POLITICAL parties are gearing up for the first December general election in almost a century, after MPs backed Boris Johnson's fourth attempt to go to the polls.

And East Lancashire could be a key battleground for any party seeking to form a majority Government after the election on December 12.

In Blackburn, sitting MP Kate Hollern has been selected as Labour's candidate at the next election.

Every ward endorsed her to stand in the constituency when Prime Minister Boris Johnson goes to the country.

Blackburn Labour Party chairman Cllr Damian Talbot announced her reselection earlier this month.

Her opponents will include businessman Rick Moore for the Brexit Party and nurse Claire Gill for the Conservatives.

Incumbent Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry will face opposition from Brexit Party candidate Nadine Mason, as well as Labour Rossendale Council leader Alyson Barnes.

Mr Berry said: "Every Labour candidate stood on a promise to respect the referendum. Many wouldn't be MPs but for that pledge.

"Since then, they've frustrated Brexit at every step."

A Brexit Party spokesman said: “Like so many of the 17.4m people who voted to leave the EU, Nadine is motivated by the enormous sense of betrayal felt at the failure of MPs to deliver on their democratic mandate.

"Rossendale and Darwen, like the majority of Lancashire, voted to leave the European Union. Brexiteers in the North of England feel let down and insulted by MPs who continue to ignore the will of the people."

The seat has been held by Tory Mr Berry since 2010.

Sitting Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson's opposition so far comes in the shape of Lancashire County Council Labour group leader Azhar Ali, as well as Liberal Democrat Gordan Lishman.

Mr Stephenson narrowly held his seat in 2017, beating his Labour competition Wayne Blackburn by just over 1,000 votes and seeing his majority fall from 5,453 to 1,279.

Former Burnley MP Gordon Birtwhistle will attempt to regain the seat he lost to Labour's Julie Cooper in 2015.

And in Ribble Valley, Tory MP Nigel Evans' only confirmed opposition so far is Lib Dem candidate Chantelle Seddon.

In Hyndburn, the Conservatives are yet to confirm who will try and unseat Labour MP Graham Jones.

But Mr Jones will face competition from the Brexit Party in the shape of Greg Butt

He said, "I've been to London for my interview and have been formally selected now. Others in Lancashire have as well and there is a real positive feeling at HQ.

"This is a party which is definitely ready for a General Election."

Nationally, the Prime Minister has said he is prepared for a "tough" battle, while shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he thought Labour would win a majority.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson insisted the campaign was not a two-horse race between Mr Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, and that she was standing as a candidate to be prime minister.

The parties are likely to formally kick off their campaigns from Thursday.

Mr Johnson cautioned against any complacency as he addressed his MPs at Westminster on Tuesday evening after his Bill cleared the Commons by 438 votes to 20.

"It's time for the country to come together, get Brexit done and go forward. It'll be a tough election and we are going to do the best we can," he said.

However Labour struck a more optimistic tone, with Mr McDonnell telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We're going to have a real go at this and I think we'll win.

"I think we'll have a majority government by Christmas, so I can't think of a better Christmas present basically."

Lib Dem Ms Swinson said said her party's "stop Brexit" message was resonating with Remainers, and claimed neither Mr Johnson nor Mr Corbyn were fit to be prime minister.

"Our country deserves a better choice, and I am standing as candidate to be prime minister."

Mr Johnson - who marks 100 days in office on Thursday - is aiming to restore the Tories' Commons majority lost by Theresa May in 2017 so he can finally end three years of deadlock and get his Brexit deal through Parliament.

However, there are risks in going to the country having failed to deliver on his promise to deliver Brexit by October 31 "do or die", and with Nigel Farage's Brexit Party denouncing his deal with Brussels.