LONDON (Reuters) - The British parliament was expected on Wednesday to formally approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to hold an early election on June 8 which she hopes will deliver a stronger personal mandate as she embarks on Brexit talks.
May, who took over as prime minister without an election in the political turmoil that followed Britain’s vote to leave the European Union last June, made the surprise announcement on Tuesday that she wanted to hold a snap election.
The main opposition Labour Party welcomed May’s election call, meaning that it is almost a foregone conclusion that May will obtain the two-thirds support she needs in the House of Commons for the election to be held.
Opinion polls suggest May’s Conservatives are enjoying a huge lead over Labour. “May heads for election landslide” was the front-page headline in Wednesday’s edition of The Times newspaper.
The paper cited polling data from YouGov that suggested the Conservatives were on course to win a majority of 114 House of Commons seats on June 8. The government’s current working majority is only 17 seats.
May said on Tuesday she had been reluctant to bring forward an election that was scheduled to take place in 2020, but had decided it was necessary to stop the opposition from jeopardizing her work on Brexit.
The pro-Brexit, right-wing newspapers portrayed her decision as an aggressive move to strengthen her hand in the talks with the 27 other EU members and to crush her domestic opponents.