Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull stated on Wednesday that he would call for an election to be held on the second of July as he introduces a budget plan aimed at creating jobs and spurring growth.
"You can expect there to be an election on the second of July," Turnbull said in an interview on Australia Broadcasting Corp radio, adding that he would call the poll "between now and the 11th of May."
Turnbull also said on Channel 9 TV that he was confident that the Australian people would give his ruling party another term.
The PM’s budget plan, which could provide more support Turnbull’s liberal party, is also seen as a key test for his economic leadership.
Turnbull says he plans to use a political deadlock over industrial relations to dissolve parliament and balance public finances after years of deficits.
On Tuesday, introducing the new the Federal Budget for "extraordinary times," Treasurer Scott Morrison announced the new jobs called "PATH, Prepare, Trial and Hone" aimed at "giving a go" to vulnerable young people.
“This budget is an economic plan, it's not just another budget. Australians know that our future depends on how well we continue to grow and shape our economy as we transition from the unprecedented mining investment boom to a stronger, more diverse new economy” Morrison told parliament.
According to The Australian newspaper, the budget would also contain a further Aus$1 billion to refinance military deployments in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East.
The Liberal-National coalition, which returned to power in 2013, has lost its lead against the opposition Labor party in the latest polls, with the two sides now running neck-and-neck, but Turnbull said he expected to win.
The government handed down its budget the same day that the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates to a record low of 1.75 percent, seeking to restrain a rising currency and stem deflation.
Turnbull said the move made sense given that inflation was below the central bank's target band.