British Prime Minister Theresa May calls for an early election on June 8, saying it was the only way to guarantee political stability for years ahead as Britain negotiates its way out of the European Union. Julian Satterthwaite reports.
A stunning announcement Tuesday from (April 18) UK Prime Minister Theresa May: (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY SAYING: "I have just chaired a Cabinet meeting where we agreed to call a general election for June 8." May succeeded David Cameron when he stepped down following the June vote for Brexit. That led some to say she should call a vote to win her own mandate. But Tuesday's announcement stunned political players. May had long resisted calls for an early vote Now she says opposition to Brexit leaves her no choice: (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY SAYING: "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." An election wasn't due until 2020. The law on fixed term parliaments means May will need a two-thirds majority in parliament to win approval for an early poll. A vote set to be held Wednesday (April 19) and the prime minister will have to win support from other parties. With the Labour party languishing in the polls, it's a decision many opposition lawmakers may find hard to make.