UPDATED: ELECTION 2017: Dan Poulter wins back seat in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

The Central Suffolk & North Ipswich and South Suffolk counts in progress at Wherstead Park, Ipswich
The Central Suffolk & North Ipswich and South Suffolk counts in progress at Wherstead Park, Ipswich

Conservative candidate Dr Dan Poulter has been re-elected as MP for the Suffolk Central and Ipswich North constituency.

He received more than double the votes of any other party, polling 17,185 more than his closest rival, Labour’s Elizabeth Hughes.

Dr Dan Poulter has been re-elected as MP for the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency

Dr Dan Poulter has been re-elected as MP for the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency

Following his victory, which was announced at Wherstead Park, Ipswich, at around 4am this morning, he said: “I’m delighted that the people of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich have put their faith in me once again to be their MP.

“I’ve always prided myself on being a hardworking constituency MP and it’s pleasing to see my percentage of the votes now being over 60 per cent. I will do my best, as I always have done before, to work hard for everybody, no matter who they voted for, to ensure this constituency has a hardworking MP in the months and years ahead.”

Mrs Hughes, who has stood as an MP three times in East Anglia, said she had hoped, but not expected, to win and was ‘absolutely delighted’ with the result.

“We’ve got 6,000 more voters from the last election, for labour, which is an increase of 60 per cent, approximately, from last time so we’re absolutely delighted. We’ve also taken 3,000 off the Conservative majority – it was 20,000 last time and is down to 17,000 now so we’ve got an actual base to start working even more in the constituency and we’re right behind him, so please don’t be complacent Mr Poulter.”

The Central Suffolk & North Ipswich and South Suffolk counts in progress at Wherstead Park, Ipswich

The Central Suffolk & North Ipswich and South Suffolk counts in progress at Wherstead Park, Ipswich

In response, Dr Poulter said: “When I first became MP of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich I was elected with 51 per cent of the vote, last time it was about 56 per cent and I think it’s now gone up to 60 or 61 per cent so we’re seeing that the Conservative share of votes, I think in recognition of the work I’ve put in as a constituency MP, continues to increase and that was clearly more than double what any of the other parties achieved and I don’t think there’s any area in the constituency where we didn’t have a majority of Conservative votes today.”

As the possibility of a hung parliament looked ever more likely, Dr Poulter said the priority would be to support the Prime Minister to successfully begin Brexit negotiations.

He added: “What I worry about is that we may end up with a situation where political games and party politics could get in the way of supporting the Prime Minister and ministers of the day in delivering the best deal for Britain and I hope that all parties will behave responsibly to ensure that we do deliver the best deal for Britain in what are going to be very complicated negotiations, and negotiations that for us here in Suffolk matter with such a large number of people involved in farming and agriculture.”

Turnout was up from the last election at 73 per cent.

Conservative James Cartlidge was also re-elected to the South Suffolk constituency, again winning more than double that of any other party.

The turnout there was 71 per cent.

Full results for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich: Dan Poulter (Conservative) 33,992; Elizabeth Hughes (Labour) 16,807; Aidan Van de Weyer (Liberal Democrat) 2,431; Regan Scott (Green) 1,659; Stephen Searle (UKIP) 1,635.

Full results for South Suffolk: James Cartlidge (Conservative) 32,829; Emma Bishton (Labour) 15,080; Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne (Liberal Democrat) 3,154; Robert Lindsay (Green) 1,723; Aidan Powlesland (UKIP) 1,449.