Labour has a real opportunity in this general election

Owen Stevens
April 22, 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday an early election would strengthen her at the "most crucial point" in Britain's divorce talks with the European Union, as she prepared to ask parliament to approve a vote in just seven weeks' time.

With the Prime Minister needing the support of 434 MPs - two thirds of all seats in the House of Commons - some 522 voted for the early election, with just 13 against.

The election will be held on 8 June, almost a year after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

The Scottish National Party's leader in the Westminster parliament, Angus Robertson, said: "For months we have heard from her that now is not the time for the public to vote, that no one wants it, that it is important to get on with the day job, that nothing should get on the way".

Theresa May calls for a general election on June 8, saying that the country needs political unity while negotiating the terms of Britain's exit from the EU.

The European Union said despite the snap election announcement Brexit negotiations would start as planned.

Now that lawmakers have approved the election, Parliament will be dissolved on May 2.

Corbyn, whose deeply divided party is languishing behind the Conservatives in opinion polls, accused the government of "broken promises" on health, education and the economy during its seven years in office.

The Prime Minister easily cleared the hurdle needed under the Fixed Term Parliament Act to bring the poll forward from the scheduled date of 2020.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said about May, "She says it's about leadership, yet is refusing to defend her record in television debates". "They underestimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country".

The early ballot will give the prime minister - or her replacement - more time to implement Brexit before another election.

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrats leader, told the Commons May is calling an election now because, having looked at the state of Labour, she could not resist the political equivalent of taking candy from a baby.

Mr Corbyn said the election "gives the British people the chance to vote for a Labour government that will put the interests of the majority first".

"While Mrs May goes into the election with a huge lead over Labour, she is not guaranteed the overwhelming majority she evidently hopes for", Curtice said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has called for an early election.

The Sun, Britain's top-selling newspaper, splashed the headline "Blue Murder" - a reference to the Conservatives' party colour and the prospect of Labour losing dozens of seats.

Theresa May now holds Remain-backing Lewes with a majority of 1,083 (2.1 per cent) and Twickenham with a majority of 2,017 (3.3 per cent).

Other reports by VgToday

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