"The election should hand Theresa May a much bigger mandate to stand up to the harder-line, anti-EU backbenchers who now hold a disproportionate sway over her party's stance on Brexit", said Aberdeen Asset Management investment manager Luke Bartholemew.
What is a snap election?.
British prime ministers used to have the power to call elections at will, but the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, passed in 2011, makes things more complicated. It demonstrates that she has been listening to the public and is determined to ensure that she has a strong mandate behind her before our detailed talks with the European Union begin. However, support would always be easy to win, because opposition parties did not like to oppose elections, he said.
The bid failed, with French voters rejecting the right and electing the Socialists to a majority in the National Assembly, forcing Chirac to appoint Socialist leader Lionel Jospin as prime minister. Mainly because the market, having viewed the huge lead enjoyed by the Conservatives in the opinion polls, is assuming that Mrs May will win and secure her own personal mandate.
The UK consequently looks likely to return to a system more like the one that operated for much of the past 30 years, where prime ministers would seek an election roughly every four years at a time of his or her political choosing.
One of the reasons for this, May said in her announcement, was that the opposition parties were jeopardising her government's Brexit preparations.
Recent polls have put the Conservatives about 21 points ahead of the Labour Party, and 32 points ahead of the Liberal Democrats.
The bottom line, however, is that a Conservative victory will solidify parliamentary support for a "hard Brexit".
We get answers to your questions after Theresa May called a surprise general election, taking place in seven weeks. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not. He said it would "give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first".
Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, said that even for a cautious politician like May, the temptation of an early election was irresistible.
"Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority", he added.
Explaining her decision, Mrs May said that Westminster had become divided following the European Union referendum, which could "cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country". "Let's stand up for Scotland", SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said, using a colloquial name for the Conservative Party.
"I believe this election is your chance to change the direction of our country".
The Lib Dem MP, whose party has vowed to battle against the United Kingdom leaving the single market, also claimed the Conservative Party viewed them as a threat to their seats in the south-west. It also goes on to say that the Lib Dems are claiming that since May's announcement, 1,000 people have joined the party. Leaders of European Union states are due to adopt negotiating guidelines at an April 29 summit, and the bloc will prepare detailed plans for the talks with Britain by late May.