Here's what you need to know ahead of the December general election

Voters will go to the polls on December 12
Voters will go to the polls on December 12

The borough will go the polls next month and the countdown to a rare midwinter general election is very much on.

The bill permitting the country to head to the ballot box to elect MPs on December 12 is making its way through the final stages of the parliamentary process having cleared its key readings.

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So with preparations getting under way and with parties and politicians cranking up their campaigns, here are the key dates for Wiganers.

The deadline for the nomination of candidates to stand in the general election is 4pm on Thursday November 14.

Residents wanting to have their democratic say who are not already signed up to vote also need to get a move on as the deadline for registering for this election is on November 26.

New postal vote and postal proxy applications, or alterations to existing postal or proxy votes, must also be sent in by 5pm on that date.

New applications to vote by proxy on the day, though, will still be processed if they are received before 5pm on December 4.

Polling on December 12, which in line with usual British practice is a Thursday, will take place between the time-honoured hours of 7am and 10pm.

Some of the finer details of how the election will work across the borough are still being worked out given the rather sudden circumstances in which it was announced.

It is likely there will be a couple of changes to the polling venues with some of the usual stations not in use, but those affected will have the location on their polling cards.

Existing postal voters will receive their documents around November 28 to November 30.

Once the last vote has been placed in the ballot box at 10pm counting will then begin in earnest with results being given out throughout the night across the country.

The borough will find out who its MPs for the next parliament will be in the early hours of the Friday morning.

The nail-biting waits for the candidates to find out how they have done will take place at Robin Park for the Wigan and Makerfield constituencies and at the Leigh Sports Village for Leigh.

At the last general election in 2017 Labour won in Wigan, Makerfield and Leigh while the Conservatives won in Bolton West, which includes Atherton.