Friday, 30 April 2010

A Look @: Suffolk

Suffolk is another county dominated by the Conservatives. They currently hold five of the seven Parliamentary seats and they will be looking to take the other two off Labour in May. However, three of their current MP's will be standing down at this election and so they'll have to defend a few open seats as well. In last years council election the Conservatives gained 11 seats to consolidate their control on the council. They now hold 55 of the 75 seats which will give them a strong base to fight the General Election from. Meanwhile Labour were the party in reverse dropping from 20 councillors before the election to just two (and 2 Lab-Coop). The Lib Dems are now the second largest group with 11 councillors.



Notional Majority

Swing Needed




Chris Mole




CON Gain


Bob Blizzard




CON Gain

Suffolk C & Ipswich N

Michael Lord




CON Hold

Suffolk Coastal

John Gummer




CON Hold

Suffolk South

Tim Yeo




CON Hold

Suffolk West

Richard Spring




CON Hold

Bury St Edmunds

David Ruffley




CON Hold


Chris Mole has been the MP for Ipswich since a by-election held shortly after the 2001 General Election. It was called because of the death of Labour MP Jamie Cain, who had won the seat off the Conservatives in 1992. Mole carried a fairly solid majority in 2005 but this a seat the Conservatives are going to have to take if they are to off-set the problems caused by the Lib Dem surge. This is the Tory target seat #113 and they have selected Ben Gummer, son of retiring Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer, as their candidate. This seat is on the cusp of the present national and regional swings but it seems the Conservatives have had their sights set on this for a while, and have put in the appropriate leg work; I can see this just falling; Tory Gain.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard has been hitting the news a bit recently. He was attacked by ConservativeHome for using his Parliamentary expenses to attack his political opponents. But then Blizzard met Izzard; Eddie that is. It seems the latter of the two events have had the higher profile so it's up to the Tories on the ground to try and gain this seat on an above average swing. They've selected former Waveney Councillor Peter Aldous for his second run in this seat and it would be no surprise if he gained this for the Conservatives. But Labour seem to be putting a bit into this so Aldous might find it a little more difficult than his college in Ipswich. Having said that Labour are very thin on the ground in Suffolk and this might just be the difference in the end. It'll be close but I'm edging towards a Tory Gain.

Central Suffolk and Ipswich North is a safe Tory seat and the retirement of Sir Michael Lord after 27 years in Parliament shouldn't change that. Lord was a contender for Speaker of the House, but having lost out to John Bercow he felt the time was right to stand down. This leaves former councillor Daniel Pouter as the hot favourite to retain this seat for the Conservatives; Tory Hold.

John Gummer has represented Suffolk Coastal since 1983, and entered Parliament 4 years earlier, so it's not surprising he is standing down this year. Gummer is perhaps best known for the photograph of him feeding his daughter a beef burger at the height of the BSE crisis. More recently he has hit the headlines for his expenses claims, which included claims for 'treating' moles and a contract for a 'rodent service', but the reason he gave for his retirement was to help the campaign against Climate Change. The seat is currently very safely Conservative and so their candidate Therese Coffey shouldn't have a problem succeeding in her second run for Parliament; Tory Hold.

Tim Yeo has probably been a keen observer of the Liberal Democrats recent progress as he'd be in a spot of bother if they start polling any higher. Yeo has represented South Suffolk since the seats creation in 1983 and he's always enjoyed large majorities. I suspect that with out another major boost from the last debate this seat will be out of reach for the Lib Dem candidate Nigel Bennett, a district councillor; Tory Hold.

Suffolk West will certainly send a new MP to Westminster as the incumbent Richard Spring is standing down after 17 years in Parliament. The seat has been the Conservatives since its creation in 1997 and will certainly be safe at this election. Matt Hancock is the budding Tory who will almost certainly hold this seat for his party and at only 32 I suspect George Osborne's former chief of staff will be around for a while; Tory Hold.

Bury St Edmunds has returned a Conservative MP at each election for…125 years. The potential for a historic has been made marginally possible as the current MP David Ruffley's flipping hit the headlines. It difficult to see where a challenge would come from though so I think Ruffley will survive; Tory Hold.


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