CONSERVATIVE MPs across south Essex say they will take nothing for granted in the lead up to the first December General Election since the 1920s.

MPs cleared the way for the snap poll on Tuesday, at the fourth time of asking, after PM Boris Johnson sought to rally Tory MPs telling them it was time to “get Brexit done”.

And south Essex MPs have had their say on the move.

Rebecca Harris, Castle Point MP, said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to represent Castle Point for the last nine years.

“I am proud to stand on my record of backing Brexit and fighting for local residents on many important issues.”

She added: “The Prime Minister has secured a good deal despite everyone saying it was impossible, and it is now clear that only a Conservative Government with a solid majority can deliver Brexit.

“I will be working very hard in the coming weeks, trying to speak to as many voters as possible.

“I hope residents will support me and the Conservatives on December 12, as we are the only party who can get Brexit done.”

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, added: “Since first being returned to Parliament, this is the ninth time I will have sought re-election. I have never fought an election under these circumstances and I shall take nothing for granted.

“I am very pleased that, reluctantly, the opposition agreed to have this election, because as it stood, with the government not having a majority in Parliament, they simply couldn’t make any progress with their domestic or international agenda.

“At the heart of all this is Brexit, and it is an absolute disgrace that opposition parties have done all that they can to frustrate what Article 50 triggered, which was the process to leave the European Union.

“As far as I am concerned, however, people voted, that referendum result must be honoured. Until it is, the Parliamentary impasse will simply continue.”

But Stephen Metcalfe, MP for Basildon and Thurrock, said issues other than Brexit are just as important and must form part of the debate in the lead up to the election.

He said: “I hope people appreciate my work for the last nine years and take that into account when voting.”

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, added: “Local Conservative volunteers are raring to go and I look forward to setting out my plan for a better Rochford and Southend East to residents on the doorsteps over the coming weeks.

“It is about time we broke this Parliamentary deadlock and I am pleased the public will now get to decide whether they want Brexit delivered, more police on our streets and record funding for our NHS with Boris Johnson and the Conservatives.”

Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, said: "I am delighted that this Parliament has finally voted for an election to break the deadlock after months of dither and delay.

"This election truly is a battle for this country’s destiny – I am looking forward to fighting hard on behalf of my constituents in Rayleigh and Wickford, as I have done as the Member of Parliament since 2001.

"We now have an opportunity, by voting Conservative, to deliver Brexit, defeat Jeremy Corbyn’s Marxist Labour Party and deliver on other key issues as well, such as reinforcing our police, investing more in our NHS and boosting funding in our schools."

Once it receives the royal assent, it will pave the way for Parliament to be dissolved on November 6 marking the start of the campaign in earnest.

In the end, the Bill passed the Commons by 438 votes to 20 - although a vote to alter the date, which Downing Street warned would scupper the whole thing, was much closer with a Government majority of just 20.

The Conservatives go into the campaign in buoyant mood, with one opinion poll at the weekend putting them 16 points ahead of Labour.

Addressing his MPs at Westminster however, Mr Johnson cautioned against any complacency.

“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.

The Prime Minister is aiming to restore the Tories’ Commons majority lost by Theresa May in 2107 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.

A pre-Christmas poll means voter turnout likely to be depressed on the dark December nights while the Conservatives may also suffer at the ballot box if the NHS is hit by a winter flu crisis.

Jeremy Corbyn sought to strike an upbeat note, saying the election offered a “once-in-generation” chance to transform the country.

It was the Labour leader’s decision finally to back an election which enabled Mr Johnson to get it through the Commons.

He had been under intense pressure to relent after the Liberal Democrats and the SNP said at the weekend that they would be prepared to support a December poll.

However, many Labour MPs are deeply unhappy at the prospect fearing that they are heading for another election defeat.

Only 127 of the party’s 244 MPs voted for the election while more than 50 signed an amendment calling for the poll to be delayed until May 2020.

Mr Corbyn sought to characterise the election as a contest between Conservatives “who think they are born to rule” and Labour’s programme of radical reform.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, he highlighted their plans to take rail, water and energy into public ownership while raising taxes on those “at the top” to invest in public services.

“We’re launching the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change that our country has ever seen. This is a once in a generation chance to build a country for the many not the few,” he said.

The Lib Dems go into the election confident their pro-Remain stance will see them pick up support with leader Jo Swinson pitching herself as “the Liberal Democrat candidate for prime minister”.

“It is our best chance to elect a government to stop Brexit,” she said.

For the SNP, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was an opportunity for Scotland to put an independence referendum back on the agenda.

“A win for the SNP will be an unequivocal and irresistible demand for Scotland’s right to choose our own future,” she said.