NICK Clegg is this morning considering his position as leader of the Liberal Democrats after his Sheffield Hallam majority was slashed - and his party devastated - in a dramatic election night.
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Mr Clegg’s own majority was cut from more than 15,000 to just 2,353 by Labour’s Oliver Coppard shortly after 4.30am,
The former Deputy Prime Minister was heckled and booed as he spoke from the podium at Attercliffe’s English Institute of Sport, and praised Mr Coppard for a ‘dynamic’ campaign.
Mr Clegg said it was ‘painfully clear that this has been a cruel and punishing night’ with ‘profound implications’ for the Liberal Democrats.
He added: “I will be seeking to make further remarks about the implications of this election for the country, and for the party, and for my position.”
He said he would be speaking to his party colleagues later this morning in Westminster before making an announcement.
Mr Clegg left the count immediately after the result and did not answer when asked if he would stand down.
When he arrived, media had crowded the entrance to the count, only for him to come in through a side door.
Other Liberal Democrat losses over the night included Business Secretary Vince Cable and Energy Secretary Ed Davey.
In Sheffield Lib Dem peer Lord Paul Scriven, former leader of Sheffield Council, said: “Of course I’m disappointed, not just here in Hallam to see Nick’s majority reduced but across the country where we’ve been seeing really good hard-working MPs go,
“Nick made it very clear that he is going to talk to the party so I wouldn’t want to speculate but I will say this, I am a close friend of Nick Clegg and he is a man who in the most difficult of circumstances stood up to the plate, sorted out the economy and stopped the Tories from doing some really unpalatable things.
“Now if the Liberal Democrats are not in Goverment and the Tories are, people will see the kinds of things the Tories want to do, and maybe in a few months or years they will look back and be a little more sympathetic and realise the kind of things he did to bring about a sense of fairness.”
The turnout in Hallam was 76.85 per cent, higher than in 2010, and it was reported that polling stations in student areas had been particularly busy.
Oliver Coppard, who secured 19,862 votes, was hoping to win the constituency for Labour for the first time in its history.
On polling day more than 200 people from across the country came to Hallam to aid his campaign.
Mr Coppard said after the result: “I’m really proud of the campaign we ran, and I’m really grateful for all the support we received.
“Of course I am disappointed - I think the result was close because people did feel let down but they have said very clearly what MP they want to represent the community and I wish him the best of luck.”
Labour’s Angela Smith more than doubled her majority after retaining PENISTONE AND STOCKSBRIDGE.
Ms Smith led with 19,691 votes and a majority of 6,723 - compared to 2010, when her majority was 3,049.
Speaking after the results were declared at around 6am, she said: “It feels really good to have more than doubled the majority but I will not rest on my laurels.”
The man to replace veteran MP David Blunkett admitted he had ‘enormous shoes to fill’ after easily securing victory for SHEFFIELD BRIGHTSIDE AND HILLSBOROUGH.
Harry Harpham, former deputy leader of Sheffield Council, said he was ‘very happy and very privileged’ to be the seat’s new Labour MP.
Mr Blunkett stood down this year after a political career which he started as a councillor, then leader of Sheffield Council, before becoming elected as an MP in 1987 and then rising through the ranks to Home Secretary,
Mr Harpham admitted that he had “enormous shoes to fill, as everyone has been telling me for the last six to seven months.”
Mr Blunkett joined him on the campaign trail.
He added: “We had a great campaign, right up until the end people were stopping us in the street and saying we are going to vote for you.
“Now I will be going down to the House of Commons on Monday to sort out an office everything else that I need to do their.”
Ukip candidate John Booker - who was the first Ukip councillor to be elected to Sheffield Council last May - came second place in the seat, with 8,856 votes.
Dan Jarvis (elected) Labour Party 56% 20,376
Lee Hunter UK Independence Party 22% 7,941
Kay Carter Conservative Party 15% 5,485
Michael Short Green Party 3% 938
David Ridgway Liberal Democrats 2% 770
Dave Gibson Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 2% 573
Ian Sutton English Democrats 1% 477
Michael Dugher (elected) Labour Party 55% 21,079
Robert Swiffen UK Independence Party 23% 9,045
Katharine Harborne Conservative Party 15% 5,622
Ruth Coleman-Taylor Liberal Democrats 3% 1,217
Tony Devoy Yorkshire First 2% 647
Kevin Riddiough English Democrats 1% 440
Ralph Dyson Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 1% 364
Billy Marsden Vapers in Power 0% 103
Toby Perkins (elected) Labour Party 48% 21,829
Mark Vivis Conservative Party 18% 8,231
Stuart Yeowart UK Independence Party 17% 7,523
Julia Cambridge Liberal Democrats 14% 6,301
Matt Genn Green Party 3% 1,352
Matt Whale Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 0% 202
Tommy Holgate Peace Party 0% 129
Caroline Flint (elected) Labour Party 46% 19,621
Carl Jackson Conservative Party 25% 10,736
Guy Aston UK Independence Party 23% 9,963
Rene Paterson Liberal Democrats 3% 1,487
Steve Williams Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 1% 437
Louise Dutton English Democrats 1% 242
Rosie Winterton (elected) Labour Party 49% 19,840
Chris Hodgson UK Independence Party 24% 9,747
Zoe Metcalfe Conservative Party 21% 8,386
John Brown Liberal Democrats 4% 1,717
Mev Akram Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 1% 421
David Burnett English Democrats 1% 309
Ed Miliband (elected) Labour Party 52% 20,708
Kim Parkinson UK Independence Party 23% 8,928
Mark Fletcher Conservative Party 18% 7,235
Penny Baker Liberal Democrats 3% 1,005
Peter Kennedy Green Party 2% 757
David Allen English Democrats 1% 448
Mary Jackson Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 1% 258
Nick “Flying Brick” Delves Monster Raving Loony Party 0% 162
PENISTONE AND STOCKSBRIDGE
Angela Smith (elected) Labour Party 42% 19,691
Steven Jackson Conservative Party 28% 12,968
Graeme Waddicar UK Independence Party 23% 10,738
Rosalyn Gordon Liberal Democrats 6% 2,957
Colin Porter English Democrats 1% 500
Sarah Champion (elected) Labour Party 53% 19,860
Jane Collins UK Independence Party 30% 11,414
Sebastian Lowe Conservative Party 12% 4,656
Janice Middleton Liberal Democrats 3% 1,093
Pat McLaughlin Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 1% 409
Adam Walker British National Party 1% 225
Dean Walker English Democrats 0% 166
Kevin Barron (elected) Labour Party 44% 20,501
Allen Cowles UK Independence Party 28% 13,204
Gareth Streeter Conservative Party 23% 10,945
Robert Teal Liberal Democrats 4% 1,992
Sharon Pilling English Democrats 1% 377
SHEFFIELD, BRIGHTSIDE AND HILLSBOROUGH
Harry Harpham (elected) Labour Party 57% 22,663
John Booker UK Independence Party 22% 8,856
Elise Dünweber Conservative Party 11% 4,407
Jonathan Harston Liberal Democrats 4% 1,802
Christine Gilligan Kubo Green Party 4% 1,712
Maxine Bowler Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 1% 442
Justin Saxton English Democrats 0% 171
Paul Blomfield (elected) Labour Party 55% 24,308
Jillian Creasy Green Party 16% 6,999
Stephanie Roe Conservative Party 11% 4,917
Joe Otten Liberal Democrats 10% 4,278
Dominic Cook UK Independence Party 7% 3,296
Steve Andrew Communist Party 0% 119
Andy Halsall Pirate Party 0% 113
Elizabeth Breed English Democrats 0% 68
Thom Brown Above and Beyond 0% 42
Mike Driver Workers Revolutionary Party 0% 33
Nick Clegg (elected) Liberal Democrats 40% 22,215
Oliver Coppard Labour Party 36% 19,862
Ian Walker Conservative Party 14% 7,544
Joe Jenkins UK Independence Party 6% 3,575
Peter Garbutt Green Party 3% 1,772
Carlton Reeve Independent 0% 249
Steve Clegg English Democrats 0% 167
Jim “Stop the Fiasco” Wild Independent 0% 97
Louise Haigh (elected) Labour Party 48% 20,269
Howard Denby UK Independence Party 17% 7,315
Stephen Castens Conservative Party 16% 6,792
Simon Clement-Jones Liberal Democrats 11% 4,746
Rita Wilcock Green Party 6% 2,566
Alan Munro Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 1% 238
David Haslett English Democrats 0% 122
SHEFFIELD SOUTH EAST
Clive Betts (elected) Labour Party 51% 21,439
Steven Winstone UK Independence Party 22% 9,128
Matt Sleat Conservative Party 17% 7,242
Gail Smith Liberal Democrats 5% 2,226
Linda Duckenfield Green Party 3% 1,117
Jen Battersby Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol 0% 207
Ian Whitehouse Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 0% 185
Matthew Roberts English Democrats 0% 141
WENTWORTH AND DEARNE
John Healey (elected) Labour Party 57% 24,571
Mike Hookem UK Independence Party 25% 10,733
Michael Naughton Conservative Party 15% 6,441
Edwin Simpson Liberal Democrats 3% 1,135
Alan England English Democrats 1% 309