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The daring bid of May as she calls for early election

Theresa May has changed her mind after previously saying she would not call an early election.

So we now know that when Theresa May says "no", she occasionally means "yes".Errr, just like most politicians.

Because she is calling an early general election, for June 8, in spite of repeatedly saying - without leaving herself any apparent wriggle room - that she would not go to the polls before 2020. She has changed her mind for two reasons - one principled, one less so.

The respectable reason is that negotiations to secure an exit from the European Union, that would keep us prosperous and safe, represent the greatest challenge faced by any PM since 1945.

And the revealed dissent to her approach to Brexit, within her own party, coupled with the Tories' slim majority in the Commons, gives her a credible reason to seek a clearer mandate from the country for her vision of what Brexit should mean.

Her other more pragmatic motive is that she'll be lucky if the country ever likes her and her party quite as much it seems to do now: polls give her a whopping lead of at least 20 percentage points over Jeremy Corbyn's Labour, which is the greatest lead by an incumbent Tory government since Thatcher's in 1983.

She personally seems to be more popular even with Labour supporters than Corbyn.

The Conservatives currently hold a huge 20-point leader over Labour in polls. Credit: PA

Does that mean she'll win that landslide that is her heart's desire? Well, she's taking a calculated risk: clear victory for her is not certain, for a couple of reasons.

First, and under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, she has to get a two-thirds majority in a vote of MPs - probably to be held tomorrow - to dissolve parliament and name election day.

That would require Labour MPs to vote with her, which seems likely - given it's what Jeremy Corbyn told me he would do when I asked him on Peston on Sunday at the end of last month, and it is what Labour MPs tell me they say they'd do.

It would look odd if Theresa May was sustained in office by Labour. I am trying to frame in my head how Jeremy Corbyn would justify doing that, and it is not easy.

Second, and more importantly, you (yes you) may not behave in an actual election in the way polls say you would.

Now that you know that she doesn't always mean exactly what she says, maybe you won't like her quite as much as you currently think you do. Also, with so much unease about what America plans to do in North Korea and Syria, you may fear an election would be a distraction from keeping us safe.

For what it's worth, back in late March I thought the logic for her of going to the country early was overwhelming, as I said then.

She's decided, perhaps not unreasonably, that to carry out what she wants to achieve for this country she needs your formal approval. There's no turning back for her now.

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