Theresa May calls for snap election with biggest Conservative lead since Margaret Thatcher

The Prime Minster is set to go into a General Election campaign with the biggest lead enjoyed by a Conservative politician since Margaret Thatcher in 1987.

Theresa May has sounded the starting gun for a planned vote on June 8 with a lead of around 17 points over Labour.

One recent opinion for YouGov/Times poll on voting intentions forecast a 21-point lead for the Conservatives.

One recent poll gave the Conservatives a 21-point lead over Labour.

The last Conservative Government in modern history to come close to those figures so shortly before an election was Margaret Thatcher's administration in 1987, which had a lead of around 14 points.

The Tories' current lead of 17 points is not the largest ever enjoyed by a governing party at this stage before an election, however.

Tony Blair's Labour government went into the 2001 general election with a lead averaging 19 points, going on to win by a landslide.

Members of the public told ITV News that they expected a win for the Conservatives - but many were not enthused by any of the main parties.

Jeff Eley predicted a landslide nationally for the Conservatives, who currently enjoy only a slim majority in Parliament.

Two other women regretfully predicted that Mrs May would be returned as leader, but said there was "not anybody you could really trust to do a good job".

Regular polling in the UK began after the Second World War.

Since then only three Conservative prime ministers have called an election while leading by more than five points in the polls: Harold Macmillan in 1959, Mrs Thatcher in 1983 and 1987, and Mrs May in 2017.