General Election: 8th June

Theresa May has called a General Election for June 8th. The Prime Minister is just two years into a five year parliamentary term and had recently stated that there would be no snap election while the Brexit negotiations took place.

It seems the election has been prompted by a combination of opinion polls giving the Conservatives a near-20-point lead over second-placed Labour, and the prospect of pressing ahead with the Brexit agenda with a majority of just twelve.

However with more than a dozen Conservative MPs being investigated for possible breach of election expenses rules – and a very slender Conservative majority in the House of Commons – it might be that this is a jump now to avoid being pushed later.

Theresa May said,

“I have just chaired a meeting of the cabinet, where we agreed that the government should call a general election, to be held on 8 June.

“I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote in this election.

“Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership, and since I became prime minister the government has delivered precisely that.

“Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, since the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs, and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.

“We have also delivered on the mandate that we were handed by the referendum result. Britain is leaving the European Union and there can be no turning back.

The Brexit referendum result and the government’s pursuit of a “hard Brexit” has caused extensive disquiet including among LGBT equality campaigners who note that most LGBT rights battles in the UK have been won not through Westminster action but through European court rulings and legislation.

Today’s opinion polls suggest the most likely outcome of the election is a bigger Conservative majority more able to bring about that “hard Brexit” – with Conservative losses to the Lib Dems more than offset by Labour losses to the Conservatives.