British PM May says June election result 'not certain' despite front-runner status

Polls give May's governing Conservative party a lead of around 20 percentage points, enough to command a majority that could be over 100 seats, but May said she was not complacent.
Polls give May's governing Conservative party a lead of around 20 percentage points, enough to command a majority that could be over 100 seats, but May said she was not complacent. PHOTO: AFP

MAIDENHEAD, England (REUTERS) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday (April 21) that she was not taking anything for granted as she gears up for a snap election in June in which polls suggest her Conservative party is heading for a landslide victory.

May called the national election in a surprise move on Tuesday, saying it was necessary to boost her majority and provide stability as Britain gears up for two years of negotiations with the European Union about its departure from the bloc.

Polls give May's governing Conservative party a lead of around 20 percentage points, enough to command a majority that could be over 100 seats, but May said she was not complacent.

"The election campaign has only just begun. I'm not taking anything for granted. The result is not certain," she said in a speech at a GlaxoSmithKline factory in her constituency of Maidenhead.

May also said that a commitment from the Conservatives to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on foreign aid would remain, following speculation that it would be scrapped in the Conservatives manifesto for the new election.

On Thursday, she said she plans to stick to her pledge to reduce annual net migration to below 100,000 a year.

May has previously backed her predecessor David Cameron's pledge to cut the figure to the "tens of thousands", but there had been speculation in British newspapers the Conservatives might not include the promise in their election manifesto.

Net migration has consistently been running at around three times the government's target, with the latest figures in February putting the level at 273,000.