In a surprise announcement, Britain's prime minister called for an early election on June 8. (The Washington Post)

LONDON — The mysterious news came early Tuesday. British Prime Minister Theresa May was to deliver a surprise announcement at 11:15 a.m. local time. As the podium was set up outside her office at 10 Downing Street, speculation quickly began.

Many took to Twitter to discuss what may be said. Would the prime minister resign? Would May speak on the war on terror? As politicians theorized and journalists debated, others came to more lighthearted conclusions.

Minutes ahead of schedule, the British prime minister announced an early general election to be held on June 8. “We need a general election, and we need one now,” May said, despite stating on numerous occasions in the past that there would be no general election until 2020.

Former British prime minister David Cameron called May's decision “brave” and “right.”

Leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn backed May's decision: “I welcome the PM’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.”

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accused May of using the early election as an opportunity to impose deeper cuts. Vowing to protect Scotland, Sturgeon later called May's plans “a huge political miscalculation.”

As news of the early U.K. election spread, many took to social media to vent their frustration.

Speaking to the BBC's Jon Kay about the surprise announcement, one woman in Bristol seemed to sum up the general feeling in Britain: “You're joking. There's too much politics going on at the moment. Why does she need to do it?”