Prime Minister Theresa May has said she is planning to call a general election for Thursday, June 8.
In a surprise statement outside her residence at 10 Downing Street, May said Parliament will be asked to vote for the election on Wednesday.
May’s Conservative Party is way ahead of the main opposition Labour Party in opinion polls. A resounding win would bolster her mandate in upcoming talks with the European Union over the country’s exit. She said “division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit.”
May – who took office last July after her predecessor David Cameron stepped down – said an election is needed because the country is coming together but Parliament is not.
She said her opponents’ “political game-playing” is undermining the country in Brexit talks.
Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the next general election date was to be in 2020. But an early election can take place if two-thirds of lawmakers in the House of Commons vote for it. The opposition Labour Party, which trails May’s Conservative Party in opinion polls, has said it supports such a move.