Back to the ballot box: UK lawmakers approve June 8 election

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Former Conservative finance minister George Osborne, a powerful voice in favour of Britain's European Union membership during the referendum campaign, also said he would not seek re-election.

"She expects a coronation and not a contest", Farron said, urging voters to back his strongly pro-EU party to stop a Conservative landslide.

She has set up a crowdfunding page to back the initiative, titled Best For Britain, which will pledge money behind a slate of candidates that align with the group's interests. "And give me the mandate to deliver for Britain".

Also yesterday, it emerged Mrs May is likely to take part in a question and answer session in front of a television audience before the general election after she was heavily criticised by her opponents for refusing to debate with them.

Jeremy Corbyn, the left-wing leader of Britain's Labour Party and leader of the official opposition, has just voted to trigger a general election that he can not possibly win.

After addressing a rowdy session of the House of Commons, Mrs May won the support of 522 lawmakers in the 650-seat Parliament for an election on June 8, an easy victory for the Prime Minister, who could see her majority increase by at least 100 seats in the poll.

By contrast, Labour has struggled to form a strategy over Brexit, while Corbyn's left-wing leadership is opposed by many of his more centrist MPs.

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"I genuinely came to this decision reluctantly having looked at the circumstances and having looked ahead at the process of negotiation", she told reporters after the announcement.

In 2015 the BBC went ahead with a Challengers Debate with five party leaders after David Cameron refused to take part. "Now we will be much freer".

The PM warned of a potential "coalition of chaos" led by Mr Corbyn, although the Labour leader ruled out forming a post-election alliance with the SNP.

"Core voters in the north who voted for Brexit are not convinced, and metropolitan liberal voters aren't convinced by that either", political expert and author Eliza Filby told AFP. As per the unwritten understandings that define our constitutional monarchy, only the monarch can appoint a date for new elections - in practice, she always does so when a Prime Minister requests it.

"That's what I believe in doing, that's what I'm going to be doing around this campaign".

The Prime Minister's decision to hold a snap vote has left just days to get outstanding Bills passed before Parliament ends to allow the nation to go to the polls.

"If she's so proud of her record, why wouldn't she debate it?"

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That changed in the 2010 election, when the leaders of the three biggest parties faced off on TV.

Here, where the local member of parliament is a Conservative but most people voted past year to stay in the European Union, May's party has to win back those who disagree with her plans for a decisive break with the EU.

So far, the odds of a strong Tory win in the 2017 United Kingdom general election are looking bright.

"Why will she not publicly debate these issues now - what is she scared of?"

Meanwhile, former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg confirmed that he will fight to retain his Sheffield Hallam seat for the Liberal Democrats.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood - whose profile received a major boost from her involvement in two of the 2015 broadcasts - said: "Theresa May should be empty chaired if she doesn't show up to any planned TV debates".

"Make no mistake, if the SNP wins this election in Scotland - and the Tories don't - then Theresa May's attempt to block our mandate to hold another referendum when the time is right, will crumble to dust", SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

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