British PM May says June election result 'not certain'

Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:36am EDT
 
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By William James

MAIDENHEAD, England (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday that she was not taking anything for granted as she geared up for a snap election in June, in which polls suggest her Conservative party was heading for a landslide victory.

May called the national election in a surprise move on Tuesday, saying it was necessary to boost her majority and provide stability as Britain gears up for two years of negotiations with the European Union about its departure from the bloc.

Polls give May's governing Conservative party a lead of around 20 percentage points, enough to potentially give her a parliamentary majority of more than 100 seats, but May said she was not complacent.

"The election campaign has only just begun. I'm not taking anything for granted. The result is not certain," she said in a speech at a GlaxoSmithKline factory in her electoral area of Maidenhead, west of London.

The Labour party has been riven by divisions over its leader Jeremy Corbyn and Brexit, while May's commitment to a clean break with the EU has undermined support for the eurosceptic UK Independence Party.

SPENDING PLEDGES

While many specific policy positions have yet to be filled out, both May and her finance minister, Philip Hammond, gave the first indications on how the party's spending plans on key voter issues like foreign aid, pensions and tax will look.   Continued...

 
Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, talks to students and first-time voters at Cox Green School in Maidenhead, April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Leon Neal/Pool