Are the SDP about to make a shock return to British politics in South Yorkshire?

UKIP press image of Steven Winstone in the 2016 Hillsborough and Brightside by-election

Three former UKIP candidates are set to run under a Social Democratic Party (SDP) banner in Sheffield at the 2017 General Election.

Ishleen Oberoi, Steven Winstone, and Muzafar Rahman have all stood for UKIP in city over the last three years.

They will stand in Sheffield South East, Sheffield Hallam, and Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough.

Both Mr Rahman and Ms Oberoi unsuccessfully stood for the Firth Park ward during the 2016 local elections. Mr Rahman also stood for UKIP in the 2015 local elections in Darnall, coming second place to Labour.

Ishleen Oberoi’s election literature from the 2015 General Election

Mr Winstone was UKIP’s candidate in Sheffield South East in the 2015 General Election, and was runner up to Clive Betts. He also ran in the Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough by-election in 2016.

On his election material for the 2016 by-election, Mr Winstone said: “Only by electing a UKIP MP can we put Sheffield on the map with the political elites in London.”

Nigel Farage visited the area to support his candidacy at the election, where he finished second to Gill Furniss.

Also running for the SDP in the city is Jaspreet Oberoi, and Joe Westridge.

UKIP are standing candidates in all of Sheffield’s seats, including those where the SDP are running.

UKIP’s leader on Sheffield City Council, Jack Clarkson said: “They’re people who came to us after they stood for other parties, and are looking for a political home.

“They think it’s a quick fix, and can be a councillor or MP overnight. They should stick with the party and show people that you have to work for it, rather than flipping from one to the other.”

The SDP were a political party formed after the ‘Gang of Four’ split away from the Labour Party in 1981 after becoming disillusioned with the party’s direction under leader Michael Foot.
The party initially had 28 MPs join them from the Labour Party, with Shirley Williams and Roy Jenkins winning subsequent by-elections to boost their rankings.

By 1992, the party was largely considered irrelevant and had lost their remaining Parliamentary seats.

As of yet it is unclear whether the relaunched SDP have any resemblance to their 1980s predecessor.

A website has been launched for the party, but currently has a ‘coming soon’ banner underneath the 1980s SDP logo. It is unclear who owns the trademark for the original logo.

Mr Winstone has been contacted for comment.