Ipswich: Local politicians concerned about UKIP factor as polling day looms

Labour agent John Cook (left, with council leader David Ellesmere) is preparing for another election day. Labour agent John Cook (left, with council leader David Ellesmere) is preparing for another election day.

Paul Geater paul.geater@archant.co.uk
Thursday, May 8, 2014
9:00 AM

This year’s election season may be dominated nationally by the European Parliament poll, but in Ipswich it is the battle for seats at the borough that is taking centre stage.

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Ipswich council is the only authority in Suffolk that has elections this year – but politicians are looking to this year’s poll as an indication of how they may fare in next year’s general election.

Labour has been working hard around the town, distributing leaflets and knocking on doors.

Party agent John Cook said the party’s message seemed to be going down well – although there was some support for UKIP showing up which was probably being exaggerated because of the European election.

Last year UKIP caused a major surprise by winning one of two seats in the Whitton and Whitehouse county council division – and almost winning a Whitehouse ward by-election on the same day.

Mr Cook said special efforts had been put into trying to boost Labour’s vote in the area – and the part was hopeful Colin Wright would be re-elected in Whitehouse.

The Conservatives are also wary about the impact of UKIP in the election. Group leader Liz Harsant said her party’s vote was holding up well in marginal seats Holywells and Stoke Park.

However she warned: “We are finding areas of UKIP support, particularly in places like the Rivers estate in Holywells and we don’t know what effect that will have.”

The UKIP campaign is being led by James Crossley, who won the county council seat last year. He is standing in Whitehouse Ward.

This is the first time his party has contested so many borough seats – and the first time they have realistic hopes of seeing councillors elected in Ipswich.

He said: “We are getting a lot more interest, probably because of the European election, but it is still relatively new to many of us so we are seeing what happens.”

The Liberal Democrats are defending one seat this year – former mayor Inga Lockington is standing again in the St Margaret’s seat she has held since 1999.

It would be a surprise if her strong personal vote was not enough to keep her at the borough.

She believes her campaign could benefit from the intervention of UKIP: “I don’t think they’ll take many votes away from me, although they could hit both Labour and the Conservatives.” she said.

The Greens are fighting most of the borough’s seats – but it would be a huge surprise if they took any of them this year.

Voting for 17 seats at the borough (there is one by-election) takes place on Thursday, May 22. The results are expected to come in the early hours of the Friday morning.

10 comments

  • Vote UKIP ! The only party that have a commonsense approach to Europe, if we leave we will save £55 million pounds a DAY membership of the EU, we get to control our own laws and borders again, and stop the 14,000 a-week EU migrants coming to UK to hand wash cars!

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    john

    Sunday, May 11, 2014

  • Perhaps some of these misinformed people on here need to look into the idea of a trading bloc (which is what the EU is) and so they can begin to understand all of the advantages that being part of one brings to the UK. If we were no longer part of the EU we would incur all sorts of tariffs and quotas when importing and exporting, meaning that it would be more difficult to trade with other countries, which in turn would be bad for the economy and results in huge job losses. I am just hoping that Farage and his cronies will continue to disgrace themselves in public with their outdated (and often ridiculous and disgraceful) views so the majority of the UK population understand what a joke they are before polling day.

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    alittlebitwoolly

    Saturday, May 10, 2014

  • Ho ho ho Evening Star., these comments aren't the sort of response you hoped for are they? As for 'Local Politicans' being concerned, surely the UKIP candidates are local politicans too? UKIP in the Euro and Borough elections for me!

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    Gobby

    Saturday, May 10, 2014

  • David ellesmere was responsible for putting traffic meters by Christchurch park, a tax on taking your children to feed the ducks , these mainstream parties squeezed taxes from us till we squeak , let us try something new!!

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    richard procter

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

  • I for one am sick of the usual 3 creeping up to us as an election nears ready to fill the easily fooled heads with empty promises. So their leader has a few things against him, who in this life honestly hasn't? How on earth are we going to find out if UKIP are any good without a fair shot? Let's stop jumping onto the bandwagon and make our own minds up for once. This could be the start of wonderful things for Britain. The worst that could happen is, they get ousted. I am going to play the fair game and give them a chance.

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    Lee Davies

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

  • If any of us care about our children's and their children's future we are not left with much option's when only one party is prepared to stop our country being sunk by the rest of the world's population ..

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    MIGUEL100

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

  • Do you really trust and give your vote to a party whose leader has publicly and openly admitted to trousering about £2million in MEP allowances while he could, and who is still employing his German wife at the taxpayer's expense - claiming that no British person could do her job?!

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    blue&white

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

  • gabi

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

  • We all know when an election is near out of the wood comes the local and national politicians telling us a pack of lies with what they will do if we vote for them ,like David Cameron says that in 2017 we will get a vote on in or out of the EEC why wait till then let's have a vote now,my vote this time will be the UKIP, a change is needed to stop the rot in this country,

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    pandy

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

  • Local Politicians need to be concerned !, let's hope they get 'kicked' so far into the long grass..........!

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    freedomf

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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