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GENERAL ELECTION LIVE: Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Ballot box.
Ballot box.

Live coverage from Trinity Park, Ipswich, for the result of the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich seat.

The results of the parliamentary election for the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency have been announced. They are:

Jack Simon Abbott (Labour) - 10,173

Mark Robert Cole (UKIP) - 7,459

Rhodri Griffiths (Green) - 2,664

Tony Holyoak (English Democrats - “Putting England First!”) - 162

Jon Neal (Liberal Democrat) - 3,314

Dr Dan Poulter (Conservative)* - 30,317

* denotes winner


6.21am - It’s been a tough night for the Liberal Democrats – with PPC Jon Neal admitting he is “sad” after seeing his party lose seats across the country.

“Looking at our national picture, I’m quite sad really,” he said. “A number of friends and colleagues have lost their seats tonight, a large number of voters have lost good, hard working, local MPs as well.

“It’s been a cruel night for the Liberal Democrats.

“Five years ago we took a responsible decision to enter a coalition with the Conservatives. We put national interest ahead of party interest.

“At that point we could have just walked away and remained a party of opposition, and carried on talking about the things we would like to do if we had won government, but instead we decided to enter government.

“I’m very proud of what we have achieved over the last five years. We haven’t been able to do everything we would have wanted to do because we didn’t win, but it seems the electorate tonight prefers to have more Conservatives than Liberal Democrats in government.

“In Scotland it is a very strange picture where the SNP have landslided it and it’s not very good for the Lib Dems.”

4.49am - 54,233 votes cast in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. Turnout of 70.7%

4.31am - Across the border, Richard Bacon (CON) has held his South Norfolk seat

4.24am - We are told to expect a declaration at about 6am for the seat.

3.32 - Dr Dan Poulter believes undecided voters have turned to the Conservative Party.

He added the proposed gas-fired power station at Eye Airfield, which he has spoken out against in the past, would be among his top priorities should he be re-elected later today.

“We still have a long way to go,” he said.

“We are still waiting from results from Ipswich, Waveney and Yarmouth but I am optimistic about those locally, and I’m cautiously confident that things are looking good generally from a Conservative perspective across Suffolk, and I’m hopeful that I am returned in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich.

“This time in the election people have got to know me, and know I have worked hard on a number of local issues.

“I’m a constituency MP, not really party political, I just do my best and always will do for all of my constituents and I hope that has been reflected in the result this evening and I hope I have done my best to return the faith with the people of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich but we shall see.

“At the moment one thing I will be doing is picking up on the issue of Progress Power application in Eye. I have had concerns about the transformer that is proposed over towards Mellis. I don’t think Progress Power have made sufficient attempts to listen to the local community and mitigate some of the visual impact of that.

“I will be raising those concerns of local residents whoever the Secretary of State maybe as long as I am returned as MP.

“I will do my best to support residents and suggest perhaps that the plans haven’t been properly thought through.”

1.55am - Jack Abbott says he is proud to have been chosen to fight the seat for Labour, whatever the result.

The Debenham resident says he has been trying to get out the message to encourage everyone to have their vote.

“Today has been a really exciting day, I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said. “It has been an absolute privilege for the last year and a half to be a Labour candidate.

“I have been really touched by the amount of support I have had.

“It’s kind of a home-boy, local candidate, standing in my own constituency is a pretty proud moment. We will see how we did and I’m proud of the fact I have been able to promote a positive message as far as possible, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

“I think it is really important to vote, especially for young voters, obviously I am that demographic who traditionally don’t come out and vote in high numbers so that has been a big priority for me.

“Also, the campaign on a national level has been pretty negative in points, and I think people are pretty tired of it and they wanted somebody a little bit different.

“What I wanted to do was give a vision of what I would do over the next five, ten years, and say actually, ‘this is what I want to achieve’ rather than ‘look how badly the other lot are.’”

But how does he rate his chances in a Conservative ‘safe’ seat?

“It’s how you define success really. Whether it’s numerical number, I don’t really know,” he added. “Hopefully we can change a few minds, surprise a few people, and see what happens.”

12.29am - The acting returning officers announcers the count for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich will begin at 2am, and all boxes are now in.

12.16am - Support for the Green Party, especially with the young vote, has increased in the current era of anti-establishment politics, according to PPC Rhodri Griffiths.

He said: “It’s been a long campaign. What I have seen so far is quite encouraging.

“The first time voters are very, very interested in what the Green Party have got to say.

“It is not just us - you are getting an anti-establishment vote. You have got the three traditional parties, and two radical, but radically different, parties.

“Obviously you can see a swing towards us and a swing towards UKIP.

“It is a bit of an anti-establishment move.

“To quote the exit poll I saw you have got the Greens with two seats so if we can double our vote, double our representation, that’s pretty could. It could be even better, that is just based on an exit poll.

He added locally housing and transport were key issues for the area.

11.58pm - Boxes have arrived from Ipswich for the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich count

11.25pm - UKIP candidate Mark Cole said he is looking for his party to substantially increase their share of the vote in the constituency tonight.

“A good result of course would be a win, but being realistic about it, I have always been in this to play the long ball game,” he said. “That means looking at the 2020 elections as well, potentially. If we can increase our share of the vote substantially tonight and give ourselves a bigger platform the next time round then for us that will be a big win.

“There is an undercurrent that I have detected on the doorstep where people are very quietly happy to stick an X next to us, and I think that has definitely come across.

“For me personally, broadband obviously is a very big issue locally, and close to people’s hearts, the northern bypass is a big issue that I want to get my teeth into as well.

“And also farming. I come very much from a farming background so again, I want to reach out to the farmers and find out what more we can do to help.

“Generally I am little nervous of course, to be expected, but I have stood parish, district and county level before, so this is the first time at this kind of level before, but I have been to this sort of event before so I am fairly used to it.”

10.41pm - Just a reminder of those exit polls released at 10pm this evening – which at this early stage, make great reading for the Conservatives:

CON 316, LAB 239, SNP 58, LIB 10, PC 4, GRN 2, UKIP 2, OTH 19

The poll is taken from results of 22,000 people in 141 polling locations across Great Britain.

10.30pm - Good evening and welcome to our live coverage from Trinity Park, Ipswich, for the result of the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Seat.

A declaration is expected here between 4am and 5am.

Dr Dan Poulter will look to retain the seat he won in 2010.

He earned 27,125 votes at the last General Election, 50.8 per cent of the vote, an increase of 6.3 per cent from 2005.

This year he faces competition in the form of Jack Abbott of the Labour Party, Jon Neal from the Liberal Democrats, as well as driving instructor Mark Cole, who will stand for UKIP, and Rhodri Griffiths, who will represent the Green Party.

This year the seat will be contested for the first time by the English Democrats, and their PPC Tony Holyoak.

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