General election: 11 key dates in countdown to polling day

Prime Minister Theresa May
Prime Minister Theresa May

The election machine is rolling into action, now that the people look set to go to the polls on June 8.

Here are some key dates:

Tuesday, April 18

Prime Minister Theresa May calls for a snap general election on June 8 to strengthen her hand going into the Brexit negotiations.

Wednesday, April 19

The Prime Minister tables a Commons motion calling for an election on June 8. It is the chance for MPs to give the green light for an election to take place. Under the terms of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, a two-thirds majority of MPs is needed to bring the election forward by three years from the scheduled date of May 2020. There will be a short "wash-up" period to clear up outstanding legislation such as the Finance Bill to enable the funding of government to carry on.

Saturday, April 29

European Union leaders are to meet in Brussels for a summit when the remaining 27 member states are expected to approve guidelines on Brexit.

A spokesman for European Council president Donald Tusk said: "The UK elections do not change our EU27 plans.

"We expect to have the Brexit guidelines adopted by the European Council on April 29 and following that the Brexit negotiating directives ready on May 22.

"This will allow the EU27 to start negotiations."

Wednesday, May 3 - Parliament dissolved

Parliament is expected to be dissolved on Wednesday May 3, 25 working days before polling. It marks the start of the official campaign.

Sunday, May 7 - France chooses a new president

On the back of Britain's Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump as US president, it will be a decision which will be of huge interest internationally.

Thursday, May 11 - Likely deadline for nominations

Voters should have a good idea about which candidates are running, who is standing down and who has been deselected.

Monday, May 22 - Likely deadline for registering to vote

Wednesday, May 31 - Likely deadline for making an application for a proxy vote so that your ballot can be cast by someone on your behalf.

Tuesday, June 6 to Thursday, June 8 - State visit by the King and Queen of Spain

The Queen is hosting King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain on a state visit to the United Kingdom. The King and Queen of Spain will stay at Buckingham Palace.

Thursday, June 8 - Polling day

The outcome of the general election is likely to become clear in the early hours of the next morning.