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Nick’s reluctant friends in the North

An Ipsos Mori poll shows support for the Lib Dems is at its lowest since 1991. Nick Clegg has been the focus of anger towards the party, and Sheffield, the city he represents, has joined in too. But will local Lib Dems stand by their man?

By David Goodhart   January 2011

Click here to read David Goodhart’s interview with Nick Clegg

Sheffield—the city of unemployed steel workers and The Full Monty; of snooker; of blunt talk and rough edges. It’s still in many ways a classic northern left-wing city—returning five of its six MPs under Labour colours. A city of half a million souls, over-dependent on the public sector and therefore close to the frontline of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition’s deficit-crunching public-sector shakedown.

But in the past 20 years it has become something else too: a successful post-industrial city with nearly 100,000 people (students and staff) in higher education, and one…

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