Gummer goes ahead in Ipswich election battle

Evening Star opinion poll gives Tory a clear lead

IPSWICH: Labour’s Chris Mole is in danger of losing his seat at next week’s General Election. An exclusive opinion poll conducted by Evening Star reporters at different locations in the town centre found that Mr Mole, who has been MP since 2001, is trailing Conservative candidate Ben Gummer by 11 per cent. All is not lost for Labour - around 40pc of those polled have either yet to make up their minds or refused to disclose how they intend to vote. The survey found 37.6pc of those who gave an answer on their voting intentions said they would choose the Conservatives - slightly above their national poll rating. The 26.6pc for Labour is marginally below their national opinion poll figures, while the Liberal Democrats trail their national standing by 8pc. Mr Mole today claimed he was not downhearted. “The number of don’t knows or won’t says all over the UK is unprecedented,” he said. “People have yet to make up their minds.”

Mr Gummer said he was flattered that so many shoppers in Ipswich town centre were supportive of his campaign and the Tory party.

But he added: “This is going to be a close-run thing between myself and Labour – it will be tight, but I am finding on the doorstep that Labour’s support is falling.

“If people want real change, they must vote Conservative. We are the only party which can defeat Labour in Ipswich.”

Mr Mole was not downhearted, saying: “The number of don’t knows or won’t says all over the UK is unprecedented. People have yet to make up their minds. This election will go down to the wire and I hope people think long and hard before casting their vote.”

Liberal Democrat Mark Dyson cast doubt on the findings that Mr Gummer was slightly ahead of the Tory poll average.

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“It will be sad if people do not vote, but we are comforted by the huge volume of support we are given on the doorstep as well as in goodwill messages,” he said.

The poll findings, stripping out the don’t knows and won’t says, were:

n Conservatives 37.6pc

n Labour 26.6pc

n Liberal Democrats 22.5pc

n UK Independence Party 6.4pc

n British National Party 4pc

n Green 2.3pc

n Others 0.6pc

n Methodology: 376 adults eligible to vote in the Ipswich constituency were interviewed in Ipswich town centre on the evening of Wednesday, April 28, and the morning of Thursday, April 29.

The data was collected and tabulated by Archant Suffolk

n Opinion – page 6