Back to the future – recalling Sheffield’s electoral history ahead of ‘Super Thursday’ vote
Sheffielders are set to head to the polls this Thursday for the city’s local council elections following its postponement last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In advance of the ‘Super Thursday’ local elections being held up and down the country, Sheffield Wire is taking a look back over the city’s electoral history – one of the last-remaining bastions of the so-called ‘Red Wall’.
Despite recent data from YouGov currently projecting that Labour are set to lose around 59 seats nationally – following a similar pattern to the general election in 2019 – Sheffield Council will remain under Labour control, according to polling.
Since 2011, Labour has managed to hold a sturdy majority in the council, following a number of years under a slim Lib Dem majority at the turn of the millennium, and a subsequent nose-to-nose seat share in the years leading up to the 2010s.
Led by councillor for Hillsborough, Bob Johnson, the council is currently under Labour control, holding 45 of 84 seats, the Liberal Democrats trailing behind in second with 26 seats.
A four-seat loss in the 2019 elections saw Labour slip below the 50-seat threshold for the first time in seven years, losing two seats to the Liberal Democrats in Mosborough and West Ecclesfield, and another pair in the Broomhill + Sharrow Vale and City wards, which swung over to the Greens.
UKIP, since reduced to a single seat in Sheffield, made some gains in advance of the 2016 EU referendum in East Ecclesfield, Stocksbridge and Upper Don, and Woodhouse – the first two now held by Labour, and the latter by the Liberal Democrats.
Those years also saw Labour hold a secure 59 seats, a number since slashed by 10 seats in advance of this week’s vote, after the Liberal Democrats and Green Party made significant city-wide gains over the past two elections.
Between 2010-11, 2007-08 and 2002-03, the council operated under No Overall Control, with the power seesawing between Labour and Liberal Democrat Minority control.
For more information about how and where to vote in Sheffield, visit https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/your-city-council/polling-stations.