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Conservatives hot favourites after May announces June 8 poll

Labour 7-1 to be largest party

Jeremy Corbyn: has he been moonlighting as a race programmer in France?
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Shortly after 11am on Tuesday Prime Minister Theresa May announced a snap election for June 8, and within hours the odds about the Conservative party winning most seats had tumbled from 1-4 to 1-10.

The Tories go into battle defending a parliamentary majority of 17 and they are just 2-9 with Hills to claim at least the 326 seats they require to have overall control.

Labour are 20-1 to achieve the same with Betfred with the chances of a hung parliament available at 6-1 with bet365.

Bookmakers anticipate it will be a busy 50 days.

Hills spokesman Graham Sharpe said: "We took some £3m on the last general election and £5m on last year's US Presidential election, so we anticipate huge betting interest." 

The Conservatives have 330 MPs, Labour have 229, the Scottish Nationalists 54 and the Liberal Democrats nine.

The prospect of opposition to the government's handling of the Brexit negotiations had made the Prime Minister conclude that going to the country is the best option.

In the face of potential dissent from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Nationalists and the House of Lords, she said: "Let's put forward our plans for Brexit and our alternative programmes for government and then let the people decide."

Parliament will vote on Wednesday on whether an election can take place - the next poll had been due to take place in 2020 - but it appears likely that the decision will receive the required two-third majority, especially as Labour have decided to support it.

May will go to the polls with a 17-point lead in the polls, their largest lead upon the announcement of an election since such surveys began after the end of the second world war.

However, it is not the largest poll lead a government has enjoyed in the run-up to polling day as Labour headed into battle in 2001 with a 19-point advantage before claiming a landslide success.

The Tories were two points behind Labour at the start of the 2015 campaign before David Cameron claimed a majority victory.

The prospect of opposition to the government's handling of the Brexit negotiations had made her conclude that going to the country is the best option
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