South Suffolk

2015 Result:
Conservative: 27546 (53.1%)
Labour: 10001 (19.3%)
Lib Dem: 4044 (7.8%)
Green: 2253 (4.3%)
UKIP: 7897 (15.2%)
Others: 166 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 17545 (33.8%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: Eastern, Suffolk. The whole of the Babergh council area and two wards from the St Edmundsbury council area.

Main population centres: Sudbury, Hadleigh.

Profile: A long rural seat, stretching horizontally along Suffolk`s border with Essex, from the Shotley penisula south of Ipswich, through the Dedham Vale area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and westwards to Sudbury. The main population centres are the two historic market towns of Sudbury and Hadleigh and the villages clustered around the fringes of Ipswich, like Sproughton and Pinewood.

Politics: A safe Conservative seat, represented by the Conservative frontbencher Tim Yeo between 1983 and his retirement in 2015.

Current MP
JAMES CARTLIDGE (Conservative) Born London. Educated at Manchester University. Former businessman and former journalist. Babergh councillor since 2013. Contested Lewisham Deptford 2005. First elected as MP for Suffolk South in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 24550 (48%)
Lab: 7368 (14%)
LDem: 15861 (31%)
UKIP: 3637 (7%)
MAJ: 8689 (17%)
Con: 20471 (42%)
Lab: 11917 (24%)
LDem: 13865 (28%)
UKIP: 2454 (5%)
MAJ: 6606 (14%)
Con: 18748 (41%)
Lab: 13667 (30%)
LDem: 11296 (25%)
UKIP: 1582 (3%)
MAJ: 5081 (11%)
Con: 19402 (37%)
Lab: 15227 (29%)
LDem: 14395 (28%)
Oth: 211 (0%)
MAJ: 4175 (8%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
JAMES CARTLIDGE (Conservative) Born London. Educated at Manchester University. Businessman and former journalist. Babergh councillor since 2013. Contested Lewisham Deptford 2005.
JANE BASHAM (Labour) Educated at Gravesend Grammar and Suffolk College. Former Chief Executive of Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality. Contested Suffolk police commissioner 2010.
GRACE WEAVER (Liberal Democrat)
Comments - 186 Responses on “Suffolk South”
  1. Via Twitter:

    “The Sunday Times ‏@thesundaytimes 5h

    Coming up: Tory Tim Yeo filmed boasting how he can use his climate change committee role to push private business #WestminsterforSale
    Retweeted 49 times”

  2. He must be a good candidate for a less than voluntary retirement in 2015.

  3. as far as I’m aware he’s never made any secret of the fact
    that his interest in renewables and nuclear energy is linked to his bank account.

  4. Interesting contrast in UKIP fortunes in the local elections as one moves north-westwards through Suffolk from Babergh to St Edmundsbury to Forest Heath:

    Babergh: 14.5%
    St Edmundsbury: 24.3%
    Forest Heath: 35.6%

  5. The Times this morning is speculating about a deselection bid against Tim Yeo

  6. Which would be excellent news

  7. Which would dash Ben Gummer’s chances of getting the seat in 2020 after losing in Ipswich in 2015.

  8. ‘The Times this morning is speculating about a deselection bid against Tim Yeo’

    Like many considered to be on the party’s moderate wing, Tim Yeo is despised by right-wing backbenchers and grass roots members, as Runnymead’s post underlines

    One suspects these activities have given them the opportunity they have long waited for

    I have to say that Yeo’s reaction to the revelations display breathe-taking arrogance, if not contempt, to the general public, who aren’t quite as stupid as the likes of him and his colleagues presume

  9. Yeo behaved like a complete asshole to his wife, lover and illegitimate child. Far worse actually than some (eg Piers Merchant) who didn’t survive their back to basics exposes as Yeo managed to.

    He’s a nasty piece of work who should have been deselected 20 years ago.

  10. Quite right – funnily enough his behaviour towards his family (and others) and his ‘business activities’ are the main reasons he is so disliked as well, rather than his views on policy.

  11. I don’t know this constituency at all, but I guess I had it down as a rather monolithic rural Tory constituency in my ignorance.

    Looking at the figures for the last twenty years, both Labour and the LD’s have had a healthy vote. Are either Hadleigh or Sudbury rather centre-left inclined?

  12. ‘Quite right – funnily enough his behaviour towards his family (and others) and his ‘business activities’ are the main reasons he is so disliked as well, rather than his views on policy.’

    Absolute rubbish

    Being involved in any green intiative is bound to make some right-wing Tories foam at the mouth and the fact that he has been a “complete asshole to his wife, lover and illegitimate child” just gives them a ready-made excuse for why they hate him.

    It might be more credible if a large proportion of those who take that line hadn’t been involved in similar activities themselves

    But Tim Yeo is unpopular in Tory circles for the same reason the likes of Ted Heath, Robert Walter, Anthony Meyer, John Bercow and others are despised within their own party – that being thay are just too centrist/liberal/moderate for today’s right-wing party

  13. Anybody who gets a girl pregnant whilst already married and forces her to have an abortion or refuses to have much if anything to do with the child is a first class shit, whether it is a left-wing Tory like Yeo or a right-winger like Cecil Parkinson or Boris Johnson.

    It completely undermines the government from having a credible message on both discouraging single parenthood and on setting an example as to how young people should behave.

  14. His wife must be a forgiving type. After the affair with Julia Stent ended, he turned 50, and his wife threw a party for him, in which she described him as “fifty but frisky”.

  15. There mightn’t be many old-fashioned Wets left after 2015. After all, Ottaway, Hendry, and Luff have already announced their retirements.

  16. Hadn’t noticed Hendry was standing down.

    A handful will still be there – Bob Walter, Jane Ellison, possibly Ken Clarke.

  17. “His wife must be a forgiving type.”

    Or maybe they have an open marriage.

    During the Piers Merchant scandal, some journalists came down here to Beckenham sniffing around his family life. Instead of a tearful wife they found out that her antics were at least as bad as his.

  18. ‘There mightn’t be many old-fashioned Wets left after 2015. After all, Ottaway, Hendry, and Luff have already announced their retirements.’

    I was thinking that – most of what’s left seem to be retiring or are in marginal seats likely to go Labour

    You’d expect Alan Haselhurst, Alistar Burt, Caroline Spelman and Nick Soames to hang on (and some of the 2010 intake lke Sandys and Harrington to hang on) but that side of the party is basically dead which is why I think after the next election the Tories will do some kind of deal with UKIP and the party will become committed to complete withdrawal from the EU, throwing Scotland and Walkes out of the Union and very pro-white

    They say were America goes, Britain follows and i fully expect what happened to the Republicans after 2008 to happen to Tories if, and it’s still an if, they lodse the next election

    However, I think they are kidding themselves jiust as much as the Tea Partyers were if they thibk that type of a party will boast their electoral appeal. It will likely to the opposite

  19. @Tim Jones

    Yeo’s not a very nice man nor have his policies been helpful to the voter. I was hearing about the Greater Gabbard wind farm at the weekend. It did not seem as though the UK was getting much of a deal by what was said.
    Soames has a reputation as a fat man who dines well.

  20. Interesting article in the local press. I hadn’t realised Jane Basham came top in the PCC elections here. That’s a great achievement for a Labour candidate in Suffolk.

    Personally I quite like Tim Yeo’s politics. He’s a very sensible chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee. Critising when necessary. For example his opposition to a carbon floor price in the UK as it would disadvantage UK firms compared to their competitors in other European countries. But if Jane wins here that would be a spectacular upset. I can’t see it myself.

  21. all these politicians wives must be very strange

  22. Guido Fawkes is reporting that Yeo is facing a deselection bid by local activists

  23. He can join the LibDems… give the Tories a run for their money.. LoL

  24. I wonder how many nominations this seat would get should Yeo get forced out by his association? It would be a seat that would IMHO get quite a few names on the selection list, but if Yeo does survive here, all of this might not even happen.

  25. Yeo has been deselected.

  26. Excellent news

  27. It’s still only the executive vote. If he wants to fight, he can call for a membership ballot like Blunt did (and Ann McIntosh will do in Thirsk and Malton).

  28. Should join the LibDems…

  29. Wet Wet Wet (just for Tim Jones). Very true HH (he should have been deselected 20 years ago). It’s laughable to think Yeo wanted to stand for the Party Leadership even a decade ago!

  30. Something tells me Yeo’s constituency membership will be less supportive than Blunt’s.

    Associations are usually forgiving the first time an MP blots his copybook but in Yeo’s case it is multiple blots over 20 years. Also it involves his unpopular (within the Tory party) policy positions and controversial business interests, not just personal scandal.

    I expect he’ll step down quietly to spend more time with his green directorships and luxury golfing holidays.

  31. should join the LibDems? That says everything about that party – they’ll have anyone so long as it embarrasses somebody else.

  32. This isn’t the final decision although the radio and TV news are reporting it as if it is.

  33. Let’s take a look at Tim Yeo’s electoral record in this seat-

    1. 1983- 29, 469 (50.6%, -2.6%, 11, 269 (19.3%) majority)
    2. 1987- 33, 972 (53.4%, +2.8%, 16, 243 (25.5%) majority)
    3. 1992- 34, 793 (50.2%, -3.2%, 17, 289 (25.0%) majority)
    4. 1997- 19, 402 (37.3%, -12.9%, 4, 175 (8.0%) majority)
    5. 2001- 18, 748 (41.4%, +4.1%, 5, 081 (11.2%) majority)
    6. 2005- 20, 471 (42.0%, +0.6%, 6, 606 (13.6%) majority)
    7. 2010- 24, 550 (47.7%, +5.7%, 8, 689 (16.9%) majority)

  34. He has a reasonable record then, a better performance than most Tories in 2001 and even a little increase in 1987. His chequered past means I’m not that sorry to see the back of him but in a way I’d quite like his replacement to also be from the left of the party to avoid perceptions that the party is moving too far to the right

  35. I hope it is finalised – his behaviour has been a disgrace on more than one occasion and he is not right wing enough anyway.

    If the lib dems seriously want him to stand for them – go for it. We will win here by a good margin.

  36. I doubt Paul will get his wish of someone on the Left of the Tory party… a rare breed indeed and this constituency executive have shown which way their interests lie.

    He could go Green or just independent as well.. I don’t see the attraction for any MP of giving the party that deselects the MP the satisfaction of still being able to count on their vote.

  37. James Delingpole must be ecstatic.

  38. I think we can do without good riddance messages for those who retire or are deselected, etc. I can’t stand Tim Yeo but rejoicing at his downfall – if downfall it is – should be for other forums.

  39. Absolutely right.

  40. I’m not rejoicing just think that the right decision has been made.

  41. Con 39.1
    Lab 21.6
    LD 21.1
    UKIP 13.6
    Grn 4.5

  42. CON HOLD MAJ: 18.5%
    Con 39.1
    Lab 21.6
    LD 21.1
    UKIP 13.6
    Grn 4.5

  43. Another random 9% drop – we aren’t going to poll 27% nationally – and im not convinced that Tim Yeo had a personal vote, at least not a positive one!

    Con 44
    LD 20
    Lab 19
    UKIP 15
    Green 2

  44. I’m not surprised by this. I read an article earlier in the year
    by Dominic Lawson about ‘Green vested interests’ which made some interesting points.

    Not that I have any time for ‘climate change deniers’ of course!

  45. I wouldn’t want our good old friend anywhere near the Greens- he is perhaps a worthy example of what Mr Brown alludes to in his last post.

  46. What people must remember about the drop in the Tory vote is that they will lose to every other party- while LD voters may go Tory, more moderate Tories are going the other way to a more palatable ‘wet’ right LD group. The Greens will claw back quite a few of the conservationist and environmental votes due to the Tories’ catastrophic environmental policy especially the green levy argument and badger cull etc- particularly in liberal/rural areas. Labour will win back quite a few centrist Tories and floaters who could not stand to vote Labour last time. UKIP will also eat into the Tory vote. Therefore a 9% drop due to the combined effects of all 4 of those parties in seats where they are scoring 40s and above, lower ones for seats with lower scores depending on demographics, is not that difficult to arrive at.

  47. The polls show basically no tory voters going LD or Green, and very few going labour.

  48. Winds, you’re barking I’m afraid.

    An interesting, if much vexed question relevant to the question of who the Tories should select here, is whether it benefits the Conservatives to be seen as more right of centre, or centrist. I must declare an interest here, as a former Conservative who has gone UKIP due to the movement of the Conservative party to occupy a position on the political spectrum which a couple of decades ago would have been clearly identifiable as centre-left.

    Given that it is pretty much accepted wisdom that the Conservative party under-performed in 2010, and missed a yawning chance to win a majority, is it not reasonable to speculate that, had they not drifted so far from their right of centre traditions, they would have been much more likely to take that chance? With the other two main (in 2010) parties both being left of centre, the obvious space for the Conservative party to occupy is surely the right.

    Given the above, I think it would be more beneficial to the Conservatives to select a right of centre candidate here than another wet in Yeo’s mould.

  49. Polls suggest the British public is in general quite a bit to the left of the Tories and further left than Labour- if you can call them that.

    The LDs have veered to the right helping to collapse their support but also ‘wet’ Tories are realising that the Conservative party is no longer representing them by pursuing UKIP so some will go LD.

    Nonetheless, I agree the NET effect will be LD/Con switching.

    UKIP will also eat quite a way into the Tory vote on an 11% national vote share.

    I contend that the centrist, moderate approach of policy direction such as Vote Blue Get Green attracted small c conservative environmentalist votes in addition to votes from mothers and other groups who up until then saw the Tories as toxic. The Tories’ car crash environmental policy and sidelining of the cost of living will swing those sorts of voter straight back to their old voting habits.

    Especially in marginals, though also in former Labour seats and areas where the Tories are secure but not invincible, swing voters will rally behind the opposition as ever but also swing voters who saw Labour as toxic in 2010 will return to the fold.

    Discomfort at the Tories’ reversion to centre right policy will also play on the minds of the small c conservatives and those who just about threw their weight behind the Tories. Many of the groups won over by 2010 Cameron have been disappointed and disillusioned continuously through 3 years of Government policy- they will vote anyone but Tory come 2015 at least

    This I expect will cause Tory vote share to return to earlier 2000s levels- the progress Cameron made in Opposition is unravelling before his eyes. Staying centrist and showing some more compassion and understanding would have helped further detoxify the Tory image, yet in pursuit of UKIP rhetoric, the Tories have done enough to justify the label Nasty Party once more.

    I supported the Tories in 2010 being small c conservative on a few issues and happy enough with centrist/pale left direction. The Tories are pitching their stall too far right though to be electable by the majority of liberal/centrist/pale left voters any longer.

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