28 Jun 2013

Rudd coy about election date

12:54 pm on 28 June 2013

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was coy in parliament on Thursday over the date of the Australian general election.

The date of 14 September was announced by previous prime minister Julia Gillard on 29 January.

The ABC reports the Opposition is now demanding an earlier poll after Ms Gillard was deposed on Wednesday night in an ALP caucus ballot.

During Question Time on Thursday, Mr Rudd said he will "identify a date for an election" in accordance with the allowances under the Constitution.

The prime minister said he will take into consideration the timing of the G20 Summit in Russia on 6 and 7 September, the need to hold a local government referendum, and the current coincidence of the 14 September date with Jewish holy day Yom Kippur.

"I will therefore go through these issues with my cabinet colleagues," he said in response to a question from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

"There's going to be an election, it will be held consistent with the constitution and if he's looked at the dates, there's not going to be a huge variation one way or the other."

The ABC reports Mr Rudd could hold the election as early as 3 August or hold off as late as 30 November.

The Opposition wants him to name the date and make it soon. Mr Abbott said an election "can't come soon enough" as far as the Australian people are concerned.

Bowen comment

Treasurer Chris Bowen has indicated the date of the general election will not be 14 September.

Mr Bowen said the election date will be kept as a surprise announcement.

The ABC reports 24 August is firming as the early favourite.