Nicola Sturgeon calls early election "a political miscalculation" for the Tories in Scotland

The SNP signalled it will agree to an early election, after Theresa May announced a snap poll on the steps of Downing Street. 

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Scottish National Party leaders have signalled they will not oppose a snap election after it was announced by Theresa May this morning.

The Prime Minister Theresa May made the shock announcement on Tuesday morning on the steps of Downing Street

The First Minister of Scotland, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, described the announcement as "one of the most extraordinary U-turns in recent political history". 

She framed it as an election designed to destroy Labour in England: "“That means that this will be – more than ever before – an election about standing up for Scotland, in the face of a right-wing, austerity obsessed Tory government with no mandate in Scotland but which now thinks it can do whatever it wants and get away with it.

“In terms of Scotland, this move is a huge political miscalculation by the Prime Minister.

“It will once again give people the opportunity to reject the Tories’ narrow, divisive agenda, as well as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future."

Read more: How Theresa May can call an early election under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act

Angus Robertson, the SNP deputy leader and head of the MPs at Westminster, tweeted: "Whatever happened to 'now is not the time'? UK General Election: 8th June. Straight choice in Scotland between @theSNP and Tories. #VoteSNP."

Among the reasons suggested for the snap poll, one is an attempt to nip a second Scottish independence referendum in the bud by undermining the SNP's hold on Scotland. The Scottish Conservatives are already expected to do well in the May local elections. 

However, the Prime Minister recently blocked a demand from Sturgeon for a second independence referendum, leaving her open to charges of hypocrisy. 

Read more: Four thoughts on Theresa May's general election decision

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.