Labour's task in the ITV Anglia region

The Labour conference in Manchester Photo: Press Association

At the Labour conference in Manchester Party supporters and politicians from the East of England are in an upbeat mood.

Labour made gains at the May local elections across our region winning control of councils in Harlow, Norwich , Great Yarmouth and Thurrock and gaining councillors in places like Basildon and Peterborough.

Labour campaigners say its a sign that in the East people are starting to turn back to Labour. But despite the optimism Labour politicians are well aware there is a big job to do to win back parliamentary seats in our region.

The East of England can't be called natural Labour territory, before 1997 the party had few MPs in the region, but that changed when Tony Blair came to power with a landslide victory. But now the political map in the East is nearly all blue again. Labour have no MPs in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire or Northamptonshire.

At the 2010 General Election they had a disastrous result in the East, losing MPs in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Ipswich , Waveney, Harlow, Northampton, Corby, Stevenage, Basildon and Milton Keynes. There are now just two Labour MPs in our region, both in Luton. Labour know that to stand a chance of winning the 2015 Election they must make gains in the East. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is the party's East of England Champion, he was born in Norwich and is still a keen Norwich City fan. Labour have now set up a taskforce to focus on winning back support in the East.

Former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard is on the group and told me its crucial that Labour concentrate resources and time to winning over supporters in East.

Former Basildon MP ,now Baroness, Angela Smith said, " Its not that we need a different message in the East, there are similar issues , but theres a difference between the problems facing those who are unemployed in Basildon and Norwich than in Manchester"

Over the next two and a half years as we approach the General Election in 2015 expect Labour to step up their campaign in our region. Their aim to change the colour of the political map in the East.