The Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that she will hold a snap general election on June 8.
She said Britain needed strong leadership following the EU referendum, adding that the only way to "guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take".
The introduction of the Fixed Term Parliament Act by former prime minister David Cameron means that UK parliaments last for five years. As a result, the next general election was not scheduled to happen until 2020.
However, the Prime Minister can call an election early if she gets the agreement of two-thirds of MPs in the House of Commons. May only has a small minority as the governing party, but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously indicated he would support the vote.