Labour hold on in Ipswich

LABOUR'S Chris Mole comfortably hung on to his Ipswich seat in the general election despite poor results elsewhere in the country.Mr Mole saw the majority fall from more than 8,000 in the 2001 general election to just over 5,000 – but that was actually an increase in his by-election majority.

LABOUR'S Chris Mole comfortably hung on to his Ipswich seat in the general election despite poor results elsewhere in the country.

Mr Mole saw the majority fall from more than 8,000 in the 2001 general election to just over 5,000 – but that was actually an increase in his by-election majority.

With Labour comfortably returned to government, but with a significantly reduced majority, Mr Mole looked forward to an "interesting" new session of parliament.

"I think things will be very different in the House of Commons, but there will certainly be a working majority for the government," he said.


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"It's been difficult trying to work out what is happening around the country – but I am very pleased that we will continue to have a Labour government.

"I felt our message was getting across quite well in Ipswich – and I am pleased with this result."

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Mr Mole did not know whether the greatly reduced majority would affect the timing of Tony Blair's resignation as prime minister.

"Certainly the economy has been very important to us in this campaign – and Gordon Brown has a big part to play in the future," he said.

Conservative challenger Paul West saw his vote increase by 5,000 on his by-election result – and Liberal Democrat Richard Atkins got the highest-ever vote by his party in the constituency.

Mr West agreed it was difficult to tell whether to feel pleased or disappointed.

"The Conservatives are doing well tonight across the country – but we still have a Labour government.

"But this does show the party is on its way back to be in a position to win back power in the future," he said.

And Mr Atkins felt he had built a platform for his party to advance in the future.

He said: "All over the country we are making good progress and we are starting to build in Ipswich – I am very pleased with this result."

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