Ipswich election contest steps up a gear after new poll figures
PUBLISHED: 16:30 28 November 2019
Both Labour and Conservative campaigns were back on the streets of Ipswich after a major new opinion poll showed the contest in the town was still very close.
The Yougov MRP poll commissioned by The Times newspaper used 100,000 pieces of information obtained from voters across the country to project results in every seat in England, Scotland and Wales.
In 2017 it was the only poll to accurately reflect that Theresa May was likely to lose her majority - and the first to suggest that Sandy Martin could win Ipswich for Labour.
This year it is predicting that the Conservatives will win 359 seats in the House of Commons, an overall majority of 68. It suggests Labour will win 211, the Liberal Democrats 13 and the SNP 43. It thinks Plaid Cymru and the Green Party will retain their current strength in parliament.
It suggests Ipswich will be won by Conservative Tom Hunt - but the margin between his party and Labour is slim. Yougov puts the Tories on 43% in Ipswich and Labour on 39%.
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Party workers are sceptical about the results of the survey. Conservatives doubt that The Brexit Party will get as much as 7% in the town or that the Liberal Democrat vote will be as low as 6%. Labour volunteers believe their support is higher than then poll suggests.
Mr Martin said: "We have been going around the town and while it is almost impossible to speak to everyone, where I have been able to engage with voters I think they have come away with a more favourable view towards us.
"People can contact me and I try to respond to everyone who writes to me."
Mr Hunt said he was not paying attention to the polls - and was just concentrating on working hard to get around the town.
He said: "I am not a commentator on this election, I am a participant - and I have to say I have been very pleased with the response we are getting from households all over the town."
Both Mr Martin and Mr Hunt said the closeness of the result should be a spur to their supporters to carry on campaigning over the next two weeks.
But they both emphasised this was only one poll - and the result of the vote on December 12 was all that really mattered in the 2019 General Election campaign.