On the morning of Tuesday 18th April, Theresa May announced her plans to call a general election on the 8th of June. In her official statement, the PM announces that the divisions within Westminster and the fact that her opponents believe that “because the government’s majority is so small, [their] resolve will weaken and that [opponents] can force [them] to change course”, are two of the main reasons to call a snap general election. May does not clarify whether these “opponents” are opposition political parties or rebels within her own party. May also states that she is calling for a general election to provide “certainty and stability” for the nation in the years ahead, and it is understood that winning a larger majority would provide the PM with a stronger mandate and make it much easier for her to handle the two sects of her party, however, this is not explicitly mentioned by her in Tuesday’s statement. May goes on to state that the choice in June’s election will be between “strong and stable leadership in the national interest, with [May] as [our] prime minister, or weak and unstable coalition government.”
it will “provide a clear mandate for the type of exit [May] has set out in the letter she wrote to president Tusk”
Although the PM only announced her decision to hold a snap election this morning, various Tories have already gone on record with their reactions. Former PM David Cameron commended May for making a “brave – and right – decision” and went on to wish all Conservative candidates the best of luck in the upcoming election. David Morris, the Tory MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, believes “May wants a majority so we can sort out the problems facing the country. It gives her a mandate”, while MP Daniel Kawczynski stated that reaffirming her majority support from the electorate “would give [May] more power to push through the type of Brexit this country needs.” Philip Hammond agrees that the decision to call a general election is “in the national interest” as it will “strengthen her hand” in the run up to Brexit negotiations. Furthermore, the Chancellor also believes a snap election is the correct decision, as it will “provide a clear mandate for the type of exit [May] has set out in the letter she wrote to president Tusk” officially triggering Article 50 and beginning the process of Brexit.
the Labour party welcomes May’s decision to hold a snap election
Despite Labour’s bleak position in current opinion polls, Jeremy Corbyn insists that the party welcomes May’s decision to hold a snap election and considers it the public’s chance to “vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.” Labour has stated their intent to campaign on education, housing, and the NHS in the run up to the upcoming election. Corbyn has also declared that Labour offers “clear and credible” policies, and that “Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.”
In order to hold a general election before 2020, May must have the motion passed by the House of Commons; a vote on this matter will be held on Wednesday 19th April.