Mrs May made the shock statement on Tuesday, declaring that she would to go the Commons tomorrow to seek a general election to be held on June 8, where she needs two-thirds of MPs to back her.
As the nation and Westminster reeled from the news, politicians were quick to air their views on the snap decision.
And the Scottish National Party (SNP), who were name-checked by Mrs May during her speech, have criticised Mrs May’s decision.
Deputy SNP leader, Angus Robertson, said: “Whatever happened to 'now is not the time'? UK General Election: 8th June.
“Straight choice in Scotland between @theSNP and Tories. #VoteSNP.”
The SNP, led by Nicola Sturgeon, has been highly critical of the Government’s Brexit plan
He followed up his initial tweet by retweeting the Scottish First Minister and issued his own call to arms, saying: “Want to defeat the Tories in Scotland in the early General Election? Join @theSNP. #GE17 #voteSNP.”
In her speech announcing the seismic decision outside No 10, Mrs May said: “At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.
"In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the deal we reach with the European Union.
Mrs May has called a snap election which she has scheduled for June 8
"The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standsill.
"The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain's membership of the European Union.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
"And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.
— Angus Robertson (@AngusRobertson) April 18, 2017
Whatever happened to 'now is not the time'?
“It will be a choice between strong and stable leadership in the national interest, with me as your Prime Minister, or weak and unstable coalition government, led by Jeremy Corbyn, propped up by the Liberal Democrats – who want to reopen the divisions of the referendum – and Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.”
The SNP, led by Nicola Sturgeon, has been highly critical of the Government’s Brexit plan and have called for a second referendum on Scottish independence.
Commenting on the announcement, she 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. #GE17.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has welcomed the decision
Mrs Sturgeon could be eyeing it as an opportunity to increase the party’s share of MPs and increased pressure on Mrs May to bow to their demands.
In the wake of the snap election other party leaders have aired their views, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn “welcoming” the decision.
This is despite his party polling just 21 per cent of support according to a ComRes survey, with the Tories enjoying a 21-point advantage, the biggest lead for the party since 1983.
- Theresa May STRONGLY denies a general election until 2020
- Theresa May calls early general election
- Theresa May: Our opponents underestimate our determination
Mr 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.
“Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our school and NHS.
“In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country.
Mrs May made the shock statement on Tuesday
“We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.”
And leader of the Lib Dems, appeared to be staking the party’s future on the issue of Brexit, saying: "If you want to avoid a disastrous Hard Brexit. If you want to keep Britain in the Single Market.
“If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance."
Politicians react as Theresa May calls snap general election on June 8 Tue, April 18, 2017
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her intention to hold an early general election on June 8
AFP/Getty Images 1 of 5
Theresa May has called for a snap general election
"Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority."
The snap election, which defies Mrs May own statements that she would not call an election until 2020, is thought to silence critics and provide her with the mandate she needs to push forward with Brexit negotiations.
Two year of formal talks with the EU will conclude in 2019 after Mrs May triggered Article 50 in March.