PRIME Minister Theresa May has called a snap general election for June 8.
The UK will go to the polls just weeks after council elections on May 4 and just over two years since the last national vote.
Mrs May made a statement outside Number 10 Downing Street shortly after 11am.
She said an election was necessary for national unity and condemned "game playing" by all opposition parties and the House of Lords.
Mrs May said: "The country is coming together but Westminster is not.
"I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election."
A vote will be held in parliament tomorrow to decide if there should be an election before 2020, the current legally mandated poll.
Mrs May said: "If we don't hold a general election now, their political game-playing will continue and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run up to the next general election.
"Let's tomorrow vote for an election - let's put forward our plans for Brexit and our alternative programmes for government and then let the people decide."
West Dunbartonshire MP Martin Docherty-Hughes tweeted: "Fully committed to the communities of #Clydebank #Dumbarton & #ValeofLeven #GE17 #WestDunbartonshire. #VoteSNP"
Nicola Sturgeon, SNP leader and First Minister, tweeted: "The Tories see a chance to move the UK to the right, force through a hard Brexit and impose deeper cuts. Let's stand up for Scotland."
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "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."
The LibDem leader Tim Farron said: "This is your chance to change the direction of your country."