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Online poll has politicians in a spin

PUBLISHED: 10:40 10 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:53 03 March 2010

WHOSPUNIT? That's the big question hanging over political parties in Ipswich following some extraordinary results in an Evening Star online poll.

Earlier this week we launched a fun poll asking who you would like to see as mayor of Ipswich.

WHOSPUNIT? That's the big question hanging over political parties in Ipswich following some extraordinary results in an Evening Star online poll.

Earlier this week we launched a fun poll asking who you would like to see as mayor of Ipswich.

Following the success of Hartlepool United mascot H'Angus the Monkey we gave people five choices: Tractor Boy, Bluey, Labour leader Peter Gardiner, Tory leader Stephen Barker, or Liberal Democrat leader Inga Lockington.

The poll went live on Tuesday lunchtime, and by the end of the afternoon had attracted about 50 votes in total – with the two mascots well out in front.

Overnight, however, Peter Gardiner attracted more than 80 votes, pushing him well into the lead.

Although it was impossible to vote twice on the same machine, it was clear there was an organised voting campaign on behalf of the Labour leader.

On Wednesday evening a computer-literate Liberal Democrat spotted the poll – and within hours we'd received more than 200 votes for group leader Inga Lockington sweeping her into an impressive lead.

Early yesterday evening Mr Gardiner stormed back into the lead – but overnight Mrs Lockington got her nose in front again.

Meanwhile, there's no campaign to vote for Mr Barker who's languishing at the back of the field with only four per cent of the vote.

Both Mrs Lockington and Mr Gardiner denied any knowledge of a computer campaign to boost their popularity.

"I was not aware of the poll at all – I just hope no one wants me to take over as tractor girl!" said the Lib Dem leader.

Mr Gardiner had seen the publicity about H'Angus – and read the Star articles.

"But I don't know about the poll or any campaign to register votes on it," he said.

So far almost 800 people have voted on the poll, which will be kept open for the time being.

You can visit it on our website: www.eveningstar.co.uk


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