Southport veteran journalist Martin Hovden writes: The statement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Downing Street earlier this evening (Monday) that Great Britain will leave the EU on October 31st“no ifs, no buts”, is the clearest indication yet that we are heading for an early general election.

It was also a strong hint that he knows he is likely to lose Tuesday’s opposition vote rejecting a no-deal Brexit. So come later this week, he is likely to stand at his podium again and argue “I’m trying my best to carry out the public’s wish (via the 2016 referendum) to leave the EU, but they are binding my hands. Let the people decide with a general election.”

In fact, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg revealed she has been told it could be held as early as October 14th.

And Southport is set for a very interesting, two-horse battle. Tory Damien Moore is the current MP, but he faces a tough battle with Labour’s Liz Savage.

Just two years ago the seat was held by the Liberal Democrats, but they are a spent force in the the town. They were pushed into third place by Labour at the last election.

And since then, they seem to have lost their parliamentary campaigning spirit.

Even an enthusiastic political observer like me had to google who the Southport Lib Dem parliamentary candidate is – it’s John Wright, by the way. He and his team have left it far too late to build up a credible profile in the town.

MP Damien Moore currently has a 2,914 majority, with Labour’s Liz Savage snapping at his heels (she increased the Labour vote by 13.4% in 2017 – Mr Moore’s support went up by 10.7%, while the Lib Dem vote decreased by 4.6%).

October could be a very lively month. Watch this space.