There's been quite a lot of attention focussed on Therese Coffey and her Suffolk Coastal constituency over the last few days - but I do think people need to keep a sense of perspective when looking to the future.

On one hand Dr Coffey's role as Environment Secretary has come under the spotlight again because of the way she has reacted to the shortage of some salad vegetables in supermarkets.

I have to say while I've noticed fewer tomatoes, lettuces, and cucumbers on sale over the last week I had no problem in finding some at the weekend. 

And Dr Coffey didn't actually say "Let them eat turnips" even if that was how her House of Commons statement was reported by some media.

The problem with Dr Coffey is that she really isn't a very good communicator. From what I gather she's a very good administrator and always on top of her briefs. The Civil Servants in whatever department she's in find her easy to work with.

But she doesn't seem to understand, or actually care about, the importance of selling policies to the public - or making the right impression.

A good communicator would have known how her turnip comment would be reported - and she's done this before.

During her brief sojourn at the Department of Health she upset nurses by saying they could walk away from the NHS if they didn't like the pay. That might be true - but it was seen as pouring petrol on the flames at the start of the health dispute.

I suspect whoever is leading the Tory Party after the next general election will know that Dr Coffey's value as a minister was in her administrative skills, not getting the message across.

And that is the important thing when you are in opposition - so there is unlikely to be a place for her in the shadow cabinet when the Tories lose power at the end of next year.

While I can see no possible way for her party to retain a majority next year, I am equally certain that she will be returned to Westminster - despite opposition voices in Suffolk Coastal trying to big up their chances.

East Anglian Daily Times:

Last week the Greens chose former Labour group leader at the county council Julian Cusack as their candidate.

He's a strong candidate - but he'll be seeking the anti-Tory votes against Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates and with a split opposition Dr Coffey can be confident she'll get back with a reasonable majority.

In 2019 Labour and Liberal Democrats in the seat were jostling for second place - with the Greens some way behind.

I can't help feeling that the opposition candidates will be more effective at taking votes off each other than they will at taking more votes off the sitting MP.

That probably means Dr Coffey will end up with a four-figure majority rather than the 20,000-plus figure that she got in 2019.

But remembering the 1997 results, I reckon Dr Coffey will be pretty comfortable with a 5,000-9,000 majority!

What will be interesting to see is how she reacts to being an opposition backbencher.

Her predecessor, John Gummer (now Lord Deben), had never been an opposition MP before 1997 but spent the last 13 years of his Commons career being very active in his constituency.

I'm not sure Dr Coffey will be able to immediately slip into the role of an active backbencher, really becoming part of the local community, as an opposition MP.

And before that happens I'm sure she will be looking forward to spending another 18 months round the cabinet table - and won't bat an eyelid about winding up opposition politicians or campaigners with whom she disagrees.