Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street on her way to parliament, London, in a March 29, 2017, file photo. May is due to make an unexpected statement in Downing Street on Tuesday. Photo: Alastair Grant / Associated Press

LONDON  —Prime Minister Theresa May has said she is planning to call a general election for Thursday, June 8.

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

May’s Conservative Party is way ahead of the main opposition Labour Party in opinion polls. A resounding win would bolster her mandate in upcoming talks with the European Union over the country’s exit.


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


She has previously said she will stay in office until the next scheduled national election, in 2020.

Under Britain’s Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the prime minister can call an election if two-thirds of lawmakers vote for it.