Sheffield Hallam vote decision dividing households - on the doorstep with Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg campaigning on people's doorsteps in Sheffield just five days before voters got to the polls.
Nick Clegg campaigning on people's doorsteps in Sheffield just five days before voters got to the polls.
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Nick Clegg is facing a fight for re-election – but some households in Sheffield have their own battle over who to vote for.

Several residents doorknocked by the Liberal Democrat leader in the Sheffield Hallam constituency he is defending admitted they had differed with their nearest and dearest on how to vote.

One woman off Abbey Lane, Whirlow, said: “My father would turn in his grave if he thought we hadn’t voted Conservative.”

And when Mr Clegg tried to convince the woman to change her mind as ‘voting Conservative makes it more likely Labour will win’, she told him: “I’m afraid not - sorry about that.”

However,her husband came out and said he was more likely to back Mr Clegg.

On the same street several people waited to take ‘selfie’ photographs during the canvassing on Saturday.

One Liberal Democrat supporter, said: “My wife is voting for Labour’s Oliver Coppard, because he’s local.”

At a third household, one woman said: “He’s voted for you, I’ve voted for David Cameron’s Conservatives.”

Voters quizzed Mr Clegg on topics including education, changes to the health service, pothole-ridden roads and Europe.

One dad, whose initial intention was to vote for Conservative candidate Ian Walker, said: “The biggest thing for me is education. You can’t guarantee getting into a local school so we might have to go privately.”

And a nurse who ‘didn’t like to say’ who she would be voting for had concerns about NHS funding.

She said: “We haven’t got the money to recruit people and it isn’t getting any better.”

Mr Clegg was invited into one constituent’s house to watch breaking television news about the birth of the Royal baby and into another family’s packed celebration of the life of their relative Dr Ghulam Nahami.

Several of those questioned did tell Mr Clegg they were planning to vote for him.

One man said: “I’ve forgiven you after you went into the Coalition – you’ve done a good job. My daughter didn’t like it, she said she was going to vote Labour, but she’s changed her mind now.

“You should put your wife up for a seat – she’d walk it.”

However even supporters thought this Thursday’s result was going to be ‘tight’.

Mr Clegg said it was a ‘head to head contest’ between him and Labour.

And when one family of five said they had voted for him, he joked: “ It could be a majority of five, so you’ve done it.”