Labour took nine seats from the Liberal Democrats in Sheffield today as they capitalised on growing disappointment with the coalition government.
The party won at total of 21 seats on Sheffield City Council, with the Lib Dems holding on to just six. The Green Party’s Rob Murphy won in Central ward.
One of Labour’s biggest scalps was in heavily student populated Broomhill, where Jayne Dunn took former Liberal Democrat council leader Paul Scriven’s seat. He was beaten into third place by Labour and the Greens.
Scriven said: “I was seen as the figure head, I was the bogey man that Labour wanted to beat, so they could say that the Liberal Democrats are losing in Sheffield.
“I was surprised by the amount of people who were in Broomhill, from Labour. Over the last few weeks you would think that Noah’s Ark had been found. They were coming in five by five. They were trying to get my scalp and they succeeded.
“What they have not succeeded is stopping the Liberal Democrats. I go away with my head held high. Sheffield has given me a great opportunity to lead the city for three years. This is not the end of the book of the Liberal Democrats in Sheffield – it is the start of a new chapter.”
In Hillsborough, University of Sheffield History undergraduate George Lindars-Hammond gained a seat for Labour from the Lib Dems, polling 2424 votes.
Elsewhere, Labour had gains in Stocksbridge and Upper Don, Beauchief and Greenhill, East and West Ecclesfield, Nether Edge and Mosborough.
The result reflected the pattern nationally, with Labour gaining hundreds of councillors across the country.
However there was a low turnout, with just 32.77% of the electorate turning out to vote in Sheffield.
No to mayor
Sheffield also said no to having an elected mayor, keeping the current system of a council leader who is elected by councillors.
Other candidates from the University of Sheffield included UKIP Society president Sam Launder, who came second to Labour’s Ian Saunders in Beighton.
Three students stood for Trade Union and Socialists Against Cuts. Chaz Lockett polled 136 votes in Walkley, Wyllie Hume polled 130 votes in Hillsborough, and Sam Morecroft polled 116 votes in Graves Park.
Labour’s council leader Julie Dore held on to her seat in Arbourthorne and said the people of Sheffield had sent a message to the government.
She said: “I’m very pleased that the people of Sheffield have voted Labour. I think it is a message that they want to give to the government that they feel that Sheffield’s being let down by the Tories and Lib Dems in government and they are making that noise loud and clear.
“Of course there is a protest vote but I do also think that they are showing that they have confidence in Labour locally to work hard for the people of Sheffield to support and protect them.”