Turnout will be critical in deciding East poll results

Elections this big only come round once every four years; there will be voting in every council in the East on Thursday.

The Conservatives are in control of 33 out of the 47 councils in this region. The Liberal Democrats have four and Labour control three.

The seven others that are in no overall control are where there might be some movement.

The Lib Dems are running Bedford Borough, Milton Keynes and Colchester; how their vote holds up will determine whether any of these will change colour.

The Lib Dems are in an alliance with the Tories in Ipswich, where Labour needs to win just two seats to regain power for the first time since 2004.

Minority administration

The Conservatives running the hung councils of Tendring and Babergh are hopeful that they will turn more blue, while in Norwich, the Labour minority administration is seeking to take over again, after a gap of nine years.

The region is dominated by Tory councils that are likely to stay blue, so the picture will not look as though it has changed very much this week until you look below the surface.

What will be interesting is the tally of local councillors; how many councillors each of the parties will have at the end of the day.

At the moment the Conservatives are in the lead by a long way with 1,224. The Lib Dems trail behind in second place with 396 councillors at present. Labour in third place have 250.

Independent candidates number 131, the Green Party in the East has 21 councillors at the moment and the UK Independence Party three.

How much will this change? Labour will hope to move into second place, overtaking the Lib Dems.

The smaller parties have caused upsets before and the UK Independence Party is working harder in these local elections than ever before.

The Greens hope their vote will hold up but are under pressure in their Norwich heartland.

As always, turnout will be critical. Two-thirds of the electorate do not vote in local elections; this Thursday will see just how many people will bother to go to the polls this time.

The BBC Politics Show in the East is broadcast at 1200 GMT on Sunday.

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