Betting markets predict a 90 seat Conservative majority in snap June election

May explained the reason for her change of opinion by saying, "If we do not hold a general election now. the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most hard stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election". Diplomats speak of unwanted unity among European Union governments - at least for now - on ensuring that May can not secure too sweet a deal that might encourage other states to follow suit. "The election gives the British people the chance to change direction". "We expect to have the Brexit guidelines adopted by the European Council on April 29 and, following that, the Brexit negotiating directives ready on May 22".

Yesterday, the Labour MP, who won the Norwich South seat from the Liberal Democrats two years ago with a majority of 7,654, had accused the prime minister of "cynical political opportunism".

In a sign of the key campaign issues ahead, May traded barbs in the Commons with opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party is deeply divided and languishing up to 20 points behind the Conservatives.

The May administration has announced a plan for a "hard Brexit", under which Britain gives priority to its own immigration controls and leaves the EU's single market.

The Conservatives are set to gain 40 seats in June's snap general election to secure a majority of 90, according to betting market data.

In the last equivalent snap poll, in 1974, then Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath called an election on the question of "Who governs Britain?" while he was battling striking coal miners.

A Labour spokesman said: "Bob Marshall-Andrews has not been a member of the Labour Party for some years".

British PM Theresa May says an early election is in the country's national interest and will strengthen its hand in Brexit negotiations.

May says a strong mandate from the nation will help her government navigate Brexit negotiations.

By contrast Labour is wracked by divisions, over Brexit and Corbyn's left-wing leadership, which is opposed by many of his more centrist MPs.

Thirteen MPs - including nine Labour - voted against Prime Minister Theresa May's motion calling for an early general election. "That is what this is about", she said.

By softer Brexit, in particular I would mean the transition period that might have the same circumstances in place as we already have right now - and that might actually quite a few years.

Before May's surprise decision to call a vote, the next election had been scheduled for May 2020, little over a year after the date on which the expected to leave the EU.

Parliament will vote Wednesday on holding a June 8 election.

"I am seeing all our partners in these months telling us that the European Union is needed, and this is the message I also get from here in China that the European Union is an indispensable partner in the world today", she said.

Meanwhile the Scottish National Party, which holds most of the seats in Scotland, is pushing its demands for a second referendum on independence in order to maintain close ties with the EU. That is why there will be a vote in parliament on the final Brexit deal and why there were, for example, u-turns in self-employed NI's, in PIP's and cuts to tax credits in the budget.

  • Leroy Wright