Theresa May called snap election 'because of fears Jeremy Corbyn would resign'

Jane Richards
April 19, 2017

Her decision Tuesday to call for an early election reflects an effort on her part to shore up her power base before the tough Brexit negotiations ahead.

Long branded a risk-averse micromanager, May is betting that a crushing election victory will win her the freedom to negotiate the kind of Brexit she wants and avoid the European curse that has destroyed many former Conservative leaders.

Alexandra Russell-Oliver, Caxton FX's currency market analyst, said: "If the elections grant the Conservative Party greater support, this could put the United Kingdom in a stronger position to negotiate Brexit, which could strengthen the pound".

Under the 2011 Fixed Term Parliaments Act, the government can trigger an election in two ways: either by losing a vote of no-confidence by a simple majority, or by passing an election motion with the backing of two-thirds of MPs.

"Let us tomorrow vote for an election, let us put forward our plans for Brexit and our alternative programmes for government and then let the people decide". The polls now suggest that the Conservatives will win out, with a potential shift of around 72 seats in their favour, while Labour is expected to lose 75, and the Lib Dems will hold their ground.

His legacy, though, will be his decision to hold the referendum on British membership of the European Union that made Brexit possible.

But the early election is still a politically charged issue.

May said Tuesday that the divisions in Parliament explained her change of heart on an early election.

They also said the snap election would not change the Brexit timetable: "This does not change things".

As Conservative chairwoman in 2002, she made waves by suggesting the Tories were seen as "the nasty party" and needed to overhaul their image - something that they did under Cameron's leadership.

However, her decision to quit the EU's barrier-free single market, confirmed when she launched the two-year Brexit countdown last month, saw that give way to a determination to close ranks across the bloc and drive a hard bargain with London to discourage imitators. Mrs May opted to pull Britain out of the EU's single economic market, and promised to reintroduce border controls on European Union citizens, a position which came to be known as "Hard Brexit", but a stance which was resented by at least 80 of her 331 MPs, who want Britain to remain closely connected to the EU. And experts say more volatility is likely ahead of the June 8 vote. According [paywall] to The Financial Times, if polls are accurate an apparent 21 point lead would increase the Conservatives majority by 17.

In Burton in 2015, the candidates were Mike Green, (UKIP) Andrew Griffiths, (Conservatives) David MacDonald, (Liberal Democrat) Samantha Patrone (Green) and Jon Wheale (Labour).

Voters can check if they are already registered by contacting their local electoral registration office using the Electoral Commission's website.

What role will UKIP play in this election, especially after the European Union referendum?

Investors are still digesting news of the snap election, as Downing Street had previously denied plans for a poll before 2020.

May has repeatedly said she does not want to be distracted by time-consuming campaigning - but opinion polls give her a strong lead, the economy is weathering the Brexit vote and she has faced opposition from her own party for some of her domestic reforms.

When the Conservatives won the 2010 general election, May was named home secretary, the hardest job in government which has wrecked a string of other political careers.

Other reports by VgToday

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