A GENERAL Election is set to take place on June 8 - with people across Worcestershire left stunned.
Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday outlined plans for a shock summer poll, saying she needed to "make a success of Brexit" by going to the country.
It means voters across the county - and the rest of Britain - face a second General Election in just three years.
The sensational announcement took all of Worcestershire's MPs and council leaders by complete surprise yesterday as well as the public.
The PM has repeatedly insisted she would not seek a general election until 2020, but made her sudden announcement at 11.05am yesterday in a dramatic u-turn.
A vote is taking place in the Commons today where she requires support from two-thirds of MPs to go to the country in June.
Reaction poured in on social media yesterday, with readers saying they had mixed feelings on it while others voiced concern about it becoming another ad hoc EU debate.
Mrs May has a fragile working majority of just 17 MPs in the Commons and says she wants "unity" at Westminster as talks on Brexit begin.
"The country is coming together, but Westminster is not," she said.
"I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for the years ahead is to hold this election."
I WILL BE A CANDIDATE IN THE ELECTION, SAYS REDDITCH MP
Commenting on the shock announcement Redditch MP Karen Lumley, who has been recovering from a health relapse and unable to carry out many of her parliamentary duties, said she will stand.
"Theresa May has given the country the chance to decide who they want to lead us in the Brexit negotiations and to outline her policies," she said speaking to the Advertiser.
"I think it’s the right thing to do and I can confirm I will be a candidate in the election.”
The MP had a surgical procedure in October last year and following this was unable to carry out much of her parliamentary work until Christmas, and did not start carrying out constituency visits and meetings until late November.
She then suffered a health relapse in January and is only now returning to full strength.
UKIP's justice spokesman Peter Jewell, who contested Redditch in 2015, is also considering his options.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
A vote is taking place today among all 650 MPs in parliament to agree to hold a General Election on Thursday, June 8.
Two-thirds of them will need to support the move for it to be confirmed, tearing up the existing Fixed Term Parliaments Act, which had pencilled in the next one for 2020.
Theresa May holds an overall majority of just 17 seats, which is historically very small.
But all six Worcestershire seats are currently Conservative, with a 'blue bounce' resulting in some hefty increases in their share of the vote in 2015.
If it gets approved today, the polls will open as normal between 7am-10pm on Thursday, June 8.
The result will be announced in the early hours of Friday, June 9.
HOW THEY FARED LAST TIME IN 2015
Conservative hold; Robin Walker (majority 5,646)
Conservative hold; Harriett Baldwin (majority 22,578)
Conservative hold; Nigel Huddleston (majority 20,532)
Conservative hold; Mark Garnier (majority 12,871)
Conservative hold; Karen Lumley (majority 7,054)
Conservative hold; Sajid Javid (majority 16,529)