Ipswich

2015 Result:
Conservative: 21794 (44.8%)
Labour: 18061 (37.1%)
Lib Dem: 1400 (2.9%)
Green: 1736 (3.6%)
UKIP: 5703 (11.7%)
MAJORITY: 3733 (7.7%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Suffolk. Part of the Ipswich council area.

Main population centres: Ipswich.

Profile: The county town of Suffolk, a working port siuation at the south-east of the county. The waterfront area has seen significant redevelopment over recent decades, including the building of University Campus Suffolk. The boundary of the seat is drawn quite tightly around urban Ipswich, with many of the town`s suburbs to the north and east falling into the neighbouring seats and excluding some of the more Conservative-leaning areas of the town.

Politics: This is a marginal seat that has changed hands many times over the decades. The most Labour inclined seat in Suffolk, it has been held by the party for the majority of its post war history, with brief periods of Conservative representation between 1970-1974 and 1987-1992. It was won by the Conservatives in 2010.


Current MP
BEN GUMMER (Conservative) Born 1978, London, son of John Selwyn Gummer, the former cabinet minister. Educated at Tonbridge School and Cambridge University. Former Managing Director of the family firm. First elected as MP for Ipswich in 2010. PPS to Alan Duncan 2012-2013, PPS to Michael Gove 2013-2014. Junior health minister since 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 18371 (39%)
Lab: 16292 (35%)
LDem: 8556 (18%)
UKIP: 1365 (3%)
Oth: 2357 (5%)
MAJ: 2079 (4%)
2005*
Con: 13004 (31%)
Lab: 18336 (44%)
LDem: 8464 (20%)
UKIP: 1134 (3%)
Oth: 940 (2%)
MAJ: 5332 (13%)
2001
Con: 11871 (31%)
Lab: 19952 (51%)
LDem: 5904 (15%)
UKIP: 624 (2%)
Oth: 522 (1%)
MAJ: 8081 (21%)
1997
Con: 15045 (31%)
Lab: 25484 (53%)
LDem: 5881 (12%)
Oth: 315 (1%)
MAJ: 10439 (22%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
BEN GUMMER (Conservative) See above.
DAVID ELLESMERE (Labour) Born Yorkshire. Educated at Sussex university. Senior software developer. Ipswich councillor 1995-1999 and since 2002. Leader of Ipswich council since 2011.
CHIKA AKINWALE (Liberal Democrat)
MARIA VIGNEAU (UKIP) Educated at Nottingham University. Former director of a pharmaceauticals company.
BARRY BROOM (Green) Born Ipswich. Software developer.
Links
Comments - 249 Responses on “Ipswich”
  1. The swing among BAME voters may not be very large but I suspect differential turnout may have increased the significance of the BAME vote at this election.

  2. Turnout was up generally. I had understood that the differential in turnout between white and ethnic minority voters was reduced in 2017 compared to 2015 because the latter increased by a higher rate – but you’re right that the combination of a slightly higher swing and a slightly greater increase in BAME turnout will have assisted Labour.

    However, I would stress that results in seats with a high ethnic minority population varied hugely because of the other factors which shaped the outcome. For example, the swings to the Conservatives in Wolverhampton NE and SE.

  3. Wolverhampton NE is still strongly white in ethnic composition though SE has a large black & Asian population. SE contains part of Coseley & can almost be considered a Black Country seat.

  4. Barnaby

    I was speaking to my father (born and bred in this area) and he considers Wolverhampton itself to be the Balck Country.

    It is certainly the view at the Molineux (foight, foight, wherever yow may be, we are the boys from the Black Coun-troy…)

  5. Just was had a chat last night with some politically obsessed mates…question, is there any way back for Gummer? He seems awfully young to have finished his political career. Clearly he won’t be a candidate in a by-election but is there a back for him into the house of commons in 2022? or is association with the manifesto too toxic. Presumably, he won’t fight Ipswich again, but is there a safe tory seat which will take him?

    I notice Nick Timothy isn’t going gently into that good night, but sounding off in the Telegraph.

    He fingers, without any hint of blame whatsoever, Gummer as his co-writer of the manifesto, which most tories think is the most disastrous in the party’s recent history.

  6. ‘SE contains part of Coseley & can almost be considered a Black Country seat.’

    With it’s host of broken-down factories and scrapyards, Wolverhampton South East perfectly captures the urban, industrial decay of the Black Country perhaps more than any other West Midlands seat

  7. ‘I notice Nick Timothy isn’t going gently into that good night, but sounding off in the Telegraph.’

    I thought what Timothy said will do nothing but discredit him further

    And how typical for two of the media’s biggest Brexit cheerleaders to give him a platform to air his feeble excuses and a big fat paycheck to go with it

    Only in Brexit Britain is being a complete and utter failure so profitable

  8. Only in Brexit Britain is being a complete and utter failure so profitable

    Get over it tim…i don’t know how you managed to turn some remarks about nick timothy and ben gummer into the beginnings of an anti-Brexit rant. get over it… we ain’t going back into the EU, no matter how “awful” Brexit Britain is going to be.. diddums.

  9. I’m no fan of Brexit as everyone here knows but I think Tim’s comment would be more apt if he’d just said

    “Only in “Britain” is being a complete and utter failure so profitable”

    This long pre dates Brexit which I don’t think has made it particularly worse. Many in this country have long deluded themselves that we live in something resembling a meritocracy, its utter crap we’re probably one of the least meritocratic countries in the world, our entire elite is primarily made up of a collection of incredibly mediocre toffs with the occasional lucky middle or working class (but still mediocre) character like Nick Timothy thrown in for good measure while the truly talented are routinely blocked by an increasingly impregnable series of glass ceilings that also serves to stop the present elite falling from grace.

    In Britain its not about what you know its about who you know, its always been that way and it hasn’t changed.

  10. Actually agree with Rivers10 on this… look at the astronomical pay of uni vice chancellors. a total disgrace and scandal that no one cares about.

    These vice chancellors are princes of the left , so the left don’t bleat about the inequality of the Vice Chancellor of Bangor University earning £250k a year, while other university staff are laid off. there is plenty of this kind of craziness in Britain, and most of it is in the public sector, so it’s ok.

  11. “We’re probably one of the least meritocratic countries in the world”

    Rubbish

    There are hundreds of countries less meritocratic than the UK, including much of the EU

    This country has full employment and half a million immigrants per year, most of whom manage to get jobs on merit. I really think you should do some travelling and get some life experience before posting such horse dung as that Rivers. In 20 years of travelling the world I’ve rarely visited somewhere and not thought how lucky I am to live where I do.

    In my experience people who whine about glass ceilings are usually bitter that they don’t have the talent or work ethic necessary to get to the top themselves. This is still a great country where you can more or less achieve whatever you set out to do if you try hard enough. My advice = stop moaning and blaming others for your own shortcomings and apply yourself to whatever you want to do.

  12. ‘This long pre dates Brexit which I don’t think has made it particularly worse. Many in this country have long deluded themselves that we live in something resembling a meritocracy, its utter crap we’re probably one of the least meritocratic countries in the world, our entire elite is primarily made up of a collection of incredibly mediocre toffs with the occasional lucky middle or working class (but still mediocre) character like Nick Timothy thrown in for good measure while the truly talented are routinely blocked by an increasingly impregnable series of glass ceilings that also serves to stop the present elite falling from grace.’

    Even by your standards Rivers that’s just one conspiracy theory too far

    Our county has huge strides to make and there’s little doubt that social mobility has at least stalled since the 1970s, but to claim that doing lots of hard work won’t matter because the dastardly plans of the ruling class means that somebody from the lower orders is destined to stay there for the rest of their lives, is stretching the truth in the extreme (and with it the credibility of your argument)

  13. I don’t agree with what Rivers posted, but I can understand why a young person would feel like that in the UK in 2017.

  14. Yes, there is an elite class in this country. No, I can’t think of anywhere that doesn’t have an elite ruling class. Look at France – the final two candidates for the presidency were a former Rothschild banker and finance minister, and graduate of the elitist hothouse l’École Nationale d’Administration; and a woman who inherited her party’s leadership from her own father. And those were “outsider” candidates.

    As for meritocracy more generally – it’s not a fair situation but there are certain structural factors which seem to make the ring-fencing of privilege almost inevitable. If you are a middle-class parent you can improve the country’s social mobility by feeding your children cheap, poor-quality food, and not paying for fun and educational days out – otherwise your child is getting an “unfair” advantage over a family on the breadline. And yet what crazy parent would make such a choice?

  15. Harsh words from HH.

    I’m sure we are far more meritocratic than most counties. I wouldnt say we lead the pack though. I do think we are lucky to live in this country. Most people in this country who can work do work. Immigrants who do come to work earn their keep. I think it’s fair to say that many people work harder than their keep. I think its fair to say that the working conditions of hire & fire contracts do hard working people a disservice. Thank god we don’t live under a dictatorship or a theocracy. Thank god we have suffrage. But do i think we can build on the strides we’ve made yeah course i do.

  16. Oh…and HH’s post just reeks of ‘I’m alright Jack’ smugness. But why on earth would anyone be surprised at that!

  17. it’s a different kind of elitism. the guardian ran a piece saying there should be quotas for public school/independent school educated people in top jobs.

    Obviously Guido Fawkes had a field day, pointing out that most of their comment writers from Jonathan Freedland (UCS), Andrew Rawnsley (Rugby), Polly Toynbee (Badminton), Andrew Rusbridge (Cranleigh) and the list went on, were educated at these establishments…

    And the guardian is the lefty paper championing equality. this kind of hypocrisy only really exists to that extent in Britain. Other countries are more openly cronyistic, corrupt and venal, but there is an insidiousness to a lot of the lefty preachiness on equality. Not just on the Left, Dave and Osborne, Blair and Mandelson trouser oodles of cash, and aggressively promote their friends, family interests etc. while preaching equality and meritocracy.

    Most elites are more openly self-serving… I am pretty sure that the BBC top people and other public sector hot shots are among the best paid receivers of taxpayer subsidies in the entire world. They are overwhelmingly left leaning but they are an aristocracy of privilege. it’s crazy.

  18. How is it hypocrisy to have had a privileged upbringing? The whole point of privilege is that it is something you are born into. It’s not a choice.

  19. ‘it’s a different kind of elitism. the guardian ran a piece saying there should be quotas for public school/independent school educated people in top jobs.
    Obviously Guido Fawkes had a field day, pointing out that most of their comment writers from Jonathan Freedland (UCS), Andrew Rawnsley (Rugby), Polly Toynbee (Badminton), Andrew Rusbridge (Cranleigh) and the list went on, were educated at these establishments…’

    Whilst that specific proposal is ludicrous it strikes me to be weak argument to say that just because somebody comes from a certain background – in this case a privileged one – they are automatically hypocrits if they then go on to criticise how society is framed for people like them to be successful.

  20. I thought for a split secont that was John Gummer when I briefly scrolled down past the photo at the top.

  21. Sorry to labour this point. The Guardian, while decrying the dominance of independent school educated people in public life- the law, media, above all politics- has seemingly done very little to promote or bring in state school educated people to the ranks of its columnists, news editors, and reporters.

    That is hypocrisy. The Guardian’s hiring policies don’t seem to equate with the high ideals of racial and social diversity they so often condemn others for failing to live up to.

  22. For those criticising my above point I’d give just a few statistics.

    As we all know just 7% of the UK populace goes to private schools.
    Yet a little over a third of UK MP’s went to private schools, increasing to half of the cabinet.
    40% of FTSE 100 companies directors
    74% of leading judges
    68% of senior civil servants
    71% of top military officers
    51% of leading print journalists
    Half of the Lords
    And a little over half of our diplomats

    And it has to be said this transcends even into popular culture with 47% of BAFTA winning actors, 35% of Rugby Union players, 19% of Team GB Olympic athletes, and 22% of our leading musicians being privately educated.

    And before anyone says “aha but this just shows the exceptionally brilliant people that Private education produces” well no. A duel study by Oxford and Cambridge found that on average their students who had been privately educated performed WORSE across all departments than their state educated peers.

    Throw in the myriad anecdotal evidence from people who have actually been privately educated who openly admit it was basically a social exercise in “how to be part of the elite” where the greatest thing they took from it was the contacts they made and I really don’t feel like what I’m saying is very contentious. Does anybody seriously believe BoJo would have got this far in any other country?

  23. “Does anybody seriously believe BoJo would have got this far in any other country?”

    Why not? The only reason it is difficult to envsage is because Boris Johnson is so quintessentially British – so it’s difficult to work out what a foreign Boris Johnson would look lie. But privately educated tosspots are ensconced in elites the world over. And Boris Johnson is far from the world’s first or only scandal-proof politician.

  24. To be fair to Johnson, he is far from being the dimmest person in the Cabinet. Him doing well is nowhere near as preposterous as Andrea Leadsom or Chris Grayling being in the Cabinet, for example.

  25. “… 35% of Rugby Union players, 19% of Team GB Olympic athletes…”

    I don’t find either of those figures surprising, and think they are bad examples of the kind of elitism you are looking to highlight. They will be due in no small part to the total cultural dominance of football in working class communities. PE lessons at my N Derbys comp encompassed very little of anything else.

  26. ‘Him doing well is nowhere near as preposterous as Andrea Leadsom or Chris Grayling being in the Cabinet, for example.’

    i can’t think of any cabinet ministers in the history of British politics (at least since the 29th century) more unsuited to the cabinet than this talentless duo

    To be fair, New Labour had their fair share – but at least they seemed to recognises their obvious limitations whereas Grayling and Leadsome really do see themselves as future leadership material

  27. Tim- New Labour had some shockers too, no doubt. But, as you say, they tended to at least know their place.

  28. Geoff Hoon would be a political titan compared to half the current Cabinet.

  29. I had a friend from school who loved geoff hoon last time we spoke he was voting ukip

  30. still interested in whether people think gummer has a future in house of commons politics, but i suppose nobody really cares…which i suppose means he probably doesn’t.

    I expect he may go to the lords after a decent interval (two years), once the kerfuffle about the manifesto dies down.

  31. Rivers10,

    Don’t think that the success of people from private school can be ascribed to them “skimming the best off the top” of the general population? It’s often said that private schools select the best and brightest pupils, and this is why they seem to have “valued-added” vs. public schools.

  32. Or “state schools” (so open to the public!) if you’re in England.

  33. Sorry, this is a leading question: one of the reasons that some people oppose school vouchers is that they think that it’s a waste of money, since the performance of private schools is purely due to this “skimming” effect. Even if this is true for exam results (I don’t know) it doesn’t seem to be true for networking etc.

    School vouchers in Sweden seem to have had their principal positive impact in improving state school performance (IIRC) but in the UK I think that they could have a useful effect by reducing network effects. Eton etc. would still be unavailable to almost everyone, but opening up the private education system to more people would be a good thing for social mobility, I think.

  34. If private schools truly succeed by selecting “the best and brightest pupils” and not by skimming off the privileged children of the rich and well-connected, I wonder why there’s no campaign for entry to them to be on the basis of a national examination and assessment system, totally anonymised, and on a “comprehensive”-style local pupils only basis?

  35. Returning to former MP Ben Gummer – his chances of a return to the Commons are not going to be helped by this costly mistake he made as a minister in dealing with Civil Service Unions:

    “Controversial cuts to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme were deemed unlawful in a High Court ruling , after the Cabinet Office failed to adequately consult with trade unions.”

    http://www2.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2017/07/19/cuts-to-civil-service-redundancy-pay-ruled-unlawful.aspx

    This happened last month, and curiously has only been reported by one of the national papers. No prizes for guessing which one.

  36. Didn’t Grayling cause huge (and very costly) upheaval at Justice? I wouldn’t say this rules Gummer out from anything.

  37. @David W

    Because the private school system exists so rich people can bypass the state system and ensure that their amiable kids of middling ability can leapfrog poorer but more able children.

    That is literally their raison d’etre.

    If those middling ability rich kids can no longer get that boost, nobody will pay for them and you just have a system where more able kids get better paid teachers without any evidence of where the most value can be added into the system.

  38. @Tristan

    Grayling has some weird forcefield that protects him from the consequences of always and reliably being absolutely terrible at every job he ever has.

  39. He must play the game very well. His luck will run out soon though (as soon as May resigns/ gets forced out).

  40. ‘Grayling has some weird forcefield that protects him from the consequences of always and reliably being absolutely terrible at every job he ever has.’

    It does seem peculiar in the extreme. Perhaps he knows something we don’t

    What’s even more odd is that I’ve never personally met a Tory who doesn’t share the view that he’s severely lacking in talent for a frontline politician, which is why I was perplexed to see him somewhere in the middle of that poll of how Tory Party members view current cabinet ministers – way above the likes of Hammond, one if the few current members of the cabinet who doesn’t look out of place in his job

  41. David Whitehouse,

    If there was such a campaign, it would come from the left, and there isn’t a uniformly brilliant state school system on which Diane Abbott etc. are willing to rely.

  42. As for examinations, personally I think that there’s too much selection of pupils and not enough selection of schools in the UK system. It’s one of the reasons I’m not excited about grammar schools: what I would prefer is a system where schools are falling over themselves to attract e.g. a poor child with learning disabilities. Sort of a voucher system + the Pupil Premium Turbo.

  43. I think we can all agree there isnt enough selection of schools with some schools having a thousand pupils applying for 180 places a year

  44. Re selective education my opinion on this has changed over the years and I’ve personally come to the conclusion that we should have no selection at all and instead adopt the same model most countries use which is to assign each school a catchment area and any child living within said area attends said school by default unless they have very special reasons for not doing so.

    Now of course this system on the face of it is terrible since it essentially locks in privilege, a bright but poor kid living in a poor area has to attend a poor performing school while a stupid yet wealthy kid gets to attend a better performing school in a middle class area and indeed that’s basically what happens in America’s dismal education system.

    However this can be easily rectified by what they do in other countries which is assign additional resources to schools in more challenging areas, they also pay the teachers more in such areas and thus attract the better teachers too. This essentially equalises the entire system.

    Throw in the fact that’s its proven that some degree of mixing between brighter and less bright pupils improves the performance of the less bright pupils to a far greater degree than it holds back the brighter pupils (even the US education system shows this) then it should be fairly clear that segregating students isn’t a great idea.

  45. Its a strange world when a student has to walk past their local school every morning to get to school

    I went to a selective school, selected based on my faith as a Roman Catholic. I was only one of few in my primary school to go. It wasn’t very popular. Most my peers were working class kids from Hatfield, Borehamwood, Hemel and Potters Bar. They travelled at least five miles every morning to get to school. Up until the county cut the bus subsidy and then the Government cuts EMA. It used to have 180 students and 6 forms of entry. It now has 120 and 4 forms. Its in special measures. It was twinned with Henry Newman in Stevenage. After the head had a breakdown a new head steadied the boat for a short time but it still fell back into special measures.

  46. Matt
    Tis the silliness of the current situation. I had to travel 10 miles to get to secondary school each day cos all the local schools were either rubbish or Catholic schools (I come from a completely irreligious family) and to make matters worse there were no school busses or even regular busses that ran the route needed for me to get to school so my parents had to drive me each day.

    A ridiculous and probably not unique situation caused by two forms of selectivity in school, religious selectivity (something I see absolutely no justification in) and selectivity based on ability (which I addressed in my last post)

    The situation is a total farce and everyone knows it, all the faff parents/kids go through pretending to go to church or sitting entrance exams etc and for absolutely no discernable benefit to the the overall education system. This is the literal definition of a broken system.

  47. Matt Wilson,

    It’s one of those weird inequalities of our society: a poor or middle class family can go to Harrod’s and spend a relatively high proportion of their income on a memorable day out there. In contrast, they can’t send their kids to the great comprehensive down the road, and they would have to “pay twice” to send a kid to private school, even if they got generous scholarships.

    I have a lot of sympathy with Rivers10’s proposal regarding redistributive funding, but it sounds all too much like “Every comprehensive will be a grammar school”. In practice, it’s hard to convince middle class parents that less money should be spent on their local school, so that a school in a poorer area will be better funded.

    I certainly don’t have all the answers, but it’s to the discredit of the Coalition that they adopted only one part of the Swedish system, i.e. the Free Schools bit (which has been most useful for entrepreneurial middle class parents who do pretty well out of the system already) and not the school vouchers bit. And to repeat, grammar schools don’t address the main problems. It’s as though the emphasis in the NHS was on hospital selection of patients, rather than other way around!

    Interestingly, many have argued that school vouchers are the beginning of the slippery slope towards privatisation, whereas the actual result in Sweden has been an improvement in state school performance as they’ve had to fight a bit harder to retain pupils; most Swedish parents are satisfied with the state system. The Swedish system does have its problems vs. Finland, but that seems to be due to factors like funding and the nature of the curriculum.

  48. I’m not sure what impact free schools have tbh. They have opened one in the middle of town at the old law building. Parking isn’t great, there is only one form of entry, there will be some ease on school paces but not near enough

  49. Matt Wilson,

    I agree that they are very far from solving many of the problems in the system.

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