In the last snap poll, in 1974, then Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath called an election on the question of "Who governs Britain?" while he was battling striking coal miners. But only you can give us the mandate.
Telling MPs it was time to "put our fate in the hands of the people and let the people decide", Mrs May told the House of Commons: "We are determined to bring stability to the United Kingdom for the long term and that's what this election will be about - leadership and stability".
An early election would therefore be the fourth big vote in four years after the general election of 2015.
That approach risks satisfying neither its traditional working-class supporters, many of whom backed leaving the European Union, or its urban, pro-European members - leaving many commentators predicting an electoral disaster.
"The election is not welcome because it increases uncertainty", said Dominic Deeson, a publisher at Canterbury-based Deeson Group.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has rallied activists in key target seat Croydon Central with a speech in which he highlighted a string of recent policy promises to build council houses, help carers and boost the minimum wage.
"This was an incredibly hard decision for the Prime Minister to make", he said. Demmer said Wednesday: "The German government assumes that the negotiations can be continued without disruption".
The prime minister said she would look at the financial problems faced by small rural schools.
Elmar Brok, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats, told Germany's ARD television Wednesday that May could derive from a new, stronger mandate an "ability to compromise".
Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball color barrier 70 years ago today
Since 2004, every player and coach in the major leagues wears No. 42 on April 15 in honor of Robinson breaking the color barrier. Now 94, Rachel Robinson is traveling from the East Coast to attend the unveiling, along with daughter Sharon and son David.
It is no surprise that Scottish nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon, who wants another referendum on independence, says someone has to speak up for Scotland.
May said Tuesday that she had "reluctantly" come to the decision to call for an early election because of political division in Westminster, criticizing opposition parties for trying to thwart her plans for leaving the EU.
Deutsche Bank AG, which in 2015 accurately predicted the British pound would drop to a 31-year low the following year, called May's announcement of a snap election in June a "game-changer" for both the UK's Brexit negotiations and sterling.
"Why are so many people getting poorer?" "I hope the former will be the case". "So a new government with a clear mandate should hopefully create a more stable environment that reinvigorates confidence", he said. He added: "If it isn't a triumphant success, it will be to some extent a personal failure".
Willie Rennie of the Liberal Democrats hit out at the Prime Minister's decision not to take part in the debates.
May told The Sun newspaper that if Britain were still negotiating with the bloc in the run-up to a national election, "the Europeans might have seen that as a time of weakness when they could push us".
"Brexit isn't just about the letter that says we want to leave".
"So trying to get the parties to focus on other issues will be futile and businesses should instead push to see what they would take to the negotiating table in terms of new trade deals with the European Union and access to skills".
With Mrs May needing the support of 434 MPs - two thirds of all seats in the House of Commons - some 522 voted for the early election, with just 13 against.
The day after her shock announcement in Downing Street, May insisted an election was in the national interest and would give her a stronger hand in negotiations with the EU.
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