Everything you need to know about a snap general election

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Prime Minister Theresa May has this morning called a snap general election. Here is everything you need to know.

What is a snap general election?

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 provides for general elections to be held on the first Thursday in May every five years. However, a snap general election is an election called earlier than expected.

What happens next?

The snap general election can only go ahead if two thirds of MPs vote in favour of it. The vote is due to take place on the House of Commons tomorrow.

When will the general election be held?

If approved in Parliament, the general election will be held on June 8.

Have snap general elections been held before?

Yes, on nine previous occasions. The most recent was in 1979, held six months before the deadline. It was called when the Labour government of James Callaghan narrowly lost a confidence motion. The Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher, then defeated the Labour government.