Election 2015/Gallery: Conservatives hold South Suffolk and increase majority to 17,545

Conservative candidate James Cartlidge was elected with 27,546 votes

Conservative candidate James Cartlidge was elected with 27,546 votes - Credit: Archant

The Conservatives have increased their size of the vote in South Suffolk to more than 27,000 to hold the constituency.

Conservative candidate James Cartlidge

Conservative candidate James Cartlidge - Credit: Archant

Votes for James Cartlidge came to 27,546, with Labour’s Jane Basham second on 10,001.

Steven Whalley was third for UKIP with 7,897, Grace Weaver got 4,044 for the Liberal Democrats, Robert Lindsay got 2,253 for the Greens. There were 166 votes for Christian Peoples Alliance candidate Stephen Todd.

Mr Cartlidge improved the Tories’ majority by 8,856 votes from 2010’s 8,689 to 17,545 this time around.

Like the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich seat support for the Lib Dem’s dramatically fell away. In 2010 they were second with 15,861 votes, almost 12,000 more than this year’s number.

Mr Cartlidge, who took over from veteran Tory Tim Yeo, said he would dedicate himself to public service over the next five years.

“We’ve been all over this constituency and that’s how we will continue as an association and how I want to continue as a member of parliament representing the whole of South Suffolk,” he said.

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“It’s been hard work but I’ve been incredibly honoured to have been elected as MP for South Suffolk.

“It’s an incredible constituency, with lots of challenges and issues that have been raised throughout the campaign.

“My promise is I will repay you by working as hard as I can to be your principle public servant representing nothing but the best interests of the people of South Suffolk.”

Ms Basham said she had seen real change during the election with more people identifying with Labour’s core messages of social justice and a fair society.

“I think for me the campaign has been inspiring and the fact that more people have felt confident to come out for Labour,” she said.

“I think this confidence is growing now in rural areas. I think there’s a renewed confidence in Labour and a renewed confidence in our values.”

Like in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, UKIP came third, again with a similar show of strength. But Steven Whalley said he was disappointed as he expected the party to have pulled away from Labour and moved into second place.

He added: “We had expected more to be honest looking at our door knocks that we did. At the end of the day you only get the votes people give you.”

Grace Weaver, 25, for the Lib Dems said she had expected a better turnout for her party.

“I was hoping for a bit more, from taking a snapshot of watching different ballots from different wards. It’s more about the experience for me. I have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction I have been getting, firstly our councillors do a really good job here and secondly quite a lot people really like the coalition so have been voting Conservative or Lib Dem.”

The Greens’ Robert Lindsay joked earlier in the night that he wanted to secure enough votes so he would not lose his deposit. But with 2,253 votes Mr Lindsay just failed to get the required 2,586, which equals 5% of the total vote.

“We have got so many more members now and we are building on that for the future,” he said.

“We never thought we would have won here as it’s a safe Conservative seat but we have more candidates than any other party in Babergh.”

Stephen Todd of Christian Peoples Alliance won 166 votes.


South Suffolk: James Cartlidge (C) 27,546, Jane Basham (L) 10,001, Steven Whalley (UKIP) 7,897, Grace Weaver (LD) 4,044, Robert Lindsay (G) 2,253, Stephen Todd (CPA) 166; Maj: 17,545, Turnout: 70.1%, No change.

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