Prime Minister Theresa May goes canvassing with local Conservative candidate Joy Morrissey in Ealing Thomson Reuters
20 May, 2017, 06:32
On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap election on June 8, hoping to consolidate power and strengthen her Brexit negotiating position against the European Union.
British Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to hold early elections in June, reversing what had been a firm public position, surely reflects her recognition that Britain's exit from the European Union will be far more complicated and painful than voters were promised when they supported it in a referendum past year.
May owes her position as prime minister to the parliamentary majority that David Cameron won in 2015, before he resigned in the wake of last June's Brexit referendum.
No doubt she will be pressed during the campaign to tell her supporters more clearly what they are voting for; but for the same reasons she made a decision to call an election, May will likely demur.
"The French are having their general election before detailed negotiations take place and I think the logic is quite compelling".
She has also played up the strength of the economy - a key campaign theme that her Conservative Party will use to try to undermine Labour in the election.
On Thursday, she said she plans to stick to her pledge to reduce annual net migration to below 100,000 a year.
May continues to be the favored choice for prime minister, with 54 percent of people preferring her to Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, who is backed by 15 percent of voters. Polls suggest the party could lose dozens of their current 229 seats in Parliament.
"If the United Kingdom, after the election, wants to withdraw [article 50], then the procedure is very clear", he said in an interview.
Mrs May has argued that an increased Commons majority would strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations, making it more hard for the opposition parties at home to obstruct her plans.
There are 58 Labour-held seats where the Conservatives are fewer than 9,000 votes behind and where the constituents voted Leave in the European Union referendum last June - 37 of which are located in the Midlands or in the North of England.
It comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insisted the result is not a "foregone conclusion" despite his party's dismal showings in opinion polls.
UK's main opposition, the Labour Party, has launched a campaign for yet another general elections which are going to be held in just seven weeks' time.
An early vote is also expected to delay Brexit talks. Despite this, she had repeatedly said in the past that she would not seek a new election before 2020.
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