United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May called for an election on 8 June, saying Britain's opposition parties risked worsening her negotiating powers in divorce talks with the European Union by opposing her Brexit plan.
"It was with reluctance that I decided the country needs this election, but it is with strong conviction that I say it is necessary to secure the strong and stable leadership the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond," she said on the doorstep of her Downing Street office.
With the announcement, she goes back on her word to not hold a general election till 2020.
May, who was appointed Prime Minister after the country voted in favour of Brexit in June last year, enjoys a large lead in the opinion polls, with 50 percent saying she would be the best choice.
The leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, won 14 percent, pollster YouGov, an international internet-based market research firm, said.
But she must first win the support of two-thirds of the parliament for her call for an early election. The main opposition Labour Party has said it is ready for a new election.
Her move invited reactions on Twitter:
One thing is clear...#TheresaMay cares only about short term political gain. We needed a Statesperson. We got a shortsighted snake.— Leila Pittaway (@VinoVertias) April 18, 2017
Has Theresa May called snap election 2 clarify uncertainty over Brexit, Scotland or Ireland? No - she's cashing in on Labour weakness. Shame— Lesley Riddoch (@LesleyRiddoch) April 18, 2017