UK's call for early polls is a 'huge miscalculation', Nicola Sturgeon says

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It comes as Sturgeon faces backlash from May over her bid to call for a second referendum on independence for Scotland.

Now the issue of a referendum is set to dominate the election campaign north of the border. However, it is hard to make predictions when it comes to Northern Ireland and Scotland, where most people voted to remain in the European Union during the 2016 referendum.

Whatever happened to "now is not the time"? Your vote in this election really matters. As recently as this March Labour were polling at 15 per cent across Scotland compared to the Tories on 22 per cent and Scottish Greens on 12 per cent.

Ms Sturgeon said it was "a huge political miscalculation" by the Prime Minister.

Scottish Labour Party leader Kezia Dugdale has revealed her plans to chair a general election meeting later today, and said her party would "work tirelessly" to elect a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

Nicola Sturgeon's party had previously agitated for the Prime Minister to seek a mandate to govern, but it doesn't appear they were on a war footing as Britain prepares to go to the polls on June 8.

There is a certain irony to Prime Minister Theresa May calling an election now when she also says that "now is not the time" for another referendum on Scottish independence, saying politicians should be concentrating on negotiating Brexit.

"It will once again give people the opportunity to reject the Tories' narrow, divisive agenda as well as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future", the First Minister said.

The First Minister accused the Prime Minister of using the surprise June 8 poll to seek to make the United Kingdom more right wing and "force through a hard Brexit and impose deeper cuts".

"We know the SNP will use this campaign to try and manufacture a case for separation". Our aim is to gain support all over the country.

Being faced with strengthened calls for a second Scottish independence referendum would weaken May's hand in her negotiations with the European Union - and that could have knock-on effects for both Gilt valuations and the future of the City.

Ms Sturgeon's party won 56 of the available 59 seats at the election in 2015, although two have subsequently left the SNP. We will start the process of selecting our candidates this afternoon. She has delivered that, she said.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie also said his party was "relishing the prospect of this election". The solution is for the Tories to scrap the rape clause and the two child policy - not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK. Our optimistic agenda is pro-UK, pro-EU and progressive.

"Ruth Davidson - who we were told was a different type of Tory - stood up and took a stand... not against poverty or injustice or the mistreatment of someone, but to justify the abhorrent rape clause".

The loss of their final MP in Scotland would complete an historic decline and ensure the SNP cement their claims to being the party representing Scotland's democracy and interests after a General Election.

Alluding to devolution he said: "Any chance for power for the people and reform will be under threat if the Tories win".

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