1. ITV Report

Focus on the seat that's switched sides six times in elections since 1945

Ipswich is one of the most marginal Labour seats in the country and regularly switches sides. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Ipswich is a constituency that regularly switches between Labour and Conservative and is one both sides need to win for a chance of gaining an overall majority.

Labour currently hold the seat after beating Conservative minister Ben Gummer at the 2017 election by just 836 votes.

The Tories would win it back on a swing of just 0.8% but it's not the most marginal Labour seat in the East of England - Peterborough and Bedford are even easier targets for the Conservatives.

Ipswich has switched sides six times since the Second World War being with Labour from 1945 until 1970, then with the Conservatives until 1974 before swinging back to Labour for 13 years.

From 1987 until 1992 the Conservative Michael Irvine was the MP before he lost to Jamie Cann for Labour. Labour then held Ipswich until 2010 before the Conservatives took over until 2017.

  • Watch a report on the election battle in Ipswich by ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey

Of the 262 seats that Labour won at the General Election in 2017, Ipswich is the 17th most marginal. Sandy Martin overturned Ben Gummer’s majority of 3,733 two years ago.

Situated around the estuary that marks the beginning of the River Orwell, the constituency of Ipswich takes in the urban area of Suffolk's county town and the majority of its suburbs.

Three Ipswich wards - Whitehouse, Castle Hill and Whitton - are in the neighbouring Suffolk Central and Ipswich North constituency.

It is estimated that the constituency vote to leave the European Union by 57% to 43% in the 2016 referendum.

The harbour area of Ipswich has undergone major improvement and development work in recent years. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Although the parliamentary constituency is smaller than the area covered by the local authority, Ipswich Borough Council has been Labour-controlled since 2011.

The party temporarily lost their majority in 2004 after 25 years in power but now they have again built up a sizeable overall majority.

In the most recent local elections in May 2019 Labour took the biggest share of the vote at 40% but that is down from the 47% the party got in the 2015 local elections.

Labour has a slender majority of just 836 votes in the Ipswich constituency.

There are five candidates standing in Ipswich in the General Election on Thursday 12 December 2019.

  • Barry Broom - Green Party
  • Tom Hunt - Conservative
  • Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett - Liberal Democrats
  • Sandy Martin - Labour
  • Nicola Thomas - Brexit Party

There are 31 candidates after your vote in the 2019 General Election in the seven constituencies in Suffolk.

That is seven fewer than stood in the last election in 2017.

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