Of all the rural seats in the county, Suffolk Coastal stands out because of the nature of its big local issues.

The seat covers the majority of the county's coastline from Landguard Point at Felixstowe to Covehithe just to the north of Southwold. It was not changed substantially by the Boundary Commission - although it did lose Halesworth to the new Waveney Valley seat.

It's very much dominated by the coast and two features on it - Britain's largest container port at Felixstowe at the south and Sizewell power stations to the north.

Trade with both Europe and the rest of the world is an important issue at the Felixstowe end - and the plans to build Sizewell C is a huge issue further north.

Linked with that - although essentially a separate issue - are debates about how to bring electricity generated by North Sea windfarms to where it is needed across the country and infrastructure needed both on the coast and inland to get it to the large population centres.

Dr Therese Coffey has represented Suffolk Coastal in Parliament since 2010.Dr Therese Coffey has represented Suffolk Coastal in Parliament since 2010. (Image: Charlotte Bond)

This has been solid Conservative territory since 1951 and has been held by Dr Therese Coffey since 2010. In 2019 she had a majority of 20,500 over Labour with the Liberal Democrats nearly 4,000 behind in third place.

However since then Labour has not done very well in local elections in the constituency while both the Lib Dems and Greens have picked up a number of councillors.

Yet opinion pollsters reckon that Labour remains the most likely party to topple Dr Coffey - and there are many claims and counter-claims between Labour and the Lib Dems about who people should vote for it they want a new MP.

The tactical voting is complicated by the fact that Labour, like the Tories, is broadly in favour of Sizewell C.

And shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has accepted that power transmission infrastructure is bound to impact some areas - and there should be compensation for those affected.

Many of the opposition voices in the constituency are against the new power station and are worried about the impact of onshore converter stations and pylons. 

Felixstowe is the largest single town in the constituency - but electorally that has a clear split between voters.

Some, possibly linked to the port, support parties backing closer economic links with Europe and other countries while in the parts of the town favoured by retirees a strong Reform UK vote has been found by some canvassers.

In other parts of the seat, especially around Woodbridge, the state of rivers is a major concern for many.

Jenny Riddell-Carpenter with her team in Martlesham.Jenny Riddell-Carpenter with her team in Martlesham. (Image: Suffolk Coastal Labour Party)

Labour's Jenny Riddell-Carpenter and her team maintain that they - and only they - can beat Dr Coffey by focussing on recent polling data and previous general election results.

Lib Dem Julia Ewart points to more recent local election results which put her party in second place.

Julia Ewart (centre) with Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats outside their Saxmundham office.Julia Ewart (centre) with Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats outside their Saxmundham office. (Image: Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats)

Could confusion among voters about who is the main challenger give Dr Coffey the advantage?

Former Labour group leader at Suffolk County Council Julian Cusack is standing for the Green Party in the seat. 

Julian Cusack is the Green Party candidate in Suffolk Coastal.Julian Cusack is the Green Party candidate in Suffolk Coastal. (Image: Suffolk Coastal Green Party)

It has been gaining in support in recent council elections in the area - but is concentrating its efforts on the neighbouring Waveney Valley seat.

And Reform UK has selected Matthew Jackson who could eat into some of Dr Coffey's more right-wing supporter base - which could be good news for the other candidates.

The fact is, though, that while the special Suffolk Coastal factors will be important to some voters, it is likely to be the national campaigning on national issues that are likely to be of most interest to most voters.

As one Labour campaigner said to me: "Just because you've got Sizewell down the road doesn't mean you aren't interested in the state of the health service or the fact that you're struggling to pay your bills."

It's a pretty safe bet that Dr Coffey won't have a 20,000+ majority at the end of this campaign - but whether any of her opponents are able to snatch the seat is a very open question.