This is the Sheffield seat with the most unpredictable politics

It is Sheffield’s wildcard – the one ward where no one can predict with any confidence which party will win in the local elections.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 11:11 am

Stocksbridge and Upper Don voters have always changed their minds when it comes to politics – and some of the candidates have switched around too.

The city council seats have swung from Lib Dem to UKIP to Labour in a decade while the Conservatives have picked up seats on Bradfield Parish Council and Stocksbridge Town Council.

It’s a place where people don’t just vote for policies but also for personalities and this year there are two candidates already very well known in the community.

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Stocksbridge and Upper Don.

Sitting councillor Jack Clarkson is seeking re-election. He was originally a Lib Dem councillor back in 2008 but jumped ship to UKIP and is now standing as an Independent.

It’s always been a strong place for UKIP but now the party has been disbanded, will voters stay with an Independent or look to one of the other parties?

Another familiar name standing is Martin Brelsford, a former Lib Dem councillor and Cabinet member who is hoping to make a return.

In the past, the seat has had three Lib Dem councillors so it’s not unheard of for them to be victorious.

Labour candidate Lisa Banes is also a familiar face at the Town Hall. She was elected as a councillor in the Manor ward in 2016. In 2019 she switched wards to stand in West Ecclesfield but lost. She’s now standing in Stocksbridge.

This year the Conservatives will be hoping to capitalise on Miriam Cates, who won the Penistone and Stocksbridge Parliamentary seat for them. Their candidate is newcomer Lewis Chinchen.

Other candidates standing include Danny Davies of Reform UK and the Green Party’s David Willington.

If the other parties split the vote, it could be a win for Labour but no one would want to put money on this result.