General election 2017: Dr Dan Poulter holds Central Suffolk and North Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 05:55 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 06:25 09 June 2017
In a video interview, Dr Dan Poulter sympathises with Ben Gummer and says a rise in younger voters driven by the University of Suffolk was a big factor behind his Ipswich counterpart sensationally losing his seat.
Dr Poulter saw his majority fall from 20,144 in 2015 to 17,185 when retaining his Central Suffolk and North Ipswich seat for the second time.
Speaking at Wherstead Park moments after his victory was confirmed at around 4am, he said: “There was a poll done earlier in the week by the Ipswich Star which indicated that the Labour Party may have been ahead in Ipswich, and previous polls, although they were crude efforts at gauging opinion, had successfully predicted the winner. This time round, that proved the case as well.
“I think with an increased turnout, and probably a few younger voters turning out to vote in Ipswich, I think that has probably made the difference. I obviously congratulate Sandy Martin on his victory. I will work with him as best as we can. I am sure he will be willing to do that to make sure that we, together, can be a strong voice for the needs of Ipswich in Parliament.”
Asked if he had sympathy for Mr Gummer, he said: “Of course. It would have been nice if we had kept all the seats in Suffolk as Conservatives, but the people of Ipswich have spoken.
“I think in Ipswich there was a noticeably higher turnout, close to 70% which is very high for Ipswich, and certainly my impression is that there were some younger voters who were voting Conservative, but there were also I believe, in what is a growing university town, an increasing student vote. With the Labour Party promising a lot to students, which may or may not be affordable, that certainly seemed to attract their attention and encouraged them to go out and vote. I think that could have made a bit of a difference in Ipswich.”
Asked what his priorities will be, he added: “The big issues for me are to protect our NHS. I worked successfully to manage to keep the heart services open at Ipswich Hospital. I will continue to fight and campaign to improve mental health services in the area, and also on broadband. We have done well in getting £30m from the previous Conservative government for Better Broadband for Suffolk. We now to see that delivered.
“And of course, when we are talking about Brexit, making sure that our farmers; our food producers and all the businesses are properly supported and listened. I will be a strong voice for their needs and make sure we protect jobs here as we go through the Brexit negotiations.”
Dr Dan Poulter (C) 33,992
Elizabeth Hughes (L) 16,807
Aidan Van De Weyer (LD) 2,431
Regan Scott (G) 1,659
Stephen Searle (UKIP) 1,635.
Maj: 17,185. Turnout: 72.53%. No change.
• See the full results on our interactive map here.