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Suffolk Coastal General Election 2024: Labour win seat for the first time, with Jenny Riddell Carpenter elected as the MP, beating out Conservative incumbent Thérèse Coffey





History has been made in Suffolk Coastal as Labour has won the constituency for the first time.

Jenny Riddell-Carpenter will be the area’s new MP when parliament reforms, taking the seat from Dr Therese Coffey, who has been in office since the 2010 election.

Ms Riddell-Carpenter took home 15,672 votes compared with Dr Coffey’s 14,602, a gap of over 1,000.

History has been made in Suffolk Coastal as Jenny Riddell-Carpenter was elected the first Labour MP for the constituency, beating out Conservative incumbent Therese Coffey by 1,500 votes. Picture: Ross Waldron
History has been made in Suffolk Coastal as Jenny Riddell-Carpenter was elected the first Labour MP for the constituency, beating out Conservative incumbent Therese Coffey by 1,500 votes. Picture: Ross Waldron

Matthew Jackson (Reform) came in third with 7,850, followed by Julia Ewart (Lib Dem) with 6,947 and Julian Cusack (Green) with 4,380.

Ms Riddell-Carpenter said: “It’s a reflection of the national picture – when we started campaigning months ago we knew we had a chance, so on the one hand it’t not a huge surprise to us.

“It’s a reflection of the people’s want for change which is evident in every corner of Suffolk Coastal.

“I’d like to thank the Suffolk Coastal electorate, some of whom are voting Labour for the first time in their lives.

“We had an incredible team on the doorstep who made it possible, but it was really down to Suffolk Coastal voting for that change - I’m looking forward to getting to work.”

Ms Riddell-Carpenter said her three priorities, which she would be focusing on from day one in office, would be special needs education, adult social care and the environment.

She said she has been working with community groups regarding the Suffolk Coastal environment already, particularly with regards to the River Deben.

Ms Riddell-Carpenter said the issue of adult social care was sharpened for her by her mother, who suffers from dementia.

Dr Coffey was not available for comment after the declaration.

In her time, Dr Coffey has served as Work and Pensions Secretary, Health Secretary and Environment Secretary.

Matthew Jackson, the Reform candidate, was not present at the declaration.

Chris Balley, acting returning officer, said of the count: “It was a very enjoyable night – we had a good team and they did a fantastic job tonight.

“I’m really delighted with the way it worked.”

It comes amid a landslide for Keir Starmer’s party, with Labour poised to take a 170 seat majority.