Despite assurances that she would not call a snap general election, Mrs May has done just that. The country will go to the polls on June 8th and although the Prime Minister has stated that a solid mandate will ensure a strong position from which to negotiate an EU Brexit deal, the cynical observer might see May’s decision as an act of pure self-interest, calculated to deliver a thumping Conservative majority at the expense of Labour.
As Mrs May spoke at the final PMQs before the election, she seemed to distance herself from the rest of the party and spoke of what she alone could offer the country:
“What this country needs is strong and stable leadership. And as I am the only person who can give this country strong and stable leadership, the country must vote for me if it wants a strong and stable leader and not a coalition of chaos.”
Mrs May is clearly capitalising on her strong personal approval ratings which contrast markedly with those of Corbyn – see here. Her performance in PMQs certainly led to number of commentators drawing the conclusion that the Prime Minister had adopted a presidential approach to forthcoming election.
This example might be explored when considering the idea that prime ministers are now presidents in all but name (Unit 2).