Election 2017: Ben Gummer faces the fight of his life as Labour edges ahead in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:38 05 June 2017
Labour candidate Sandy Martin has nosed ahead of Tory Ben Gummer in the battle to win the Ipswich seat in Thursday's general election according to Ipswich Star research.
An exclusive opinion survey carried out by the Ipswich Star across the constituency indicates that Labour is ahead as the battle moves into the last few days. The poll was carried out on Friday – the day before the terrorist attack in London.
A total of 34% of the people we spoke to said they would be voting Labour – or had already cast their vote by post – while 27% would be voting Conservative.
More than a third of those we spoke to – 35.5% – did not express a preference with 19% saying they had still to make up their mind. If you take out those who did not reveal how they would vote Labour is ahead by 53% to 42%.
In the basic polls the Liberal Democrats were on 2% and the Greens were on 1.5%. We didn’t find anyone planning to vote for the UKIP candidate. Smaller parties often get squeezed in marginal seats like Ipswich.
Mr Gummer refused to let the survey get him down. He said: “I never allowed myself to get carried away when we were found to be ahead and I’m not going to go into a decline now.
“This really doesn’t fit in with what we are finding on the doorsteps. You always have to fight for votes in Ipswich but we have a strong enthusiastic team who are getting a very good reaction from the voters we meet.”
Mr Martin said the poll showed last week’s controversial YouGov polling model published in The Times was not a flash in the pan: “We have been going out and finding areas where people have not voted in the past and yet say to us that they are coming out to vote this time around and giving us their support.
“But while this is encouraging, it is not the election – that is next week and we have a lot to do.”
We spoke to 200 voters from the Ipswich constituency at four locations in Ipswich on Friday.
Half the voters were interviewed in the town centre – we checked their postcodes to ensure they were from the Ipswich constituency – while the rest were interviewed at neighbourhood shopping centres.
Although it is not a scientifically-monitored opinion poll, it is a method we have used in previous elections which has been reasonably reliable at predicting the result in the town.
Predictions vary as General Election nears
While today’s survey for the Ipswich Star does back-up the controversial findings of YouGov’s re-calibrated poll last week, there are plenty of others expecting a different result.
And the aftermath of the London atrocity on Saturday night could change the minds of some voters.
The Election Forecast website produced by politics lecturers a the University of East Anglia and Durham University estimates that there is a 92% chance of Mr Gummer hanging on to his seat – at the start of the campaign it said he had a 100% chance, but that is still a substantial lead.
And the bookmakers are in no doubt about who they think will win here. Mr Gummer is 1/16 on to hold the seat, Mr Martin is 8/1 against to cause an upset at William Hill’s.
And Mr Gummer is not the only senior politician to be in trouble according to the political fortune tellers.
YouGov reckons Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who stood in for the PM at last week’s election debate, could lose her Hastings and Rye seat to Labour.