Justifying the decision, Mrs May said: "The country is coming together but Westminster is not". "If we do not hold a general election now, their political game-playing will continue, and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most hard stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election".

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that he had a "good phone call" with May about the election, and the council said the bloc's Brexit plans were unchanged by the announcement.

That means that May would either have to repeal the Fixed-Term Parliament Act, which at the time was meant to provide stability in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, or orchestrate a vote of no-confidence in her own government.

Theresa May said she would move a motion in the House of Commons on Wednesday, proposing an election on the 8 of June.

Recent polls indicate that the Conservative Party has a strong advantage over the Labour Party, and since it seems that an election would put them at an even more severe political disadvantage, it's unclear what Labour's political motivation would be to approve the measure.

Such statements are generally reserved for major news, such as resignations and election calls.

"The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standsill". It will also enable her to set her own policy agenda rather than be bound by that on which Mr. Cameron built his electoral platform in 2015, the year before the Brexit referendum. Under current legislation, the next election was not scheduled to take place until 2020.

Although the conservative leader admitted to have arrived at such determination "unwillingly", she considers this election necessary to guarantee the strong leadership the country needs.

The Prime Minister framed her apparent U-turn as an attempt to end "political gameplaying" and guarantee the United Kingdom a strong government for Brexit negotiations.

He said: "The previous campaign is still relatively fresh in everyone's memory and I'm looking forward to being able to go out and say what we're going to get all the things Theresa May has promised".

"The economy may well be a factor, but I suspect the Conservatives' lead in the opinion poll ranks above that".

May's surprise election is a "bid to cement her party's grip on power", says The Independent.

Since I became Prime Minister, the Government has delivered precisely that. But even that basic framework - which spelled out that Britain would leave the EU's single market - caused divisions in her party and involved several rounds of deliberations before a coherent plan could be presented.

'Personally I think the Tories will win at a canter and it will be very predictable after a lot of unpredictable politics.