An election gives her the chance to cement her political position and win support for her vision of Brexit. "Since I became prime minister, the government has delivered precisely that".
Elements of the Conservative Party government's Brexit strategy faced opposition from the centre-left Labour Party, while the Scottish National Party sought to block the move altogether.
The decision is important because it suggests May will have little trouble securing enough votes to overturn the Fixed Parliaments Act, which set the date for the next election for 2020.
An election on June 8 would therefore mean that parliament would be dissolved on Wednesday 3 May 2017 and MPs will be free to pound the pavements up and down the land from Thursday 4 May.
The prime minister's own personal ratings also dwarf those of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with 50 percent of those asked saying she would make the best prime minister.
"Other political parties oppose it. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not", May said in a press conference Tuesday.
But May said Tuesday she had "reluctantly" changed her mind.
"There should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. I look forward to spreading Labour's positive message on the doorstep".
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked that Teresa May is calling an early general election in Parliament? If you want to avoid a disastrous Hard Brexit.
'I welcome the Prime Minister's decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.
"We expect to have the Brexit guidelines adopted by the European Council on 29 April and, following that, the Brexit negotiating directives ready on 22 May", Mr Aamann said.
In a later statement Nuttall said that May's move was a "cynical decision driven more by the weakness of Corbyn's Labour Party than the good of the country".
May is concerned about what she calls the opposition parties' "game playing" and the effect it will have on Britain's Brexit negotiations.
"Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership", said May.
"For the first time in our history, the timing of general elections will not be a plaything of governments and Prime Ministers will no longer have the power to go to the polls at a time of their own choosing", Deputy Nick Clegg told lawmakers during the bill's second reading in September 2010.