British PM Theresa May Announces Early Elections

Theresa May calls for an early election in June, putting Labour in danger of losing even more seats

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May announces early elections — REUTERS
Apr 18, 2017 at 7:40 AM ET

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced early elections for June 8, attempting to pull together a greater mandate for her Conservative Party ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Speaking in front of the Prime Minister’s Office at 10 Downing Street, May said she’d “concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election.” She accused the opposition, led by the Labour Party, of playing games that endanger “our ability to make a success of Brexit.”

Many on social media saw disaster ahead for Labour, which already has 101 fewer seats than the Torys (the Conservative party. The party has suffered from infighting because of the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. The Conservatives won an outright majority in the last election, which was held in 2015. Corbyn won the party leadership that year, but Labour has experienced electoral setbacks and open rebellion against Corbyn’s leadership since then. The latest polls show only 25 percent of voters supporting Labour, while the Conservatives enjoy support from 43 percent of voters.

The UK voted to leave the European Union in a tightly-contested referendum in June last year. Prime Minister David Cameron, who opposed Brexit, resigned after the results came through announced, ushering in Theresa May as the second female Prime Minister.

He tweeted his praise of her decision.

An election victory this June would likely grant May and her Conservative Party a mandate in their negotiations with the EU bloc.