Don’t expect to see any “big names” visiting the East Anglian seaside in 2019 General Election!
- Credit: Archant
While Ipswich is now widely regarded as the only marginal seat in Suffolk, that was not always the case – but the fight seems to have gone out of politicians in other “swing seat” in the county – Waveney.
This seat which is made up of Lowestoft, Beccles, Bungay and a comparatively small rural hinterland returned Labour MP Bob Blizzard from 1997 to 2010 and has been seen as a key battleground during the last two elections.
But Tory Peter Aldous has pushed his majority up from 769 in 2010 to more than 9,000 two years ago. Any chance of unseating him seemed to end when The Brexit Party decided not to put up a candidate in a seat that voted strongly to leave the EU in 2016.
I now understand that neither the Tories nor Labour see it as a particular battleground - although Jeremy Corbyn did visit it in 2017. That prompted one Labour councillor in Ipswich to say to me (after the election): "That's why we didn't want him here! We won this seat from the Tories - in Waveney they lost by nearly 10,000 votes!"
There's a similar story just up the road and over the county border in Great Yarmouth where Brandon Lewis has seen his Tory majority rise to almost 8,000 votes.
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Suddenly the long and winding road to the far east of this region seems unappealing for leading politicians from both parties!
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