Sterling soars after UK PM Theresa May calls early election, dollar dips

May had repeatedly ruled out a snap election but clearly wants to capitalise on the Conservative party's lead in the polls, now running at more than 20 per cent.

'It was with reluctance that I decided the country needs this election, but it is with strong conviction that I say it is necessary to secure the strong and stable leadership the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond, ' May said.

However, one must also consider political expediency as a motivating factor for calling these elections.

Tusk, who is running the negotiations with Britain, said in Brussels that the election was a Brexit plot twist worthy of Alfred Hitchcock - the late film director known as the master of suspense. She is clearly counting on a strong performance in June - before those talks get serious and difficult, before the British economy is seen to be hit and before critical German elections in the fall - to carry her government through the exit, hard or soft, which she has promised to deliver. If a Euroskeptic candidate were to win the French presidency, it would throw the European Union into disarray, freeing British negotiators to be much more assertive on the matter of market access, with the European Union less able to put up a fight on such issues as freedom of movement.

The British currency, which had weakened before the announcement, was up by more than a cent against the dollar.

She stressed that the decision has been made reluctantly, but holding it was the only way to guarantee stability in the country. But opponents accused her of cynically seeking to capitalise on favourable opinion polls to seek an increase to her slender 17-seat majority.

Meanwhile, European Union negotiators hope Ms May's snap election can produce a strong Prime Minister with a clear popular mandate to hammer out the terms of Britain's withdrawal from the bloc, an EU official said onTuesday.

The Conservatives could face a more hard task than thought in "winning really big" in the snap general election called by Theresa May, a prominent election expert has warned.

The Tories now lead Labour by an average of 17 points in opinion polls, which Prof Curtice acknowledged would be enough to secure a landslide on 8 June.

Theresa May hopes that these snap elections - to be held in 2020 - will boost their small majority in the Legislature and give a new mandate for new domestic reforms in education and health, in addition to strengthening her stance in negotiations with the EU.

Bale said a bigger majority would give May a new batch of loyal Conservative lawmakers and leave her less at the mercy of euroskeptics in her party "who otherwise could have made negotiations much more hard".

May will go to the House of Commons Tuesday to lay down the necessary legislation for the calling of an early general election.

In a surprise statement in Downing Street, May said Parliament will be asked to vote for the election on Wednesday.

She said "division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit".

However, a poll can be called before then if backed by two thirds of MPs or if there is a no confidence vote in the Government.

However, the election also comes as a political gamble. But there were ministers around the cabinet table who had no idea and who were, it's said, visibly shocked when Mrs May told them.

May took office in July after predecessor David Cameron stepped down following his failed attempt to get voters to back remaining within the EU.

  • Leroy Wright