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The Times front page

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Theresa May’s surprise decision to call a snap election unsurprisingly dominates Wednesday’s front pages. The Times wastes no time in predicting an election landslide for the Conservatives, as polling for the paper suggests pro-Brexit Labour voters are set to desert Mr Corbyn’s party come 8 June.

The Mirror front page

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“The lady IS for U-turning,” says the Daily Mirror, which claims the prime minister “put herself and the Tories first” as she decided to call an early election.

Daily Mail front page

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Alongside the headline “Crush the saboteurs”, the Daily Mail praises Mrs May’s “stunning” move, saying she had called the bluff of the “‘game-playing’ Remoaners and the unelected Lords”.

The i front page

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The i declares Britain “stunned” by the snap election, which the paper calls a “gamble” from the prime minister, who is asking the public for a stronger Brexit mandate.

The Sun front page

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It’s “Blue murder”, according to the Sun’s front page, as the paper predicts the PM will “kill off Labour” and “smash rebel Tories” too. Mrs May told the paper she had called the election because of pro-EU MPs “trying to stop us every step of the way”.

The daily Telegraph

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The Daily Telegraph, which calls the election “May’s bolt from the blue”, leads with comments from the PM who, writing in the paper, said she needed an increased majority in the Commons to defeat the opposition parties who threaten to “jeopardise” Brexit.

The Guardian front page

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The Guardian, meanwhile, says Mrs May’s decision is driven by her “vision for Brexit”. It says the prime minister’s criticisms of her opponents were “a sign of the tone she is likely to adopt” in the upcoming campaign.

Financial Time front page

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The Financial Times reports the pound rose following Mrs May’s announcement, which the paper says is down to hopes “of softer EU departure”. The strength of sterling unnerved UK stocks however, with the FTSE 100 ending Tuesday 2.5% weaker.

Daily Star front page

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“Here we go again” says the Daily Star, as Theresa May’s “50-day sprint” to the polls begins. The paper adds that as the Conservative campaign got under way, the Labour Party “seemed on the verge of collapse”.

Daily Express front page

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The Daily Express reports that the prime minister’s “bombshell” move will aim to “crush opposition to Brexit once and for all”.

The general election is the only story on Wednesday’s front pages – with pictures of Theresa May at the Downing Street lectern taking centre stage.

Headlines range from The Telegraph’s “May’s bolt from the blue” and “Crush the Saboteurs” (Daily Mail), to “The lady IS for U-turning” (Daily Mirror).

Mrs May’s decision to seek a fresh mandate is broadly supported by the leader writers.

The Daily Mail describes it as brave and shrewd. It says it was her only way of clearing the political air, ending the “dirty tricks” of her “Remoaner enemies” and maximising her chances of driving the best possible Brexit deal.

In the Sun’s view, prime ministers should have an election win behind them, especially if their agenda is so different from their predecessor’s.

It is a point also made by the Financial Times, which says Mrs May clearly wishes to be a very different prime minister from David Cameron – yet she has been bound by his manifesto promises.

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Reuters

But the Guardian questions the need for an early election. It says Britain does not need it and its people are not demanding it.

There is no crisis in the government. Mrs May is not losing votes in the Commons and neither is the House of Lords defying her. No legislation is at risk and there is no war and no economic crisis, the paper argues.

For the Mirror, Mrs May’s dramatic change of heart has “absolutely everything to do with cynical Conservative calculations and nothing to do with what’s best for Britain“.

It says she’s launched a breathtaking power grab – riding on the back of Brexit.

The Times notes that Mrs May has found the courage to do what Gordon Brown balked at when he took over from Tony Blair in 2007.

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The Telegraph says it had been assumed that the provisions of the Fixed Terms Parliaments Act made holding a snap election almost impossible.

But – it adds – confronted with the choice between fighting an election and looking cowardly by declining to support one, opposition leaders at Westminster have quickly fallen into line.

While the prime minister’s revelation that she made the decision to go to the country during an Easter walking holiday in the Welsh hills with her husband is widely reported, several papers are sceptical.

The political editor of the Daily Express says few MPs will be convinced by the claim. She has a reputation for being a long-term thinker who meticulously plots her strategy months and even years in advance, he points out.

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