PRIME Minister Theresa May has caught the country by surprise in calling a snap general election for June 8th.
Despite previously announcing that he would not stand at the next election, which wasn’t expected to take place for another three years, Sir Oliver Letwin confirmed that he would go to the polls one more time if selected.
Mrs May’s shock announcement came on Tuesday (April 18th) following a cabinet meeting where it was “reluctantly” agreed that the government should call a general election.
She previously stated that there would be no election until 2020, but has now concluded that “the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election”.
Speaking outside Number 10, Mrs May said: “At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division.
“The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.
“Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country.
“So we need a general election and we need on now, because we have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done while the European Union agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin.
“I have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion.”
Coming little more than two years after the last general election in 2015, this is the shortest turnaround between polls since 1974.
Forty-three years ago the country was forced to vote twice in one year, after the first of two elections resulted in a hung parliament and subsequent deadlock.
But the second 1974 election was hardly a surprise; you would have to go back to 1966 – when Harold Wilson went back to the polls just 17 months after winning with a slim majority of four MPs – for a ‘snap’ election that caught the country so unaware.
Other candidates standing in West Dorset include Andy Canning for the Liberal Democrats and Kelvin Clayton for the Green Party. The other parties have not yet announced their candidates.