British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Tuesday April 18,2017 for an early election on June 8, saying the government had the right plan for negotiating the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union and she needed political unity in London.
The Premier made the announcement immediately after a long Cabinet meeting with her top team. MPs will vote on holding the election tomorrow.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he will vote for an early election even while the polls suggest his party will be decimated by an early poll - making the vote a formality.
It means Britain will go to the polls in just seven weeks - little more than two years after the last election in May 2015.
What Next ?
What Next ?
The government will now hold a vote in Parliament tomorrow night on whether an election can be held.
Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, Mrs May will need opposition MPs to vote for the early election to take place.
After Labour leader Jermy Corbyn said he welcomed the decision to call an election, it is widely expected that MPs from all sides will back the PM's call.
If MPs back Mrs May's plans for the vote, there will be a short 'wash-up' period to clear up outstanding legislation such as the Finance Bill to enable the funding of government to carry on.
Parliament will then be dissolved on Wednesday May 3, 25 working days before polling, marking the start of the official campaign
After parliament is dissolved, government departments will continue to work as normal, with ministers remaining in place until the vote.
A date will soon be announced by which anyone wishing to vote in the election needs to register by to be able to cast their vote.
Those who register will be sent a polling card detailing which polling station they should attend between 7am and 10pm on June 8.
All are eligible to vote, with a few exceptions including prisoners and members of the House of Lords.
The Queen also does not vote
Key election dates
April 19th - Commons vote on whether to hold an election.
May 3rd - Commons to be dissolved for political campaigning.
May 4th - Local elections held across Britain.
June 8th - General election held around the country.
Election in numbers
17 - The Conservatives' current majority in the House of Commons. The Tories have 330 MPs, Labour have 229, the SNP 54 and the Liberal Democrats have nine.
331 - The number of days Mrs May will have been Prime Minister on June 8, having been invited to form a Government by the Queen on July 13 2016.
764 - The number of days between the last general election on May 7 2015 and the next one on June 8 (including both election days).
351 - Days between the EU referendum on June 23, 2016 and the general election called for June 8.