Sheffield Central result: Paul Blomfield holds his seat despite disastrous night for Labour

Despite his party losing 60 seats in a catastrophic election night, Labour’s Paul Blomfield retained a strong majority in his Sheffield Central seat.

Mr Blomfield, who has held his seat since 2010, received 66.7% of the Sheffield Central vote, five times the amount of his nearest competitor.

However, the Conservative Party won their largest majority in parliament since 1987 as Labour’s ‘red wall’ in the Midlands and North of England fell.

Reflecting on Labour’s loss, Mr Blomfield said: “In parts of the region people have been unconvinced by the leadership of the party. They’ve been concerned by Brexit and we’ve failed to break through with the agenda we’ve set out.

“We failed to get through with a narrative. We had a 105-page manifesto with exciting policies for the future of our country, by contrast, the Tories ran on three words.”

Paul Blomfield, Sheffield Central MP
Paul Blomfield reflects on Labour’s shortcomings.

Jeremy Corbyn announced he would not lead Labour in the next election but said that he would stay on as leader during a “process of reflection”.

Mr Blomfield said this was the right decision.

“I don’t think these things should be rushed. I think we need a period of reflection to listen to what people have been saying in the election and to make a thoughtful decision about future leadership,” he said.

Sheffield Central had the lowest turnout of the city’s constituencies and at 52.92% it was 5% lower than in 2017.

Conservative candidate Janice Silvester-Hall received 13.1% of votes, while the Green Party were the third biggest party in the constituency as Sheffield City Councillor Alison Teal received 9% of votes.

Mr Blomfield said a huge factor in his personal success was the support of students. His Sheffield Central constituency had the largest student population of any constituency in the country.

“The fact that I’ve got the mandate from students in both of our universities is hugely important to me and I’ll continue to be a voice for them in parliament as I have been for the past nine years,” he said.

Elsewhere in Sheffield, Labour candidates Louise Hague (Sheffield Heeley), Olivia Francis Blake (Sheffield Hallam), Clive Betts (Sheffield South East) and Gill Furniss (Brightside & Hillsborough), all won seats.

However, the Conservative Party’s Miriam Joy Kates won the Penistone & Stockbridge seat from Labour.

Clive Betts said he felt Labour MPs had been let down by the leadership of the party after many life-long Labour voters in his area told him they couldn’t vote for him this time.

“My constituency voted leave and so did many Labour seats that lost tonight. Many people think we’re ignoring them. Conversations about trying to protect jobs therefore fell on deaf ears.

“The other thing was Jeremy himself. I don’t want to kick him while he’s down like many will but that’s what people were saying to us: We don’t see Jeremy as the Prime Minister we want and while we want you as our MP and we’ve always voted Labour, we just can’t do it this time,” he said.

Clive Betts blames Corbyn and Brexit for Labour’s election loss