Campaigners hitting the Hallam doorstep

Oliver Coppard, Labour candidate for Hallam, canvassing in Crookes.
Oliver Coppard, Labour candidate for Hallam, canvassing in Crookes.

With just a few months until the general election, the sight of campaigners pounding the streets of Sheffield is becoming more regular.

One of the city’s wards in particular will have the eyes of the country upon it, that of Sheffield Hallam, where Nick Clegg is MP.

Behind the scences it is unpaid Labour canvassers who are already working the doorsteps to help their candidate Oliver Coppard.

One of the team in Crookes on a recent session was mum Sue Harrison, who had a door shut in her face.

The-66-year-old said: “It doesn’t happen very often! “People are usually very polite.

“The Anne Murphy campaign before the local election this year was great because she won Crookes, against the grain to some extent, and I’m sure that was in part because of the door knocking.

“I think there are a lot of people still undecided.”

Campaigners head out on the trail most Saturdays and Mondays, and say the hope of a victory is what keeps them going through darkness, cold rain and the occasional annoyed resident.

Coppard worked on the Barrack Obama election campaign, and elements are being incorporated into his plans.

Student Dom Trendall, and also of Crookes, is part of the team after campaigning elsewhere in the country.

The 20-year-old said: “It’s not always fun campaigning, but it is worth it.

“It can be a lot of hard work but it is nice when the result comes in on the election and you think ‘I made a difference’.”

A recent poll of Hallam boters by Lord Ashcroft said Clegg had a three per cent lead over Coppard.

Back on the doorstep there are many homes with nobody in - a continual problem for campaigners - asleep, or busy.

One woman living on Eyam Road, voted for the Liberal Democrats last time but is now discenchanted.

She adds: “I bet the other candidates will have a good chance. To be honest I think my cat could beat Nick Clegg at the moment.”

For those who do answer hot topics include roads.

One tactical voter said she backed Clegg last time.

She tells Coppard: “My concern about voting for you is because of the local Labour party in Sheffield - I haven’t got time for them at all.

Whenoffered more information, she added: “If you give me that it will only go straight in the bin.”