Turnout hits record low in Sheffield elections

Turnout at Sheffield electionsTurnout at Sheffield elections
Turnout at Sheffield elections
Voter turnout in Sheffield hit one of its lowest in at least a decade at this year’s local elections.

The turnout for the local elections in Sheffield was just 31.2 percent across the city, a slight drop from last year which was 31.5 percent.

It is a steeper drop since previous years, in the past three council-only elections the turnout was 34.6 percent (2016), 35.8 percent (2014) and 32.8 percent (2012).

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The numbers nearly doubled during General Elections for example in 2015 turnout hit 62.4 percent.

Turnout per ward 2019 local electionsTurnout per ward 2019 local elections
Turnout per ward 2019 local elections
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Professor Charles Pattie, an expert in elections and voting at the University of Sheffield, said it comes down to something called the ‘second order election theory’.

He said: “That means people don’t generally think local government is as important as national government, so are generally less likely to vote in locals, lesser important, than in general, or more important, elections.

“Call it the ‘busy life’ effect: most of us have lots of different things to do, and can’t do everything on our mental ‘to do’ list so we prioritise. We are more likely to do things that matter and less likely to do things that don’t. General elections are a higher priority to most voters.”

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City ward, which includes Kelham Island, Highfield and the city centre, still had the least amount of people turning out to vote at just 14 percent of those registered. The highest was Ecclesall at 49 percent.

Professor Pattie and City councillors have put this down to there being a more transient community in the ward including a large student population in comparison to places like Ecclesall where voters are typically more settled.


Beauchief and Greenhill 32.4

Beighton 29

Birley 25.7

Broomhill and Sharrow Vale 28.7

Burngreave 25.9

City 14.4

Crookes and Crosspool 40.7

Darnall 26.6

Dore and Totley 45.5

East Ecclesfield 31

Ecclesall 49.3

Firth Park 22.1

Fulwood 45.3

Gleadless Valley 37.4

Graves Park 40.3

Hillsborough 30.7

Manor Castle 21.5

Mosborough 30.3

Nether Edge and Sharrow 44

Park and Arbourthorne 24

Richmond 23.5

Shiregreen and Brightside 22.1

Southey 21

Stannington 30.8

Stocksbridge and Upper Don 34

Walkley 28.5

West Ecclesfield 33

Woodhouse 25.8