Key signals early announcement of election date

Prime Minister John Key has signalled he is likely to announce next year's election date months early, as he did in 2011.

In a surprise announcement on Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the federal election would be held on 14 September this year.

Mr Key said on Thursday he will consider his options over this year's Christmas break, but is once more likely to announce the election date earlier rather than later.

He said when he announced the election date early in 2011, that was mainly related to New Zealand's hosting of the Rugby World Cup.

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