recent death of Harry Harpham, the MP for Sheffield Brightside &
Hillsborough, there will shortly be the announcement of a by-election for the
seat. The constituency was formed in 2010, following changes recommended by the
Boundary Commission, and has been held by Labour to date. In the 2015 election
Labour had a sizeable majority of 13,907 over UKIP.
It can be anticipated
that this by-election will be a safe run for the Labour Party. With Sheffield
City Council holding all out elections in May, Labour is expected to maintain
its grip on the Council, further
demonstrating that there is not expected to be any momentous political movement
in Sheffield any time soon.
It is expected
that certain issues will be raised during the election: with Sheffield having
been renowned for its production of steel, the recent redundancy announcements
by Tata Steel and the support which the Government has provided are likely to
be hotly discussed. Furthermore, with UKIP coming second in the 2015 General
Election, it is likely to turn the by-election into a precursor for the EU
This will be the
Labour Party’s second by-election in the North of England since Jeremy Corbyn
became Leader, and the Party will want to demonstrate that it is still the
party of Northern manufacturing towns and cities. The Liberal Democrats can be
expected to put up a fight after coming a disappointing fourth place in the
General Election. The party will want to demonstrate that it is the only real
alternative to Labour in Sheffield and may look to use the by-election to
regeneration its flagging local base.
Conservatives are expected to campaign on national issues - including attacking
Labour’s position on Trident - whilst also demonstrating its commitment to the
Northern Powerhouse. Brightside & Hillsborough is not known to be fertile
Conservative ground, meaning the Party may decide to sit back and watch its
rivals scrap it out.
The residents of
Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough can look forward to lots of political
literature and canvassing of their views in the next few weeks!