Saturday, July 27, 2019

A by-election in Sheffield Hallam?

This afternoon the Sheffield Star claimed an exclusive with the news that Jared O'Mara will resign as MP for Sheffield Hallam within weeks:
The MP, aged 37, said he was 'not well and in the process of receiving medical help' and would resign following the MPs’ summer recess, which is due to end on Tuesday, September 3. 
Mr O’Mara: "Please let everyone be assured that I will be tendering my resignation via the official Parliamentary process as soon as term restarts. 
"I am not in any fit state to continue and nor would that be appropriate if I was. I reiterate my apology to my constituents, the people of Sheffield and the people of the UK as whole."
As the paper says, beside his health problems O'Mara has
endured a damning week after his former chief of staff Gareth Arnold resigned via a foul-mouthed rant on the MP’s own official Twitter account and a 20-year-old woman employed by the politician accused him of sexual harassment.
O'Mara gained Hallam for Labour at the 2017 general election, defeating Nick Clegg in the process.

He was suspended from the Labour Party when social media posts he had made before being elected came to light. He was readmitted in July 2018, only to resign a few days later and announce that he would in future sit as an Independent.

If O'Mara does resign his seat the Liberal Democrats will be presented with another by-election they have every chance of winning.

It was remarkable that Labour won the seat at all. Hallam has traditionally been a safe Conservative seat: they held it even in 1906 and 1945.

But Richard Allan gained Hallam at the 1997 general election and he and then Nick Clegg held it for the Lib Dems for 20 years.

It is a prosperous constituency - pleasant suburbs and Peak District villages - and about a third of the voters are graduates. In other words, it is Remain country.

And don't believe it is full of students waiting to wreak revenge on the Liberal Democrats again. Many of Hallam's student voters were moved into Sheffield Central before the 2010 general election,.

All in all, if the Lib Dems could have chosen were the next by-election will fall, they might well have chosen Sheffield Hallam.

1 comment:

nigel hunter said...

IF there is no election by/in Autumn we could have 3 new MPs. Everything to play for!!!