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Why Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap general election

Principal Teaching Fellow in Liberal Arts and expert in UK politics Dr Mike Finn discusses the reasons for Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to call for a snap general election on 8th June.

"The main reason May has called this election is to neutralise the right wing of her party. Though she's putting the focus firmly on reluctant Remainers, given that she won her last vote on Brexit fairly straightforwardly they aren't the problem. However, whilst she has only a small majority in Parliament she is vulnerable to a relatively small group of Conservative MPs holding her to ransom - if negotiations are difficult (and they will be) then a bigger majority will give her greater flexibility".

"Another reason no doubt is the weakness of the Labour Party. In the months since Theresa May became PM she's shown herself to be cautious - calling an election is a risk in itself. It's no doubt helped her thinking that Labour are around 20 points behind in the polls. This is an existential challenge to the future of the Labour Party".

"Another theory doing the rounds in the U.K. is that the Conservative Party may be about to see up to 39 people (possibly including MPs charged by police) charged with breaking electoral law in 2015. This may have been another nudge in the election direction".

Kim Ingram

Assistant Press Officer

Tel: 02476 75601