The call for an early elections, is a calculated gamble, and an indicator to the obstacles she is facing from within her party.
In a surprise development that underscores the prevalent atmosphere within the British government, Prime Minister Theresa May has called for an early election on June 8, stating it to be a requirement that will strengthen her hand in the upcoming negotiations with the European Union as she shores up support for her Brexit plan.
May stated, although she was reluctant to ask the British parliament to back her move to for an early election, she however felt shifting the election, which was due to take place in 2020 to June 8 this year, was required since she needed to win support for her Brexit plans from within her Conservative Party, which is pushing for Britain’s divorce with the EU.
While many were surprised by this development, since she had earlier stated she did not want to be distracted by time-consuming campaigning, however with opinion polls giving her a significant lead and facing a number of hurdles from within her own ruling party, she opted for this surprise decision.
The development strengthened the pound by almost half a cent against the dollar while the yields from the ten year British government nudged up slightly following the announcement.
“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,” said May.
“Every vote for the Conservatives will make it harder for opposition politicians who want to stop me from getting the job done.”
By opting for an early election, May is trying to capitalise on her runaway lead in the opinion polls. Going by the results of the opinion poll, the Labour Party is lagging behind the main Conservative Party by 20 point.
May’s personal ratings have also dwarf those of Labour leader including, Jeremy Corbyn, with 50% of the respondents of the opinion poll saying they think she would make the best prime minister.
However, May will have to cross a small hurdle – she will have to first win a two-thirds support of the parliament in a vote schedule for Wednesday.
The Labour Party, has indicated it will vote in favour of a new election.
“The decision facing the country will be all about leadership,” said May. “It will be a choice between strong and stable leadership in the national interest with me as your prime minister, or weak and unstable coalition government, led by Jeremy Corbyn, propped up by the Liberal Democrats who want to reopen the division of the referendum.”
With this strategic move, May is hoping to stomp to a slim majority in parliament and thus have her way when discussing the terms of the Brexit negotiations.
She is aiming to put her stamp on domestic reforms ranging from health to education.