Election 2013: Votes are being verified in Suffolk ahead of the big count
- Credit: Archant
ELECTION candidates are waiting nervously at counting stations around the county to discover if they have been victorious.
Essex and other local authorities around the county counted overnight, and results have already been announced.
But Suffolk County Council waited until 9am this morning to start verifying vote papers. Spoiled papers are currently being removed and votes sorted ahead of counting. We have a team of reporters covering each county, ready to reveal the results as they come in.
Local government reporter Paul Geater said: “Here in Ipswich verification is under way. We’re expecting the first result at about 11.30am. Most interest in the St Margaret’s/Westgate division. Both LibDems and Tories have hopes here. Both agree that LibDem Inga Lockington will win one of two seats - but they vary over who will take the other.”
Meanwhile Matt Gaw is reporting from St Edmundsbury. He said: “Conservative Hardwick candidate Sarah Stamp has said she believes her district will be close due to lost votes to UKIP and Independent candidate Paul Hopfensperger.
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Ms Stamp said: “There’s no doubt I lost strong votes on national issues. People were unhappy about immigration and gay marriage and were voting UKIP in protest.”
Ms Stamp said she had even taken MP David Ruffley with her on door knocks so he could feed back constituent’s unhappiness to central Government.
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East Suffolk reporter Tom Potter, who is covering the Suffolk Coastal count, said: “Deputy returning officer Stephen Baker hopes first results - for Felixstowe Coastal - will come in by about 11.30am.”
Matt Hunter, covering the Babergh and Mid Suffolk counts at Trinity Park, Ipswoch, said: “First result of the day expected shortly for Stowmarket North and Stowupland. Currently held by conservative Gary Green
Making his prediction for the end result, Paul Geater added: “I’m sticking my neck out and predicting the Tories will hang on to Suffolk County Council - but I reckon their majority could be down to about five.
“UKIP will win more seats - but I’m not expecting anything like the nine they won over the border in Essex. Look out for a strong show from the Greens and independents in the West of the county. I’m going for Tories 40 seats, Labour 23, LibDems 6, Greens 3, independent 3. If that’s not a hostage to fortune.”
For live updates as the results come in, see our live blog - click on the link at the top of our home page.