British Parliament approves snap election

Campaign posters for candidates Marine Le Pen of the Front National Jean Luc Melenchon of the Parti de Gauche, and Benoit Hamon of the Socialist Party who are running in the 2017 French presidential election are seen in Paris

Polls give the Conservatives a double-digit lead over Labour, and May is gambling that an election will deliver her a personal mandate from voters and produce a bigger Conservative majority.

Nomura ran simulations using Electoral Calculus, an online vote predictor founded by data specialist Martin Baxter, and found that Liberal Democrat support would need to rise to around 21% in the polls - assuming other parties stay constant at current polling levels - before the Conservatives' Commons majority would be challenged.

Broadcasters have been urged to "empty chair" Theresa May after the Prime Minister ruled out taking part in televised a leaders' debate during the general election campaign. "May heads for election landslide" was the front-page headline in Wednesday's edition of The Times newspaper.

But Mr Schinas said relocating was a outcome of Brexit.

That approach has left neither of the party's key constituencies particularly happy.

An early vote will also delay Brexit talks. "It is about the crisis her government has plunged the NHS into, the cuts to to our children's schools which will limit chances of children, 4 million of whom live in poverty, a chance of an alternative to raise living standards, as more and more people do not have security in their work or over their housing".

"I believe that at this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster not division", she said as MPs debated in Parliament.

"We welcome the general election", said the Labour Party's Jermey Corbyn, triggering guffaws and laughter.

It is the latest twist a turbulent year in British politics, which was plunged into turmoil when the country unexpectedly voted to leave the European Union last year.

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The announcement caught British political observers off guard as well as financial markets, which retreated as investors reacted cautiously to May's speech.

The Prime Minister easily cleared the hurdle needed under the Fixed Term Parliament Act to bring the poll forward from the scheduled date of 2020.

Had she not called an early election, she argued, the "crucial" Brexit negotiations would have occurred in the years before the scheduled 2020 election and potentially put Britain at a disadvantage with European Union negotiators - who have signaled that they are unwilling to offer Britain generous concessions on the break over issues including trade and immigration.

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, accused Mrs May of "bottling" and said broadcasters had a "moral duty" to go ahead with the showdowns even if she fails to take part.

She said that waiting until 2020 would mean the "most sensitive" part of the two-year Brexit negotiations would come during the run-up to an election.

"I think the Europeans might have seen that as a time of weakness when they could push us".

Mr Wiggin also spoke of the benefits of Brexit, saying: "It means we will regain control of our own money, our own laws, and our own borders - and we will be free to strike trade deals with old friends and new partners all around the world".

A number of MPs abstained from Wednesday's vote, including those with the Scottish National Party.

Now that lawmakers have approved the election, Parliament will be dissolved at midnight on May 2, 25 working days before election day.

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