Morrison set to reveal election date

 

Scott Morrison has made an early morning visit to the Governor-General to officially call the 2019 election.

It will fire the starting gun on a five-week campaign with Australians expected to go to the polls on May 18.

The Prime Minister flew to Canberra last night after a week of travelling Australia to pitch the budget, which included tax cuts of up to $1080 for 10 million Australians.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has also essentially been in campaign mode since his budget reply speech on Thursday when he unveiled Labor's $2.3 billion health package to slash medical bills for cancer patients.

Mr Morrison left The Lodge just before 7am to call the election.

An announcement is imminent.

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is about to call the election. Picture: AAP
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is about to call the election. Picture: AAP

 

He has been coy on indicating which date he will choose for Australians to go to the polls, with speculation surrounding three key dates including May 11, 18 and 25.

"Elections are important things - they change the course of nations, they change the economy in which Australians live," Mr Morrison said on Friday.

The dates were raised within the final Coalition party room meeting before the federal budget was handed down on Parliament on Tuesday April 2.

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison en route to call the election in Canberra this morning. Picture: Gary Ramage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison en route to call the election in Canberra this morning. Picture: Gary Ramage

 

 

He was expected to visit the Queen's man in Canberra some time between Friday and Sunday, asking Sir Peter Cosgrove to dissolve parliament and declare an election after the budget.

"They're the options we have and when I decide to go out to the Governor-General, then people will see that car drive out to Yarralumla," Mr Morrison has previously told the media.

The government needs to hold a standard general election before May 18 - meaning the prime minister has to call it by April 15.

Stretching out to May 25 what would push the current parliament to its absolute limit and could make the electoral commission's task to get the votes counted ahead of the Senate's expiry at the end of June very difficult.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has been urging the prime minister to call a snap poll.

An exclusive YouGov Galaxy poll for News Corp has recently revealed how Australians rate Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten.

Voters believe Mr Shorten is "untrustworthy" above all other character traits, while Mr Morrison is seen as "well-intentioned" but "smug" and "arrogant".

The poll revealed people trust Pauline Hanson more than the Opposition leader.

Despite these findings, the poll, conducted before the Budget announcements tipped Labor to win the election.

The study also showed voters overwhelmingly don't back Labor's negative gearing changes or 'retiree tax' and think asylum seeker boats are more likely to restart under a Labor government.

Mr Morrison was seen as "well-intentioned" by 34 per cent of voters. But Australians also viewed the Prime Minister as "smug" (31 per cent), "arrogant" (31 per cent) and "untrustworthy" (30 per cent).

Mr Shorten was rated "untrustworthy" by 34 per cent of voters.

More to come.