I usually love general election campaigns - but this time I've been left feeling that's six weeks of my life that I'll never get back again.

It's the ninth general election campaign I've covered in detail for the Star - and the fifth I've done for the EADT as well.

But it's the first that I look back and feel was entirely pointless. 

The Conservatives, both nationally and locally,  ran the most inept campaign I have ever seen. Rishi Sunak's total failure to understand politics (as opposed to managing an economy) showed itself again and again.

From the wet launch of a campaign that his party was totally ill-prepared for, through to the D-Day disaster and the betting scandal, he showed time and again that he lacked the judgment needed by a Prime Minister.

Locally every Tory campaign seemed clueless and lacking in any imagination. 

I went to some "campaign launches" and had pictures of others. They all seemed to just feature the grinning candidate surrounded by a few supporters (many of them local Tory councillors) holding up posters.

Some campaigns weren't just formulaic and lazy, they were also incompetent. Ipswich Tories had high-profile visits that they forgot to tell anyone about! 

Labour's campaigning wasn't much better in the excitement stakes - but then they really didn't want excitement, they just wanted to make sure the wheels didn't come off.

Even when the party did get caught up in the betting controversy with the suspension of candidate Kevin Craig, Labour was able to make a positive of how they dealt with it while the Tories were in panic mode!

We lost three sitting MPs in the early hours of Friday morning.

Peter Aldous from Waveney/Lowestoft is a real loss for the whole of Suffolk - one of the most honest, decent and courteous MPs I've ever come across. We need people like him in public service and I hope he finds a fulfilling new role.

I can't say the same about the other two we lost. Dame Therese Coffey, as we must call her after she was ennobled 30 minutes before her constituents finished voting, won't be missed too much in Suffolk Coastal.

She may have had a reputation in Whitehall as a "safe pair of hands" during her nine years as a minister - but even members of her own party regularly commented to me about how she was nowhere near as good a constituency MP as her predecessor Lord Deben.

And Tom Hunt's term as Ipswich MP wasn't a great success. Unlike other Tories the town has had representing it in Westminster, he often appeared more concerned with controversial national policies than problems faced by his constituents.

We heard a lot from him about the number of small boats in The Channel, not so much about how to help reduce the growing number of rough sleepers in Ipswich town centre.

And his role in torpedoing Ipswich's bid for City Status is unforgiveable!

Coming back to the campaign. The final result wasn't that far from that suggested by opinion polls in the days before the campaign started - so did all the efforts by activists do anything?

Nothing changed the overall narrative of the campaign - we still ended with the Labour landslide predicted on day one. 

But Nigel Farage's decision to contest Clacton did kick-start the Reform UK campaign - and without that move the party would probably have had little impact.

And credit must be given to a brilliant Green Party campaign. They targeted four seats across the country and brought in hundreds of volunteers to campaign for them there.

At the start of the campaign I was convinced that Waveney Valley was a step too far for them in this election - the best they could hope for was a good second place to the Tories and a platform for the future.

They proved me totally wrong - flooding the constituency with volunteers from across the region and leaving the Tories standing. A truly remarkable achievement.