Conservatives hold Suffolk Central

Sarah HallThe Conservatives have held onto Suffolk Central and Ipswich North, with Daniel Poulter capturing more than half the votes.Sarah Hall

The Conservatives have held onto Suffolk Central and Ipswich North, with Daniel Poulter capturing more than half the votes.

He triumphed with 27,125 votes - a majority of 13,786 - comfortably ahead of Liberal Democrat candidate Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne.

Mr Aalders-Dunthorne, who got a quarter of the votes - 13,339 - finished second for the Lib Dems, just as he did in 2005 when he went head to head with Charles Clarke for the Norwich South seat.

Labour's Bhavna Joshi was third with 8,636 seats. Roy Philpott, from the UK Independence Party garnered 2,361 votes, while Green Andrew Stringer got 1,452.

Independent Mark Trevitt got 389 and The New Party's Richard Vass got 118.

A Tory seat since 1983, the constituency will remain in Conservative hands under the new government.

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Toasting his success with elderflower cordial, the self-confessed tee-totaller Dr Poulter said: 'I thought we would do well because of the positive response we recieved on the doorstep, but to get 51pc of the vote is a huge endorsement from the constituency.

'I was quite humbled. The work starts now to repay that trust the voters have put in me.'

Vowing to 'hit the ground running straight away' Dr Poulter said in his first as an MP he would put together a programme of work to build relationships with his fellow MPs elected in Suffolk to bring high speed broadband to rural areas, improve the transport and rail links as well as ensuring the 'bread and butter' hospital services, including cancer services and heart attack care stays at Ipswich Hospital.

Inspired to stand as an MP after meeting David Cameron, Dr Poulter, a locum gynaecologist at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, said his background in medicine and his law degree has given him a 'variety of life' which will give him a good grounding.

'I felt I could get more done as a politician than as another doctor. I believe in the freedom of the individual and I believe we have to have a safety net to look after the most disadvantaged.

'My first job is to represent my constituency and my constituents, putting them first is my priority.'

But he emphasised he will not be ignoring the urban part of his constituency.

He has plans for two surgeries each month in north Ipswich.

'I am very aware that this is not just a rural constituency. I am looking to support the campaign to save Broomhill pool, also the issues surrounding Ipswich Hospital are something I am particularly interested in and are very high in my thoughts.'

There were 53,420 votes cast and turnout was up by 3.4pc to 70.4pc.