Ipswich Tories line up behind Boris Johnson in race for 10 Downing St
PUBLISHED: 07:30 26 May 2019
While Suffolk's Conservative MPs are starting to consider who they should support in the battle to get on to the two-person shortlist, Tory members in the county's most marginal constituency have a clear view on who they want to support.
Members of Ipswich Conservative Association that we spoke to felt Boris Johnson was the leader who would help to return a Tory MP to a seat like theirs.
Association chairman John Howard said he would like to see Mr Johnson become leader with Devon MP and former soldier as his deputy in a bid to attract a wide range of votes.
Suffolk County Council cabinet member Paul West agreed: "It's got to be Boris Johnson. It has to be someone who is committed to leaving the EU and someone who has the ability to speak to the voters and get things done."
Mr West said he had been impressed by some of the other candidates discussed and who had put themselves forward - but felt this might be more about securing a good job at the end of the process rather than actually expecting to get the top job themselves.
Senior Ipswich councillor Nadia Cenci also feels Mr Johnson is the party's best hope of electoral success.
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She said: "He is the one with the charisma. He has it in bucketfuls - and he's someone who can win an election for us.
"There are others I've been impressed with. The three I liked were Boris, Dominic Raab and Andrea Leadsom. I think they could all do a good job.
"But it's Boris who goes down well with voters and I want us to win the election - he's our best bet."
Ian Fisher is leader of the Conservative group on the borough council and also feels that Mr Johnson is the best bet to gather votes in a General Election.
But he is still considering who to vote for: "I do like what Dominic Raab has been saying and I think there are several who could do a good job, including Andrea Leadsom."
One candidate who has been mentioned is Michael Gove - Mr Fisher said he quite liked him, but felt that his decision to abandon support for Boris Johnson in the 2016 leadership election would make him a difficult leader for many party members to accept.
He was waiting to see which two names emerged before deciding who to vote for in the members' ballot in July.