Pound gets a lift from May's election call

This morning Theresa May explained her call for a snap general election on June 8 by arguing that Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership.

Stunning listeners just after 11am on Tuesday she said: "I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet, where we agreed that the Government should call a general election, to be held on 8 June".

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is pressing for an independence referendum, said May was making a "huge political miscalculation" that would bolster her Scottish National Party.

However, a Press Association projection based on an average of recent polls suggests that Conservatives could gain 56 seats, leaving May with a comfortable Commons majority of 124 seats.

With Theresa May's Conservative Party polling consistently around 20 percent ahead of Jeremy Corbyn's opposition Labour Party, the logic behind this quick snap election becomes blindingly obvious to any observer.

"The election should hand Theresa May a much bigger mandate to stand up to the harder-line, anti-EU backbenchers who now hold a disproportionate sway over her party's stance on Brexit", said Aberdeen Asset Management investment manager Luke Bartholemew. Votes in France in April and May, and in Germany in September, have the potential to reshape the political landscape around the two years of Brexit talks with the European Union expected to start in earnest in June.

"Every step of the way, Labour has sought to put the national interest first and to build a national consensus around our future relationship with the European Union - not as members, but as partners", said Keir Starmer, the shadow Labour Brexit secretary. European Union leaders will meet in Brussels on April 29th to agree negotiating guidelines but substantive negotiations are not expected to begin for another month.

Since then she had repeatedly ruled out calling an early election to get her own mandate.

"This does not change things", the official said.

"Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country".

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"I think actually it makes her look a little bit arrogant and a little bit complacent", said Liberal Democrat lawmaker Alistair Carmichael.

What could have triggered this unexpected move by Mrs May, especially seeing that she had maintained all along, since taking office less than a year ago, that she was against an early poll? "They underestimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country".

Under the terms of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, she needs a two-thirds majority if she wants to go to the country before 2020, but with both Labour and Liberal Democrats saying they will support the motion, this should be a formality.

Labour has already said it supports an early election.

Opinion polls put the Conservatives - who now hold 330 of parliament's 650 seats - way ahead of Labour, who have 229.

Politicians are divided over Brexit whereas Britons were united in their vote for Brexit that happened in June.

She said it was "all the more important that Scotland is protected from a Tory (Conservative) Party which now sees the chance of grabbing control of government for many years to come and moving the United Kingdom further to the right - forcing through a hard Brexit and imposing deeper cuts in the process".

The Scottish National Party now holds 54 of Scotland's 59 seats in the British Parliament, making it the third-largest party there.

The pound surged 0.7 percent against the dollar to $1.2658 after May's announcement, recovering from a 0.4 percent drop an hour earlier as rumors swirled about the surprise statement.

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