Anyone following this year's general election on social media cannot fail to have seen all the comments about tactical voting and how to remove this or that sitting MP.

There's been a fair amount of that in Suffolk - particularly centring on the new Waveney Valley seat and on Suffolk Coastal.

Under the first past the post system I do think tactical voting is a feature of any election - but whether ORGANISED tactical voting works is a very different issue.

Ipswich has always been a classic two-horse race at general elections. I know from conversations I have had over several elections that there are many in the town who identify with - and may even be members of - other parties but voter either Labour or Conservative because they know their first choice can't win.

That does mean, of course, that many people will actually be voting against a candidate rather than for another - but you'll always get that in the electoral system we have.

Where tactical voting gets more complex is in other places where, let's be honest, people are trying to work out the best way of kicking out the Conservative candidate.

Boundaries have changed in comparison with the 2019 election so no one can be certain of how each new constituency voted then.

But is is clear that in every seat in the county the Conservatives came first and Labour came second - that was of course a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn and which suffered its worst defeat for generations.

In Waveney Valley the Green Party is hoping to cause a major shock by winning the seat from the Conservatives.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Green Party is very active in Waveney Valley, but can it win the new seat?The Green Party is very active in Waveney Valley, but can it win the new seat? (Image: Paul Geater)

I fully understand why they think this is good target for them - the party has done very well in local elections on the Suffolk side of the river over recent years and has recently started winning by-elections in Norfolk.

Green supporters are doing a lot of canvassing in the seat and I do think it is possible that they could establish themselves in second place which could give them a realistic chance at the next election - but this time might be a step too far.

In Suffolk Coastal the situation is different. Both Labour and Liberal Democrat campaigns are running around saying supporters of the other party are coming over to them for this election.

Again this is a seat where Labour came second in 2019 - they were about 20,000 votes behind Conservative Therese Coffey while the Lib Dems were nearly 4,000 behind Labour.

However the LibDems did see their proportion of the vote increase that year, and their candidate Julia Ewart (who also stood in 2019) says they are the ones pushing ahead towards victory.

East Anglian Daily Times: Julia Ewart dismissed Labour's chances of winning in Suffolk Coastal.Julia Ewart dismissed Labour's chances of winning in Suffolk Coastal. (Image: Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats)

She told me that her supporters found little support for Sir Keir Starmer among the voters in the seat: "The North Sea will freeze over before Labour wins here," she added.

Ms Ewart was not making wild claims that thousands of Labour voters were switching to her -but did say that the situation in the seat was confusing for many people - with Reform UK having support in some places and her party being strong elsewhere.

Labour's Jenny Riddell-Carpenter is more bullish. She told me her campaign was seeing LibDems and Green supporters 'lending' their vote in an attempt to dislodge Conservative Therese Coffey.

East Anglian Daily Times: Jenny Riddell Carpenter is hoping for more people to support Labour in Suffolk Coastal.Jenny Riddell Carpenter is hoping for more people to support Labour in Suffolk Coastal. (Image: Labour Party)

Is it difficult to persuade those who are anti-nuclear and concerned about plans for more energy infrastructure to support a party backing Sizewell C upgraded green electricity networks?

She said: "I know there are concerns and I have made it clear I will put pressure on Sizewell and the National Grid to do what is best for the area as they go forward - I will hold their feet to the fire if necessary."

So will tactical voting affect the result in the constituency? Frankly I've heard similar claims at previous elections and I'll believe it when the results are declared!