So, what’s changed since then?

    New candidates for both Labour and the Lib Dems, always going to be a big factor in local by-elections, but unlikely to explain such a swing, particularly in a city seat.

    EU referendum, big issue but unclear why this would result in a big swing to the Lib Dems in an area of the city which (anecdotally) was pretty balanced, maybe slightly for leave, in the referendum.

    Labour Party in chaos, endless anti-Corbyn supporters saying the party is doomed, unelectable, etc? It’s been reflected in the national polls, must be a big issue here too.

  43. Wardofdreams
    “New candidates for both Labour and the Lib Dems”
    By all accounts that’s primarily the reason. Labour selected a candidate from the other end of Sheffield while the Lib Dems were the only party to pick a true local, the Lib Dems then made this the main issue of the by election by all accounts.

    I believe this probably explains why all the parties (bar the Lib Dems obviously) vote shares were down (Lab by 9.2, UKIP by 9.8, Tories by 7.9 and Greens by 1.3) People of all colours voting for the only local candidate.

  44. People do like a local candidate (and the Lib Dem canddiate was previously a councillor here). I’m sure the candidates had an effect but this isn’t a small rural ward where most of the voters know a local candidate – I’m putting it down as potentially having a big impact, but not enough to take a party from distant 4th to winning the seat.

  45. Pot kettle stuff going on here not on a personal level but Rivers is certainly not the only one to dismiss a result or explain it away, not on this site or among politically minded individuals. Rivers isn’t going to admit defeat because the Lib Dems won a by election in Sheffield. A nicer person than me might say that you’re being naive but I think it’s simply to make Rivers look stupid.

  46. Sheffield Momentum holding a Corbyn phone bank with 40 volunteers on polling day is causing a lot of displeasure locally.

  47. The by-election result here has got a lot of attention for obvious reasons. But, for the sake of balance, worth saying that over recent months the LDs have made quite a lot of unlikely by-election gains from the Cons too. So whilst Corbyn may be a factor, it is also likely that the strong LD local by-election machine was too. Also for the sake of balance worth saying Labour held marginal seats in Barrow-in-Furness (v CON) and Mansfield (v IND) on Thursday night – that just holding a seat whilst in opposition is seen as a positive probably tells you all you need to know about where Labour are at at the moment, however.

  48. Holding firm in Barrow-in-Furness is a good sign though, given the importance of Trident for jobs in that part of the world.

  49. The two holds the other night were not exactly good news (as Jack pointed out). Labour may have held their two seats but were down in every bye election on Thursday night.

    Down 3.0% in Barrow
    4.5% in Mansfield
    8.3% in Maidstone
    9.2% in Sheffield

    Since August 11th, where Labour has stood a candidate previously, they have only been up in 3 out of 21 council bye elections (Tooting, Bournemouth and Fife).

    Results up to the 11th of August were better.

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