The Prime Minister Theresa May announced on 18 April that she would ask Parliament to approve a motion to call for a general election on 8 June. This approval has now been given, so the election will proceed.
From a viewpoint of MAP clients, there will be consequences in any dealings with officials, Ministers and MPs.
There will be a period of “purdah” from Friday 21 April for officials and Ministers, who will be very reluctant to meet or make statements. Almost everything will be put on hold.
Parliament was dissolved on 3 May.
A number of electoral factors will have been considered. The election will be fought on existing Parliamentary boundaries, which work in favour of Labour. There will be some weariness about having a General Election so soon after the last in 2015 and the referendum last year, so turnout may drop. The Prime Minister will also be seen as breaking her promise not to hold an election until 2020 and will be criticised for seeking to gain partisan advantage rather than governing the country.
All that said, the latest polls give the Conservatives a huge lead of around 17%-18% over Labour, so the working assumption must be a new Conservative Government with a bigger overall majority.
The main Party Manifestos are not due immediately. Labour’s National Executive Committee and others will meet on11th May to agree what items should go in, so it will probably not be published until the weekend or the w/c 15th May. The Conservatives are still trawling Ministers for Manifesto proposals, and the Party is refusing to give a date for publication. Whenever they come out, MAP will provide analyses
The House of Commons is expected to return on 13th June to elect the Speaker and then swear in the new Members. The Queen’s Speech setting out the Government’s programme will be on 19th June.