Theresa May Calls Election For 8th June
18 April 2017, 10:45 | Updated: 18 April 2017, 13:07
Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that the government will seek to hold an early election on 8th June.
The leader of the Conservatives said that the decision to hold an early election was in response to uncertainty around Brexit.
May put a "challenge" to the other parties, who must approve calling an early election, to prove that they do not treat politics as a game.
She said the decision to call an early election was made "with reluctance". She called on other parties to put forward their vision for Brexit to the country.
The Fixed Term Parliaments Act means that an election before 2020 must be approved by two-thirds of the House of Commons.
General Election 2017 - Dates And Facts
Wednesday 19 April - Motion for election tabled in the House of Commons. If it passes then parliament is dissolved.
Thursday 8 June - General Election held. If one party achieves a majority then it is invited to form a new government.
Constituency boundaries are being redrawn, which will reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600. However, this won't be completed until 2018 so the 2017 election will be held according to current boundaries.
May has gone on the record numerous times saying that no early election would be called. She cited obstruction of Brexit by the House of Lords and criticism from the other parties as reasons for her changing her mind.
She will table a motion for an early election in the House of Commons on Wednesday. Labour leader has backed the early election call so the motion will likely pass.
The move to call an election comes as polls released over the weekend show the Conservatives with a 21-point lead over Labour - their biggest lead in government since 1983.
The poll put the Tories on 44%, Labour on 23%, Liberal Democracts on 12% and Ukip on 10%.
More to follow...