Theresa May fired the starting pistol on the Conservatives’ election campaign by travelling more than 200 miles from Westminster to Greater Manchester to ask voters for a mandate to lead post-Brexit Britain. The Prime Minister gave a speech in a parish hall in Walmsley, a village in the Labour seat of Bolton North East, just three hours after MPs voted to clear the way for the 8 June poll. Mrs May, addressing voters as she stood surrounded by party activists and supporters, said: “Only you can give us the mandate, so vote for a strong and stable leadership in this country. ”Vote for strong and stable leadership this country needs. Give me the mandate to lead Britain. Give me the mandate to speak for Britain.” She added: “Give me the mandate to fight for Britain. And give me the mandate to deliver for Britain.” Bolton North East is a held by Labour’s Sir David Crausby, who has a majority of 4,377, and is a Conservative target. The Conservatives would need a swing of 5.1 per cent, but Labour has held the seat at every General Election since 1997. Mrs May used her speech to praise MPs after 522 voted in the Commons for the early election, with just 13 against. She said: “It’s great to be here in Bolton, fresh from the House of Commons, fresh from winning a vote in the House of Commons, which has approved my decision to hold a general election on 8 June.