Theresa May, in a statement at 11:15BST, announced her “reluctant” decision to announce the General Election earlier than expected – for the 8th of June, as compared with with the original timeline of the next General Election being held in 2020.
She said in the statement that this was: “The only way to guarantee certainty and stability for years ahead.”, and “If we do not hold a general election now, their [Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, and the House of Lords] political game playing will continue.”
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has been the first to speak out regarding the surprise snap election, stating on Twitter (below) that “This is your change to change the direction of your country.”
Theresa May’s government is already ahead in the polls at the moment; leading 42% to Labour’s 27% according to John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyd, who spoke to the BBC earlier.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also responded, stating that “Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards, and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.”