|© Ashley Dace|
I have long argued that there is no prospect of Nick Clegg losing his seat. Most recently here:
I am not worried that Nick Clegg will lose Sheffield Hallam. This is not so much that I believe Nick is immensely popular as because I cannot picture Labour winning a prosperous suburban seat like this.More recently still, Lord Bonkers has scotched the idea.
Now I have come across an exhaustive analysis of political geography of Sheffield Hallam that supports my view too. It is on the All That's Left blog:
Sheffield Hallam is far from the highrise towers and former steelmills of the Steel City. Whilst not all the seat is not rich ... overall Sheffield Hallam is one of the most affluent constituencies outside of the South East and it has the 70th highest median income of the 650 in the country – that is wealthier than Tunbridge Wells or David Cameron’s Witney. It has the lowest level of child poverty of any constituency in the land.
It is certainly one of the most highly educated seats in the nation: 60% of those of working age have a degree – that’s more than Cambridge. In 2001, the constituency had more people classified as professionals of any in the UK.But what about the disaffected student vote? Surely that will cost Nick dearly?
All That's Left continues:
A lot of the Liberal Democrats’ success here since 1997 has been put down to the student vote. Whilst there is a fairly large student population ... this is less than before the 2010 boundary changes. Those changes removed Broomhill ward, which includes the main campus of the University of Sheffield, and replaced it with Stannington ward to the north.
Now, it is Sheffield Central next door that is the student hotbed: 39% of adults there are in fulltime education.That's blog's conclusion ("with some regret") is that Nick "looks likely to continue to be Hallam’s MP".
My conclusion is that most commentators forecasting a Labour win in Sheffield Hallam have never been there.