General election 2017: Despite Ipswich loss true-blue region set to continue to back Prime Minister Theresa May

Dr Dan Poulter. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Dr Dan Poulter. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

Labour’s success in taking Ipswich may have provided the headline in this year’s general election in East Anglia – but with most seats staying Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May retains the support of most MPs.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter backed her attempts to strike a deal with Ulster’s Democratic Unionist Party in a bid to form a majority government for the next parliament.

He said: “I think she is going to have to talk to the Unionists, but there really is no one else who can put together a government for this country after this election result.

“We need to have some certainty as we prepare for the start of negotiations with the EU over Brexit later this month – and I’m sure we can get an agreement with the DUP for that.”

Dr Poulter said the results of the election showed that many more people had been encouraged to vote across the region and he pointed out that the proportion of votes for the major parties had increased almost everywhere.

He added: “If David Cameron had won 318 or 319 seats two years ago everyone would have said it was a triumph. This result is not as good as we hoped but it is workable.”

In every seat in Suffolk and north Essex the Conservatives and Labour were in the top two positions.

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And while the marginal Ipswich seat switched from the Conservatives to Labour, Waveney – which had an even smaller Conservative majority than Ipswich in 2015 – was comfortably held by Peter Aldous who saw his majority increase from 2,400 to 9,200.

The demographics there are different to Ipswich – there is a higher proportion of older voters and there are not as many students as there are in the county town.

What is particularly interesting is that Jeremy Corbyn visited Waveney during the early days of the campaign, before his campaign really took off, while Ipswich Labour Party were not keen on having a visit by their leader at that point.

And while the votes for winning MPs was generally up across the county, the proportion of votes for their Labour opponents went up even more – suggesting that the collapse in the UKIP vote split across both main parties.

In Essex every seat is now held by the Conservatives with a healthy majority in each.