Suffolk's local politics have been turned on their head in 2023 - but don't expect a similar shake-up among the county's MPs in next year's general election.

But across the country all the signs suggest that we are heading for a change of government whenever it is held.

This year has been a year of change in our local councils with the Conservatives being sent into opposition across Suffolk.

At the start of 2023, the party controlled East Suffolk, West Suffolk and Mid Suffolk councils - its members have been in opposition in Ipswich since 2011 and in 2021 Babergh Tories had one of their regular bouts of internecine warfare and the official group went into opposition.

In May the Green Party took overall control of Mid Suffolk from the Tories, and also ended up as the largest party in both East Suffolk and Babergh.

In West Suffolk, where Labour retains a strong foothold, the Tories also lost power to a "Rainbow Coalition" of opposition politicians including a significant number of Independents.

What is interesting is how the new administrations are doing after seven months in power.

In both East and West Suffolk there is a sense that the coalitions running the councils are still feeling their way somewhat - and ensuring all the right boxes are ticked.

This manifested itself in the distribution of compensation money after Storm Babet in October - there was a feeling that East Suffolk was being rather slow in getting the money out in comparison with other councils because so many checks had to be undertaken.

In Mid Suffolk the Green Party seems to have hit the ground running after May with its majority administration.

This is probably because it was in a much stronger position before the local election, was super-confident of victory and its key players like Andy Mellen, Rachel Eburne and Andrew Stringer were well-prepared and ready to take on the leadership from Day One.

Talking to outside groups dealing with aftermath of Storm Babet the contrast between getting help to Debenham and Framlingham seems quite significant.

So we've had the big change in Suffolk's local councils, rather like we had in 1995, but what will it mean for the parliamentary constituencies?

Probably nothing anywhere near as dramatic! Marginal Ipswich will probably return to Labour - which has generally been the case over the last eight decades - while the new Lowestoft seat really is too close to call.

The split opposition in Suffolk's five and a half other seats means they are as safe for the Tories as any seats in the country.

Just before Christmas PM Rishi Sunak told journalists the General Election definitely will be in 2024 - ruling out a poll in January 2025 - and it is starting to look increasingly possible that he will call it in May to coincide with Police and Crime Commissioner elections and local elections in some parts of the country.

However if opinion polls continue to look dire for the Tories then, Mr Sunak may morph into Mr Micawber and put off the poll until October in the hope that something will turn up during the summer.

However an increasing number of Tory MPs see the summer as a difficult time for their party as the number of small boats spotted in the Channel always goes up at this time of the year.

And, of course, MPs are always at home in their constituencies during the summer hearing the moans and groans from their voters which have become fairly noisy over the last few years!

In short, 2023 saw big changes in local politics. The next year is likely to see big changes in national politics - but don't expect the electoral map of Suffolk to change too dramatically!