The Waveney Valley constituency is, without doubt, one of the key contests to follow in the general election in this region.

For a start, it's one of the few constituencies in the country that straddles a county boundary - about 60% of it is in north Suffolk while the rest in south Norfolk.

It is a completely new seat, carved out of three existing Suffolk constituencies and part of South Norfolk.

That's interesting enough in itself - but this interest is only heightened by the fact that it's one of the four seats in England that the Green Party is targeting - its candidate is co-leader Adrian Ramsay.

Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay.Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay. (Image: Paul Geater)

Waveney Valley is without doubt the most rural seat in the area - the largest town is Diss with a population of about 10,000 people.

There are a few other small market towns in the seat along with villages and a lot of agricultural land.

It looks like fertile Conservative territory, and the party's candidate Richard Rout is seen by many as the clear favourite.

In local council elections the Green Party has done very well on the Suffolk side of the county border in this seat - and that is why it has been selected as one of the party's four targets in this election.

Until recently this had not been the case on the Norfolk side of the border where Labour have been relatively strong - but two recent council by-election successes here have given the Greens fresh impetus.

However Green success in local elections has been difficult to translate into any kind of challenge in parliamentary elections where turnouts are much higher and many more people are just likely to vote in the same way that they always have.

According to the large-scale polls which drill into individual constituency voting patterns, Labour's Gurpreet Padda is best placed to challenge the Tories here.

But go into Waveney Valley and it doesn't feel like that. There are many more Green posters out there than there are for any other party and I have heard reports of skullduggery by the roadside as Tory supporters try to persuade landowners to withdraw permission for signs!

Mind you I've heard those kind of reports in every election I've covered - it's nothing new.

What I've also heard is that Labour supporters from the area are busy campaigning in the Lowestoft seat while Green activists from Beccles (in the Lowestoft seat) are hopping along to  Waveney Valley to join the contest there.

All this means there is real confusion in the minds of many voters in Waveney Valley about who is likely to be in second place - and that is good news for Mr Rout, who was deputy leader of Suffolk County Council until last month.

Richard Rout launching his campaign in Harleston.Richard Rout launching his campaign in Harleston. (Image: Paul Geater)

He's been running a very traditional campaign, often accompanied by his Dachshund Claude, meeting the voters and talking about his party's policies.

One of the key issues he's been talking about is proposals to build a new line of pylons from Norwich to Bramford near Ipswich straight through the constituency.

He welcomed the news that the Conservative Party manifesto proposed reviewing energy policy and looking at ways of avoiding fresh lines of pylons through the countryside.

At his party's election launch at the start of the month, Mr Ramsay said only the Green Party offered an alternative to the Conservatives in rural areas like this.Gurpreet Padda is the Labour candidate in Waveney Valley.

Gurpreet Padda is the Labour candidate in Waveney ValleyGurpreet Padda is the Labour candidate in Waveney Valley (Image: Labour Party)

Ms Padda, meanwhile, is hoping to persuade voters to back her party which is ahead in the national polls.

She said: "Labour has a long term plan to get Britain’s future back and people in Waveney Valley deserve to have a strong voice at the heart of the next government."

There are three other candidates standing in Waveney Valley in this election:  John Shreeve is the Liberal Democrat hopeful, Scott Huggins is standing for Reform UK and Maya Severyn is the candidate for the SDP.