General Election 2017: Could 'three horse race' lead to close result in Sheffield Central?

Tree felling could be an issue in Sheffield Central.
Tree felling could be an issue in Sheffield Central.
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The Liberal Democrats almost won the Sheffield Central seat in the 2010 General Election, with Paul Scriven just 65 votes behind Labour’s Paul Blomfield.

But the party was comprehensively beaten into fourth place two years ago, finishing behind Labour, the Green Party and the Conservatives.

Daisy and Joe Webb.

Daisy and Joe Webb.

This year all four parties will again contest the seat. They will be joined by candidates from the UK Independence Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Pirate Party UK in what could be a close race.

The student population could play a factor, with tens of thousands of potential voters influenced by policies on issues such as tuition fees.

Daisy Webb, 22, voted for the Greens in 2015, and is likely to back the former party leader Natalie Bennett this time round.

She said: “I’m voting more on national issues. Austerity is an issue, as is education and the NHS.

Jan Jackson

Jan Jackson

“I like Labour’s policies but I like the Greens too, and it would be nice for them to get more power.

“It doesn’t bother me that the candidate isn’t local – I like Natalie Bennett.”

Daisy said homelessness was an issue that the Sheffield Central MP should try to address.

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Sue Rossiter.

Sue Rossiter.


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Retired Jan Jackson, 71, also voted Green in 2015, but is undecided this year. She grew up in Sheffield but moved to Brighton before returning to her home city recently.

She said: “I’m strongly anti-Brexit and I want to vote tactically, so my mind is not fully made up. It’s probably a three-horse race, excluding the Tories.”

Aside from Brexit, which Jan said was the main issue, there was one local story on her mind.

“I do know about the trees,” she said. “That’s in the mix.”

And Jan said she was a fan of Labour’s defending candidate Paul Blomfield, but feared he was ‘overruled’ by his party leader.

Sue Rossiter, 47, from Walkley, said she had ‘no idea’ who she would vote for on June 8.

“I have always voted Labour in the past, but this time I just don’t know,” she said.

Sue said she was upset by the ‘state of everything in general’, adding: “I don’t think any one party can put things right.”

Locally, Sue said she lived in a quiet area so didn’t have too many problems. But nationally she wanted to see change.

“Things that are important to me are education for my grandson and care for the elderly, as well as the NHS – the same as anyone else.

“I think the parties should be trying harder to work together.”

And an 81-year-old Upperthorpe woman who asked not to be named said she had voted Labour since she arrived in Sheffield in 1962 – and would continue to do so.

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