ELECTION 2016: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirms July 2 double dissolution election

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Australians are heading to the polling booths on July 2 in a 55-day campaign with 150 House and 76 Senate seats in play.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed today he asked the Governor General to dissolve both Houses of Parliament - the first double dissolution election since 1987.

"It is the most exciting time to be an Australian," Mr Turnbull said, confirming the election.

"These are exciting times. These are times for confidence, for optimism, for a clear plan for Australia.


"We will be seeking a mandate from the Australian people on July 2," he said, before launching into his proposed economic plan for “stronger economic growth and more jobs for Australians”.

"With a clear vision, a clear plan… our greatest days are surely ahead of us."

Malcolm Turnbull meets with Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove in Yarralumla. Photo: Facebook/Malcolm Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull meets with Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove in Yarralumla. Photo: Facebook/Malcolm Turnbull

Mr Turnbull said Labor’s policies would “stop our nation’s transition to the new economy dead in its tracks”.

“Labor claims to seek for fairness but really speaks of nothing more than increasing taxes."

Mr Turnbull said looks forward to “a number” of debates during the campaign.

The PM met with Sir Peter just after 1pm on Sunday afternoon. During the brief 15-minute meeting he formally requested for both Houses of Parliament to be dissolved.

The election would be the first of its kind since 1987 and will open 150 House of Representatives seats and 76 Senate places for election.

Mr Turnbull and Sir Peter flew into a rainy Canberra separately around midday on Sunday.

Both Malcolm Turnbull and Sir Peter Cosgrove have arrived at Government House.
Both Malcolm Turnbull and Sir Peter Cosgrove have arrived at Government House.

Mr Turnbull left The Lodge at 12.55pm for the short drive to Yarralumla.

He took a photo of the meeting, posting it on his Facebook page and confirming the conference will go ahead at 2:30pm.

"A few moments ago, I visited the Governor General and asked him to dissolve the Parliament in preparation for an election," he wrote alongside the photo.

"At 2.30pm, I will be addressing the nation to outline our plan for jobs and growth."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has already been on the hustings on Sunday, announcing a paid parental leave policy in Melbourne before he heads to Tasmania for the 10th anniversary of the Beaconsfield mine rescue.

It was there that he first came to national attention and was touted as a future prime minister.

The opinion polls have the two major parties head into the election locked at 50-50 on a two party preferred basis.

The Coalition government currently holds 90 seats in the House of Representatives while Labor has 55.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has also made his way to Canberra from Tamworth for the official announcement.

The widely reported plans for a Mother’s Day announcement come as a new opinion poll revealed Labor and the Coalition were neck and neck.

Malcolm Turnbull set to announce July 2 election Mother's Day. Photo: AAP
Malcolm Turnbull set to announce July 2 election Mother's Day. Photo: AAP

A post-budget Galaxy poll showed the two parties were locked at 50-50 on a two party preferred basis, however the coalition was still leading Labor on primary votes with 42 per cent.

On Sunday morning Mr Turnbull his his wife Lucy left their home to spend time with their grandson Jack at Centennial Park.

Malcolm Turnbull, wife Lucy and grandson Jack visit Centennial Park in Sydney. Photo: AAP
Malcolm Turnbull, wife Lucy and grandson Jack visit Centennial Park in Sydney. Photo: AAP

He also shared photos of his family on social media, while wishing everyone a happy Mother’s Day.

“Thank heavens for all the mothers! Celebrate them, respect them and love them, today and every day,' he captioned the image.

“Lucy’s love for children has always gone beyond her own.”

He then began the trip to Government House where he will ask Sir Peter Cosgrove to dissolve Parliament, paving the way for a double dissolution election.

The move would be the first double dissolution election in Australia in 30 years.

Christopher Pyne spilt the beans on the election announcement on Saturday, saying it would be a "very generous present on Mother’s Day".

Malcolm Turnbull, wife Lucy. Photo: AAP
Malcolm Turnbull, wife Lucy. Photo: AAP

The Liberal politician shared his thoughts on when the election would be on Sky News.

Mr Pyne said the announcement was "very likely to be called in the afternoon".

However not everyone was happy with the move to host the announcement on Mother’s Day.

Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie slammed Mr Turnbull for "spoiling" the special day and making it his.

“Mother’s Day is a very special family day, it doesn’t need to be spoilt,” she said.

“Why doesn’t the PM call the election on Saturday or on Monday, Mother’s Day doesn’t need to be turned into Turnbull’s day.”

The war of words between Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten were expected to intensify in the eight weeks up to the election.

Mr Shorten said the federal election is about policies not personalities.

"It's not about Malcolm Turnbull or myself, it's about the people of Australia," Mr Shorten told 7 News.

Mr Shorten said Australians will be looking for positive plans for jobs, for Medicare and education, a fairer taxation system, housing affordability for first homebuyers and real action on climate change.

Treasurer Scott Morrison insists his government's national economic plan - otherwise known as the budget - is what Australia needs most.

"They also need a government that knows how to stop the boats... and to ensure they stay stopped," he told ABC TV, questioning whether Mr Shorten had the mettle to do so.

Mr Morrison said national elections were always tight.

L: Bill Shorten R: Malcolm Turnbull Photo: AAP
L: Bill Shorten R: Malcolm Turnbull Photo: AAP

The government hoped for a boost in support after Tuesday’s budget announcement.

The Seven-ReachTel poll found 33 per cent of voters felt they were worse off after the budget announcement and only seven per cent thought they would better off for it.

Education, health, the economy and housing affordability are expected to be the key issues this election.

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