Politicians in Cumbria are gearing up for a general election - after Parliament overwhelmingly voted to go to the polls on December 12.

MPs yesterday voted against a Labour Party motion calling on the election to be held three days earlier on December 9, with 295 voting in favour and 315 voting against.

The opposition parties had wanted to bring forward the polling day to cut off any possibility Mr Johnson could try to ram through his Brexit deal before Parliament is dissolved.

Earlier in the day, MPs gave their approval in principle to the one-line Bill - which enabled the election to take place - without a formal vote.

A total of 438 MPs backed the bill to hold the election on December 12, with only 20 voting against.

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Carlisle Ruth Alcroft is looking forward to the contest.

“I am absolutely ready to go into full campaign mode,” she said. “I am quite excited by it. I think we can win. There are though so many variables.

“It depends on what the other parties and other candidates do. I am going to see who else is standing - there is so much to play for.”

Mrs Alcroft says the election will be a great spectacle.

“I think it is going to be a really interesting election. It would be really interesting to watch if I wasn’t a part of it.

“We’ve got really good contacts, we’ve been talking to people every week for two years, and actually people are quite receptive, they want to talk about politics.

“Whether that means they will vote I don’t know.”

The Labour city councillor hopes the timing of the election doesn’t harm the turnout.

“I hope being so close to Christmas does not put people off. People want to get something done other than Brexit.

“Other things like making sure hospitals have enough beds and schools have enough funds - all those things that haven’t had the country’s attention.”

The current MP for Carlisle, Conservative John Stevenson - who had a 2,599 majority over Ruth Alcroft in the 2017 election - says he will do everything to be reelected.

“I will be doing my absolute best, running on the Conservative Party manifesto and on my record locally, which I think is a positive one.

“It is a marginal seat and I will treat it as such, I will not take anything for granted.”

Mr Stevenson is not worried by the date of the election.

“I think people will recognise it is an important election and people will go out to vote and make their judgement about who they want.

“Parliament became completely dysfunctional, so it was right we bring this Parliament to an end.

“The electorate will make their judgement. We have a deal, we want to implement that deal.”

Liberal Democrat candidate for Carlisle, Julia Aglionby, said: “I think our chances are very positive indeed.

“Forty per cent of people in Carlisle voted remain, we came second in the European elections.

“The Brexit vote will be split, no other candidate is standing for remain in Carlisle apart from me.”

Ten MPs who were expelled from the Conservative Party last month after rebelling over Brexit had the whip restored.

Senior figures including Sir Nicholas Soames and Alistair Burt were among those who were readmitted to the parliamentary party following a meeting with the Prime Minister.

Twenty-one MPs were kicked out of the party last month after they backed a plan to take control of the Commons timetable to pass legislation to block a no-deal Brexit. Former ministers Caroline Nokes, Greg Clark, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Richard Benyon, Stephen Hammond, Steve Brine and Richard Harrington have also had the whip restored.

Rory Stewart - unsurprisingly after announcing his plan to run for Mayor of London - was not among those.