Gummer increases majority in Ipswich
- Credit: Lucy Taylor
Conservative Ben Gummer increased his majority in Ipswich, nearly doubling his margin over the Labour Party.
And after his victory he pledged that his work would continue – as he aims to improve rail links to the town, build a new bridge across the Wet Dock, and help boost the town centre.
Meanwhile his Labour opponent David Ellesmere said he hoped to remain as leader of the borough council in the years to come – and said that he felt national issues dominated the election campaign.
Mr Gummer saw his majority increase from just over 2,000 five years ago to 3,733 this time.
UKIP’s Maria Vigneau came third with the Green Party’s Barry Broom fourth and Liberal Democrat Chika Akinwale fifth.
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The turnout in the town was 66% – significantly up on 2010.
It became clear soon after the count itself began that Mr Gummer was significantly ahead in the vote – and as results from across the country showed that the original exit poll was accurate and the Conservatives were doing very well it became clear that Mr Ellesmere would not be able to overturn the majority.
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Speaking after the declaration, Mr Gummer said: “This result is a huge responsibility, and it will be a case of my getting back to work on behalf of the town straight away.
“There is a great deal still to do – to see through the improvements to the rail services and get a new road built across the Wet Dock to improve that part of Ipswich.
“I want to show that Ipswich can become a great place to live and work. I want the town to live up to its potential – I have a real vision for the future of the town.”
In his acceptance speech Mr Gummer had thanked his team who had helped him during the campaign and had pledged to work hard for the town over the next five years.
Mr Ellesmere’s mood could not have been more contrasting. He said: “I feel very sorry for the people who gave up so much time and put so much effort into my campaign.
“If you look at other results around the country this result is clearly part of a national trend – people were not ready for the policies being offered by Labour.”
However he hoped to continue in public service: “We shall have to see what the results of the local elections are, but I would like to continue as leader of the council. There is still work to do there.”
UKIP’s Maria Vigneau came third in the seat and the Greens and Liberal Democrats were battling for fourth place.
After the count for the general election was completed, staff at the Corn Exchange had a rest for a few hours before it once again becomes a busy centre again when the votes for the local elections are counted later today.
Conservatives in Ipswich are hoping that their parliamentary success will be repeated when the council votes are counted during the day.