TODAY people across west Cumbria will head to the polls to decide on a new government and two new MPs across the area.

Following boundary changes which came into force last year, voters across the Times & Star area will decide on an MP for the new Whitehaven and Workington constituency and the new Penrith and Solway constituency.

The Penrith and Solway seat has seen politicians fight for a large sickle-shaped area which includes Maryport, Cockermouth and Keswick, stretching over to Penrith and Alston Moor and encompassing towns such as Silloth and Aspatria. Over the last six weeks electors have heard representations from eight candidates who hope to win the seat at today's election.

The candidates for this constituency are Mark Jenkinson (Conservative), Markus Campbell-Savours (Labour), Julia Aglionby (Liberal Democrat), Matthew Moody (Reform), Susan Denham-Smith (Green), Shaun Long (Social Democratic Party), Roy Ivinson (Independent) and Chris Johnston (Independent).

The new Whitehaven and Workington constituency will take in much of the former Copeland seat bar the towns of Millom and Keswick, as well as the town of Workington and villages such as Seaton and Flimby.

Politicians who have fought across this constituency over the last six weeks since the calling of the General Election are Andrew Johnson (Conservative), Josh MacAlister (Labour), Chris Wills (Liberal Democrat), Jill Perry (Green) and David Surtees (Reform).

Today's election will decide the future of not just the country but also on a local level the future of West Cumbria, with the public being urged to remember their ID when voting.

For the first time, voters will need to show photographic ID to vote in a UK Parliamentary General Election. Residents are being advised to make sure they are ready to vote by checking they have an accepted form of ID.

Craig Westwood, director of communications, policy and research at the Electoral Commission, said: “It is important that those who want to vote at the general election have an accepted form of photo ID.

"We are urging voters to understand what types of ID they can use, and how to apply for free ID if they need it. Checking now rather than later means you will be ready when it’s time to vote.

“You can find more information about the ID requirement and what to expect at the polling station on the Electoral Commission’s website.”