Theresa May calls snap general election

By staff writers
April 19, 2017

The Prime Minister,Theresa May, has called for an early general election on 8 June 2017. She said Brexit negotiations would be put at risk by divisions in Westminster, causing “damaging uncertainty and instability”.

The Fixed Parliament Act was introduced in 2011 by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition with the intent of preventing a Prime Minister from choosing general election at a time most advantageous to their party interest.  However, provision was made for the fixed five year term to be changed through the dissolution of Parliament if two-thirds of the Commons vote in favour.

The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, has backed the Prime Minister's call and as Conservatives and Labour make up 559 of the 650 Commons seats, the necessary two-thirds of 434 MPs is expected to be reached in a vote later today (19 April), despite likely rebellions and abstentions.

If the vote is carried, Parliament will be dissolved on 3 May,  25 days before the election date. Although boundary changes have been proposed for 2020, the election will be fought on existing boundaries with 650 MPs to be elected.

[Ekk/4]

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