Close result in town's elections

RESULTS in the Ipswich elections were sitting on a knife-edge today - although the overall make up of the borough seemed set to remain unchanged.Labour avoided electoral meltdown in the town and showed signs of staging a comeback in some seats it had previously lost.

RESULTS in the Ipswich elections were sitting on a knife-edge today - although the overall make up of the borough seemed set to remain unchanged.

Labour avoided electoral meltdown in the town and showed signs of staging a comeback in some seats it had previously lost.

However Conservatives continued to make gains in some areas of the town, and Liberal Democrats were fighting key battles in their main target seats.

Former Labour mayor Roger Searn returned to the council as Labour member for Sprites, a year after the seat was won by the Conservatives in the last round of voting.

And another former mayor, Philip Smart, held off a Conservative challenge in Bridge ward where the Tories were victorious three years ago.

Elsewhere results went as expected, although there were recounts in the marginal wards of Westgate and Priory Heath - and a surprise recount in Whitehouse where the Liberal Democrats won well last year.

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Former council leader Peter Gardiner was the first candidate to be re-elected in the solidly Labour Gipping ward and current council leader Liz Harsant comfortably held Holywells ward.

However in that ward 18-year-old schoolboy Jamie McMahan increased the Labour vote and managed to return his party to second place after it was knocked into third by the Liberal Democrats last year.

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