Carlisle will be one of the most hotly contested seats in the country come May 7th.
Conservative John Stevenson was elected in 2010 with a majority of just 853. Before then, Carlisle had been considered a Labour safe seat. All of his predecessors since 1964 were representatives of the Labour party.
In this year's election, the result in Carlisle is once again unpredictable, and there's everything to play for with those hoping to woo voters.
Geographically the constituency includes England's Border city and, after the boundary was re-drawn, the rural villages around it too (including Wetheral to the East and Dalston to the South).
With more than 100,000 people, it's the most populated area of Cumbria and southern Scotland.
Carlisle has always been strategically important thanks to its location. Battles have been fought over the city for centuries, and this election will be no different.
The race was close at the last election, with the breakdown of votes as follows:
So what do those voting in this modern city with an ancient past need to know?
At a glance:
- Unemployment is lower than the national average
- Wages are also lower than the national average
- But housing is generally considered affordable
- In the last census, 95% of people identified themselves as white British, which is higher than the national average
Local Government has always been a major employer for the city, but thousands also work in transport and manufacturing.
Many believe it was manufacturing that formed the backbone of Carlisle's economy. Thanks to textiles, food production and engineering, the population swelled in the early 19th century.
And although the UK manufacturing industry declined over the next 100 years, the sector is still a big employer for the region.
Twenty-five people work at John Chapman's Carlisle factory, which makes around 1,000 canvas and leather bags every month. It's a highly skilled workforce, but there's a skills shortage and staff can be hard to find. The Chief Executive wants more help for smaller businesses like his.
So for some, business is important. But for others, health provision is the key issue.
We asked the candidates standing for the four main parties to tell us what is that they think matters in the constituency.
The full list of candidates for Carlisle is as follows:
- Alfred Okam (Independent)
- Fiona Mills (UKIP)
- Helen Davison (Green Party)
- John Stevenson (Conservative)
- Lee Sherriff (Labour)
- Loraine Birchall (Liberal Democrats)
Watch Hannah McNulty's full report on the Carlisle Constituency: