This year's local elections have been pored over by analysts all over the country - but in Suffolk is there anything that we can usefully take away from a pretty dull poll with an abysmal turnout?

Yes, there are a few interesting points to emerge - but I'm not sure that those most committed to their causes will want to hear them.

The first point is that the turnout in the Police and Crime Commissioner election was dreadful. Only 23% of voters bothered to take part.

Ipswich was the only place where there were widespread council elections and here the turnout was almost 31% (about par for the course). But that meant in the rest of the county only one in five voters bothered to turn out or fill in their postal vote forms.

That means any analysis of the votes has to accept that it is effectively a big opinion poll with a self-selecting group taking part. No one can know how representative it is of the county as a whole.

Given that caveat there are clear messages for all parties. Ipswich Labour Party in particular will be delighted that they clearly have their noses in front in the town - making Jack Abbott the hot favourite to take the parliamentary seat from Tom Hunt.

Elsewhere in the county the picture isn't anywhere as near as good for the party.

Tory candidate Tim Passmore was comfortably ahead of Labour's Sir Robin Wales in East Suffolk which is basically made up of the Suffolk Coastal and Lowestoft constituencies with bits of Central Suffolk and Waveney Valley thrown in for good measure.

Looking at the votes in Mid Suffolk and Babergh alongside those for East Suffolk I reckon that the Lowestoft constituency area - a prime target for Labour - is probably now neck and neck between Labour and the Conservatives.

Frankly this near a General Election and with a government that is struggling to get its message across, the Labour Party should be looking at putting a clear distance between itself and the Tories in places like Lowestoft if it were to be confident of taking the seat.

It doesn't appear to be and that will give a big shot in the arm to Tory MP Peter Aldous and his team.

Mid Suffolk council became the first in the country to be controlled by the Green Party in last years local elections.

The party thinks that on the basis of that result it could take the new Waveney Valley seat being created across the Suffolk/Norfolk border.

On the basis of these elections, it badly needs a reality check. The Conservatives won the most votes in Mid Suffolk, more than 2,000 ahead of the Greens who were less than 200 votes ahead of Labour - a party not even represented on the district council.

A springboard to parliamentary success? Don't make me laugh! It suggests to me that while people like individual Green councillors, when it comes to serious politics many revert to the big parties they're most familiar with.

In West Suffolk there was a familiar story with the Tories on top followed by Labour, the Greens and with Lib Dems fourth.

That was the pattern in most places in Suffolk - Labour came top in Ipswich and the Greens came second (just) in Mid Suffolk.

But there was no enthusiasm for any of the parties - and I can't help feeling that part of the reason for his success was Tim Passmore's record and his ability to talk to people.

I did come across several people who told me they never voted Conservative but would be backing Mr Passmore because they felt he understood Suffolk and really cared about the county. 

Labour's Sir Robin Wales was seen as a credible candidate but I heard several people say they felt as if he was a retired politician looking for one more challenge but didn't have the lifetime of Suffolk experience of his main opponent.

The opinions expressed in this column are the personal views of Paul Geater and do not necessarily reflect views held by this newspaper, its sister publications or its owner and publisher Newsquest Media Group Ltd.