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Labour steal two seats off Conservatives in local elections for Ipswich Borough Council



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Labour enjoyed a good night at the 2022 local elections for Ipswich Borough Council, stealing two seats off the Conservatives.

This year, 17 seats were up for the grabs – just over a third of the council’s 48 seats. That included one seat in each of the 16 wards, as well as an additional seat in St John’s for a by-election.

Labour came into the night defending 12 seats, the Conservatives four and one for the Liberal Democrats.

Labour enjoyed a good night at the 2022 local elections for Ipswich Borough Council, stealing two seats off the Conservatives.
Labour enjoyed a good night at the 2022 local elections for Ipswich Borough Council, stealing two seats off the Conservatives.

But a tricky night for the Conservatives resulted in two seats swinging to Labour.

Holywells was the first to fall for the Conservatives with incumbent John Downie losing out by 253 votes to Labour’s George Lankester.

But the narrowest gain was in Stoke Park where former Conservative group leader Nadia Cenci – who was elected to Suffolk County Council a year ago – lost her seat to Labour’s Tony Blacker by 38 votes.

Labour came into the night defending 12 seats, the Conservatives four and one for the Liberal Democrats.
Labour came into the night defending 12 seats, the Conservatives four and one for the Liberal Democrats.

It marked a recovery for Labour, which last year saw six of its seats scooped up by the Tories.

Labour council leader David Ellesmere said: “The dream result last year for the Conservatives has turned into a nightmare, and it’s a nightmare made in Downing Street.

“We heard time and time again, lifelong Conservative voters, and people who voted Conservative in 2019 saying there is no way they are going to vote Conservative while Boris Johnson is still Prime Minister.

“We heard people fed up of the parties – they are still angry about that, and really concerned about the cost of living crisis. They are just not getting the help from the government they need.”

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere. Picture: Ipswich Borough Council.
Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere. Picture: Ipswich Borough Council.

Cllr Ellesmere said it was a mix of some Conservative voters opting not to vote at all, while others voted Labour this time around.

Ian Fisher, leader of the Conservative opposition group, said “Losing two good, hard-working councillors was never part of our plan, but the voters have made their mark and said their piece.

“We have struggled to get our voters out. Across the board, mostly Labour has got a similar amount out to what they normally get whereas we have struggled to get our voters out.

Ian Fisher, leader of Ipswich Borough Council's opposition Conservative group and ward councillor for Castle Hill. Picture: Ipswich Borough Council.
Ian Fisher, leader of Ipswich Borough Council's opposition Conservative group and ward councillor for Castle Hill. Picture: Ipswich Borough Council.

“In the first two or three weeks of the election Partygate hardly came up at all, what we have noticed in the last couple of weeks is the cost of living coming up on the doorsteps.”

Cllr Fisher said the core Conservative vote remained split on Boris Johnson, but said the next 24-48 hours are going to be the time to “find out if Boris Johnson is going to lead us into the next election”.

The narrowest gain was in Stoke Park where former Conservative group leader Nadia Cenci – who was elected to Suffolk County Council a year ago – lost her seat to Labour’s Tony Blacker by 38 votes.
The narrowest gain was in Stoke Park where former Conservative group leader Nadia Cenci – who was elected to Suffolk County Council a year ago – lost her seat to Labour’s Tony Blacker by 38 votes.

More locally he added: “We have still got ambitions to run the council, but if we seriously want to do that we have got to get better representation across the town.”

An overall turnout figure of 33.32 per cent was recorded, with a postal vote turnout of 63%.

The full list of results is as follows:

Alexandra: John Cook (L)* 1,228, Laura Allenby (C) 557, Tom Wilmot (G) 357, Sophie Williams (LD) 139. Turnout: 29.8%. Lab hold.

Bixley: Edward Phillips (C)* 1,184, Paul Anderson (L) 743, Stephanie Cullen (G) 207, Trevor Powell (LD) 167. Turnout: 40.2%. Con hold.

Bridge: Stephen Connelly (L) 880, Mike Scanes (C) 595, Adria Pittock (G) 188 Henry Williams (LD) 98. Turnout: 26.7%. Lab hold.

Castle Hill: Sam Murray (C)* 978, Kimberley Clements (L) 668, Martin Pakes (LD) 423. Turnout: 35.6%. Con hold.

Gainsborough: Lynne Mortimer (L) 1,061, Albert Demaj (C) 798, Brieanna Patmore (G) 135, Conrad Packwood (LD) 53. Turnout: 32.9%. Lab hold.

Gipping: Elizabeth Hughes (L)* 971, Sian Gubb (C) 474, Lee Morris (G) 145, Lisa Weichert (LD) 87. Turnout: 26.4%. Lab hold.

Holywells: George Lankester (L) 1,095, John Downie (C)* 842, Jenny Rivett (G) 260, Robin Whitmore (LD) 72. Turnout: 38.8%. Lab take from Con.

Priory Heath: Daniel Maguire (L)* 1,033, Andy Shannon (C) 635, Andy Patmore (G) 155, Nicholas Jacob (LD) 105. Turnout: 29%. Lab hold.

Rushmere: Stefan Long (L) 1,308, Paul Cawthorn (C) 814, Rachel Morris (G) 162, Lucy Drake (LD) 156. Turnout: 39.2%. Lab hold.

Sprites: Colin Smart (L) 847, Roland Mortimer (C) 757, Barry Broom (G) 126. Turnout: 33.8%. Lab hold.

St John’s (two seats): Sophie Connelly (L) 1,290, Elango Elavalakan (L)* 1,228, Tim Buttle (C) 865, Sachin Karale (C) 790, Giles Turner (LD) 280, Jude Rook (G) 243, Jason Williams (G) 159. Turnout: 36.41%. Lab hold and Lab hold.

St Margaret’s: Inga Lockington (LD)* 1,765, Stephen Ion (C) 563, Ruman Muhith (L) 451, Kirsty Wilmot (G) 215. Turnout: 46.2%. Lib Dem hold.

Stoke Park: Tony Blacker (L) 855, Nadia Cenci (C)* 817, Martin Hynes (G) 69, Adam Merritt (LD) 62, Sandra Sparrow (ADF) 31. Turnout: 35%. Lab take from Con.

Westgate: Colin Kreidewolf (L)* 939, Debbie Richards (C) 444, John Mann (G) 188, Martin Hore (LD) 156. Turnout: 26.9%. Lab hold.

Whitehouse: Colin Wright (L)* 970, David Goldsmith (C) 511, Andrea McDonald (G) 175. Turnout: 25.9%. Lab hold.

Whitton: Christine Shaw (L)* 1,078, Michelle Bevan-Margetts (C) 774, Edmund Harrison (G) 91, Julie Fletcher (LD) 70. Turnout: 33%. Lab hold.

Key: C – Conservative, L – Labour, LD – Liberal Democrats, G – Green Party, ADF – Alliance for Democracy and Freedom.

The asterisk denotes a sitting councillor.