MPs have voted overwhelmingly in support of Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for a snap election on June 8.
The House of Commons backed the motion by a margin of 522 votes to 13, a day after the Prime Minister’s surprise announcement outside 10 Downing Street.
Mrs. May claimed that Labour and the Liberal Democrats’ opposition to the Government’s Brexit strategy was frustrating the national interest.
She said that only a Conservative government, with an increased Parliamentary majority, could provide Britain with much needed strength and stability going forward with negotiations with the EU.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the news, calling it a “chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.”
It is unclear whether the unique challenge of a general election will serve to galvanise his party, despite its deep divisions. It is thought, however, that Mr. Corbyn’s team have been preparing for the news for some time.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, characterised the Prime Minister’s announcement as a “huge political miscalculation”, accusing Mrs. May of putting the interests of her party ahead of those of the country.
Ms. Sturgeon also stressed that, in regard to a second Scottish independence referendum, her position remained “clear, and will continue to be clear throughout this campaign.”
It is said that the Prime Minister reached the decision whilst on a walking holiday in Wales, having previously ruled out any possibility of there being a General Election before 2020, citing concerns over instability.
The Conservative Party goes into the election campaign with a commanding position in the opinion polls, with an average lead of around 15 points over Labour.
A few Labour MPs have used the announcement to declare their intention to stand down from Parliament, the most notable being former Cabinet minister Alan Johnson, who has served the Hull West and Hessle consistency for 20 years.
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