Australia’s prime minister said Tuesday he intends to call for an early July 2 election after parliament rejected the government’s industrial relations legislation for a second time.
Malcolm Turnbull, however, refused to provide specific details on when he would announce a "double-dissolution" -- the dissolving of both houses of Parliament and the calling of an election to resolve a deadlock.
"My intention is after the budget, an appropriate time after the budget has been delivered, I will be asking the Governor-General to dissolve both houses of the parliament for an election which I expect to be held on July 2," news broadcaster ABC quoted him as saying.
The federal budget is set to be delivered May 3.
Turnbull’s remarks came after voting Monday saw Parliament recalled three weeks early for a "special sitting" to debate two pieces of legislation: reintroduction of the anti-union construction watchdog the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), and the Registered Organisations bill.
The ABCC was subsequently blocked for a second time by the Senate (36 votes to 34) -- a result effectively delivering a marathon 75-day election cycle.
Turnbull must visit Governor General Peter Cosgrove no later than May 11 to formally issue the writs and announce the poll.
Electoral polls Monday, however, showed the government and opposition neck and neck, with the government’s previous sizeable lead fading fast.
Turnbull has been trying to get momentum back into the government and gain the "right to rule" upper hand over conservative colleagues who supported -- and still support -- former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who Turnbull ousted in September of last year.