A UK General Election Has Just Been Called. Here's What You Need To Know

Photo: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock
Prime Minister Theresa May has said she is planning to call a general election for Thursday, 8th June. In a surprise statement in 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 has accused her opponents of "political game-playing" and undermining the country in the upcoming talks to exit the European Union.
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May insisted that the divisions in Parliament explained her change of heart on an early election. Since becoming prime minister last July in the aftermath of Britain's vote to leave the EU, May had consistently said she would not seek an early election.
May said she has concluded that the "only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election."
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.
The British pound fell this morning ahead of mounting speculation that May would call an early general election.
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