Prime minister Theresa May has announced a snap general election for 8 June.
The PM, who had until recently denied plans to hold a general election, made the announcement outside Downing Street after saying she had “reluctantly” come to a decision to hold a vote.
Mrs May said she will move for a motion in the House of Commons tomorrow to allow for an election despite the Fixed-term Parliaments Act.
The 2011 act was introduced to ensure elections are held every five years.
It can allow for an early election in two ways: either by losing a vote of no-confidence by a simple majority, or by passing an election motion with the backing of two-thirds of MPs.
The government currently has a working majority of 17, and has 330 MPs in parliament of the 650 voted in at the 2015 general election, representing 50.7 per cent.
Calling out other political parties to not “treat politics as a game”, Mrs May said the decision for the country was about leadership in a speech that heavily referenced the outcome of the EU referendum last year.
Speaking from No 10, the PM said: “Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, despite predictions of immediate economic danger, we’ve seen consumer confidence remain high.
“Other political parties oppose it. At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity but there is division.
“Opponents believe that because the government’s majority is so small they can force us to change course.
“I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people. It weakens the government’s negotiation in Europe.”
The Liberal Democrats have welcomed the decision, as has Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said: “We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.”
The Construction Products Association’s economics director, Noble Francis, told Construction News: “There is likely to be a short hiatus in signing new public sector contracts during purdah, the six weeks before the General Election but, given that it is during summer, it is unlikely to have a large impact on activity on the ground, which is based on contracts signed well in advance.
“Major projects such as HS2 and Hinkley Point C are unlikely to be affected as major works start next year whilst Thames Tideway work is already underway and won’t be particularly affected.”
Theresa May calls snap election