Friday, June 18, 2010

August election firms with PM's clarification

Election date predictions are running hot after Kevin Rudd's comments on ABC television last night a clarifying statement today.

Mr Rudd told the 7.30 Report, 'We have an election due by whatever it is, March or April next year, and we only have three-year terms. You've got to use the time effectively.'

This led to speculation that he would until next year to call an election. However he quickly moved to confirm the election would be in 2010.

'The Prime Minister has made clear on several occasions, as recently as last week, that the election will be held this year,' a spokesman said. 'The Prime Minister has also explained many times in response to questions that despite this an election could technically be held at any time up to April 2011.'

So now it is definite the election is this year, political pundits are fine-tuning their estimates as to which month it will be.

Some point to Mr Rudd's repeated stressing of his preference to run a full term. The 2007 election was on November 24 meaning a November election could be the choice. Greens leader Bob Brown favours this suggestion.

However ABC political reporter Antony Green gives strong reasoning for an August election:

'...the fixed term election dates for Victoria on 27 November 2010 and NSW on 26 March 2011 mean that the Federal election will have to be over by the end of October to avoid overlap with state polls.

'With football finals in September, and Commonwealth Games in October, that means the date for the Federal election date is likely to be either in August, early September, or between the 16th and 30th of October.

'Maybe 21 August, the same date that John Curtin led Labor to its greatest ever election victory in 1943.'

Antony Green also includes new electoral enrolment procedures for  Victoria as a factor. Victoria is about to follow NSW's model an automatically register 18 year olds to vote in state elections, but not federally. To vote in a federal poll, they must still enrol through the Australian Electoral Commission.

To avoid this confusion, Green says, August is the best date. Read his full blog posting here.

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