On Tuesday, after months of denying there would be an early general election, May announced her intention to hold one in June.
The decision was on Wednesday tested in Parliament, where a two-thirds majority is required to bring the election forward from 2020.
May says a strong mandate from the nation will help her government navigate Brexit negotiations.
“I believe at this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster and not division.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says this is an opportunity for a new direction.
“Just four weeks ago, the prime minister’s spokesperson said ‘there isn’t going to be an early general election’. How can any voter trust what the prime minister says?”
Critics argue May is seizing a moment where Labour is particularly weak.
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)