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Here We Go Again! Theresa May Calls Snap UK Election

Theresa May has called an early general election, scheduled to take place 8 June, 2017.

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition, has welcomed the snap election, and pledged to back it in the House of Commons when it faces a vote tomorrow (April 19), in accordance with the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. To proceed, it must receive 434 votes, supported by two-thirds of MPs. Nicola Sturgeon, Tim Farron, and Caroline Lucas will also direct their MPs to vote in favour, and so the election is extremely likely to be confirmed

Theresa May has repeatedly denied that she would call an election, claiming that her priority was “stability” to face the challenges ahead. Commentators are describing the decision as a U-turn on the stance she seemed set on just weeks ago — a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street stated on 20th March that a snap election simply “isn’t going to happen.”

Read More: There's Only 6 Weeks Until the Snap Election — Register to Vote Now

“We need a general election and we need one now,” May said in a surprise announcement this morning. “I have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion but now I have concluded it is the only way to guarantee certainty for the years ahead.”

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, has called the election a “chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first". In reaction to the news, he said that Labour will present a "clear and credible choice for the country", by forcing the conversation back onto core issues like housing, education, and the NHS.

In the first hour since the announcement, the Liberal Democrats have gained 1,000 new members. Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, directly addressed voters in his statement, and said that this is “your chance to change the direction of your country.” Farron’s party are expected to campaign on an anti-Brexit platform, to keep Britain in the single market.

Meanwhile Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish National Party leader, has called May’s decision a “huge political miscalculation.” She’s described May’s sudden change of mind as the “biggest U-turn in recent political history,” and reassured voters that her support for a second referendum on Scottish independence will remain firm in the coming weeks.

Polling varies depending on every source examined, but the consensus remains clear — the Conservatives will begin campaigning with a hugely favourable lead. Theresa May’s government presently leads with a working majority of 17. According to current projections, this will likely increase.

But if 2016 taught us anything, it’s that we must expect the unexpected. Not everybody will greet news of another divisive election with enthusiasm. Yet the vote will come nonetheless — in just seven weeks time. Stay tuned with Global Citizen for updates on what this means for the issues you care about.