has met with the Governor-General to call the federal election, expected to be May 21.
The prime minister landed in Canberra on Sunday morning to ask David Hurley to dissolve parliament after leaving Sydney on a VIP aircraft just after 9am.
Mr Morrison was spotted being driven in a motorcade to Government House just after 10am.
After discussing with Mr Hurley, he is expected to hold a press conference at Parliament House to announce the date to Australians, ending months of speculation.
Mr Morrison earlier admitted his government was not ‘perfect’ but it has been ‘upfront’ with Aussies in a presidential-style pitch to the nation as he trails behind in the polls.
Scott Morrison is expected to announce a May 21 federal election today after meeting with the Governor-General
Mr Morrison was seen boarding a VIP aircraft in Sydney around 9am as he leaves for Canberra
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has vowed to create a ‘better future where jobs are plentiful’ while promising to get economic spending ‘under control’ to keep taxes low.
Mr Morrison is aiming to become the first incumbent prime minister to win two elections in a row since John Howard in 2004.
But Labor has been ahead in the polls consistently since June 2021, currently sitting on a two-party preferred vote of 55 per cent.
Mr Morrison on Saturday released a video in which he points to the natural disasters that have hit the country, the unstable global security environment and the risks facing Australia’s economy.
‘You always have setbacks.You always have imperfect information. I mean, things are tough,’ he says.
Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese says Labor has a ‘fully costed plan for a better future’
Mr Morrison claims 40,000 Australians are alive because of how his government handled the Covid-19 pandemic, with 700,000 still in jobs because of the response to the economic fallout.
‘This is why as we go into this next election, what’s firing me up – we’re actually in a really strong position,’ Mr Morrison says.
Mr Morrison set an apologetic but committed tone in an opinion piece written for News Corp papers on Sunday.
‘Our government is not perfect.But we have been upfront. You know what we stand for, you can see our record of delivery, and you can see our plan for the future,’ he wrote.
Nine newspapers reported on Sunday Liberal Party federal vice-president Teena McQueen had concerns about the prospects of holding the seats of Higgins in Victoria, and North Sydney.
Mr Morrison was spotted alighting from the aircraft in Canberra just after 10am
Mr Morrison was driven to Government House in a motorcade to visit the Governor General
Prime Minister Scott Morrison pictured arriving at Government House on April 10
But she told the newspapers ‘with a couple of lefties gone we can get back to our core philosophy’, referring to the moderates Katie Allen and Trent Zimmerman who hold the two seats.
Mr Albanese also released a video on Saturday spruiking his ‘fully costed plan for a better future’.
He introduces himself to voters and talks about his economics degree from Sydney University and six years as infrastructure minister.
‘Growing up with a single mum, I know the value of a dollar, and I know how hard it is to get ahead, ‘ Mr Albanese says.
Labor also released an attack video, lampooning the prime minister’s video message and declaring: ‘No more mistakes.No more excuses. No more Morrison’.
Mr Albanese wrote an opinion piece in which he pledged to unite the nation.
‘That’s the approach behind Labor’s election campaign – building a better future where no one is left behind and no one is held back.’
Scott Morrison says he is fired up and ready to lead Australia out of the worst instability the world has experienced since WWII in a new election campaign video
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese also took the opportunity to drop a short campaign video attacking rising national debt, promising to keep taxes low and introducing fee-free courses at TAFE
The coalition starts the race with 76 seats out of the 151-seat lower house, with Labor on 69 if the new seat of Hawke in Victoria is considered a win.
Forty seats in the upper house are in contention in a half-Senate election.
Both leaders are tipped to start their campaigns in regional parts of the nation where marginal seats are up for grabs or need defending.
There are concerns the campaigns could be derailed by Covid-19, but steps have been taken to minimise the chances of outbreaks.
Mr Morrison enjoyed a curry dinner with his family in Sydney on Saturday night, while Labor leader Anthony Albanese watched his beloved Rabbitohs beat the Dragons in the NRL.
A number of anti-government and Indigenous protesters have started to gather outside Government House ahead of the prime minister’s arrival.
The trip to the nation’s capital comes amid weeks of guesswork over when the PM would call the federal election as he contends with his drop in popularity.
Scott Morrison arrives for a visit to Central Coast Motor Group in Gosford on Tuesday amid his pre-election campaign trail
May 21 is the latest day an election can be held to allow for senate votes to be counted prior to senators being sworn in at the start of July.
Mr Morrison must also allow at least 33 days between calling the election and the polling date itself, making April 18 his latest option to visit the Governor-General.
The election must be held on a Saturday – giving Mr Morrison the option of May 14 or May 21, however, the PM is tipped to choose the latter to allow himself more time to climb back up in the polls.
As voting day looms, the prime minister has been rocked by controversies over the past few weeks after facing a number of in-house character assassinations.
Liberal Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells accused Mr Morrison under parliamentary privilege of being a ‘bully’ and ‘autocrat’ and claimed he made racist remarks about his former political rival Lebanese-Australian Michael Towke.
Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese (left) poses for a selfie with members of the public during a tour of the Orange Grove Markets at Leichhardt
The personal attacks continued with Catherine Cusack, a member of the Upper House who lives in the flood-devastated Northern Rivers region, days later accusing Mr Morrison of only providing disaster relief to Coalition-backed regions.
Fanning the fire, Mr Towke subsequently spoke out in a bombshell interview to double-down on claims Mr Morrison sabotaged his 2007 pre-selection bid as they vyed for the seat of cook trends [look what i found] by circulating rumours playing into racial stereotypes.
He was also accused of lying by media commentators after an interview with ABC’s Leigh Sales, in which he claimed former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian denied responsibility for leaked texts calling him a ‘horrible person’.
Topping off a disastrous week, Mr Morrison’s pre-election campaign trail hit a major bump after the PM was heckled by furious Australians at a Newcastle pub.
In a series of now-viral videos, a pensioner was filmed blasting the PM over his measly government payments, while a woman tricked Mr Morrison into posing for a selfie to capture herself telling him he was the ‘worst’ Australian prime minister.
While Mr Morrison has sought to quell controversies in his corner, the ALP has faced its own after last month being rattled by allegations late Senator Kimberley Kitching was bullied by Labor colleagues prior to her death.
Scott Morrison won the 2019 election in a slim victory, with the Coalition pulling just 1.17 per cent ahead across Australia
Mr Albanese was criticised for dismissing calls to launch an inquiry into Ms Kitching’s claims she was ostracised by senators Kristina Keneally, Penny Wong and Katy Gallagher – who have all vehemently denied the allegations.
Amid the scandals, Labor managed to maintain its lead – although recent a YouGov Newspoll found the party’s primary vote had fallen by three points to 38 per cent- shrinking ALP’s margin to two from its six-point edge last month.
However, when preferences were allocated, Labor has maintained an election-winning two-party preferred result of 54:46.
Mr Morrison is no stranger to pulling in to a tight win, after claiming the 2019 election with just a 1.17 per cent swing to the Coalition.
While he is hoping to nab another surprise victory, this battle will be a harder fight, as he grapples with a larger gap in the polls and recent scandals questioning his character.
Since his last win, there have also been contentions with his leadership, including his notorious Hawaii trip during the Black Summer bushfires, and the beleaguered Covid-vaccine rollout.
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