Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

May calls snap United Kingdom election for June 8

May calls snap United Kingdom election for June 8

Britain will go to the polls on June 8 after MPs cleared the way for an early general election in a House of Commons vote praised by Theresa May as "the right decision" in the national interest.

Britain's lower house of Parliament on April 19 voted 522 to 13 in favor of May's motion for the snap poll, easily securing the two-thirds majority of the 650-seat legislature required for the elections to go ahead. "Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the European Union", she said.

The opposition Labour Party and Liberal Democrats say they welcome the chance to put their policies to voters, though the Scottish National Party says the election call is a cynical ploy.

"If we do not hold a general election now their political game-playing will continue, and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most hard stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election".

"That's what this is about, it's about asking the people to trust me, to trust us in government, to give us that mandate to go and get that really good deal for the United Kingdom".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn set the tone for his campaign by criticising May for her "broken promises" on healthcare and education, and jabbed at her for not agreeing to take part in television debates before the election.

Peers would also be forced to back the priorities under the Salisbury Convention, which means that the Lords will not try and vote down government plans mentioned in an election manifesto.

In an interview with the BBC later, he hinted that in his new role, he could become a thorn in the side of Theresa May, who sacked him when she became prime minister.

Mrs May added: "A stronger economy with a deficit two-thirds down, but people will have a real choice at this election".

Labour faces criticism that its stand on Brexit is not clear enough.

Sterling rose to a four-month high against the USA dollar after the market bet that May would strengthen her parliamentary majority, which Deutsche Bank said would be a "game-changer" for the pound.

The last time the Tories enjoyed this level of support was in May 2008 at the start of a global recession, when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister and Labour also trailed in the polls by 24 points.

Meanwhile, more than a quarter said they would vote Conservative, less than five per cent said Liberal Democrat, and perhaps most strikingly Labour finished in fourth place with less than four per cent.

Brexit will dominate the campaign, with Ms May, who took office after David Cameron resigned following the European Union vote, seeking public backing for her plan to pull Britain out of Europe's single market.

She said she wanted a stronger mandate because, with a slim working majority of just 17 MPs, opposition parties were intent on "frustrating" Brexit, even though she has yet to lose a vote on the issue in the Commons.

An early ballot will give the next leader more time to implement Brexit before another election.

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