New Times,
New Thinking.

Theresa May calls early general election on 8 June

The prime minister has announced that a Commons vote will be held on Wednesday.

By Helen Lewis

Theresa May has called an early general election, which will take place on 8 June.

On the steps of Downing Street, the prime minister said that her decision was driven by Labour and Lib Dem “threats” to vote against the final deal on Brexit.

“The country is coming together but Westminster is not,” she said.

Theresa May makes the announcement outside Number 10.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

May will call a Commons vote on Wednesday. This is a requirement of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, which mandates an election every five years. However, it also includes provisions for an early vote. (My colleague Julia explains them here.)

A YouGov poll published on Sunday put the Tories on 44 per cent, with Labour on 23 per cent. The Lib Dems were on 12 per cent and Ukip on 10 per cent. 

The Conservatives have a working majority of 16 in the House of Commons. If the YouGov polls were replicated at a general election, the Conservatives would have a majority of significantly more than 100. 

That, in turn, would make passing controversial Brexit legislation – on which many Tories have talked about rebelling – far easier.

An election will also give Theresa May a mandate of her own – based on her manifesto. As the national insurance row showed in the wake of the Budget, May and her chancellor Philip Hammond have recently felt constrained by the prospectus they inherited from the Cameron/Osborne era.

The announcement is a sharp U-turn for May, who was briefing as recently as last month that there would be no early election. She also turned down Nicola Sturgeon’s request for a second referendum on Scottish independence on the grounds it would cause “instability” while Brexit negotiations were ongoing.

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy