Australia calls for general elections on May 18

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to call the election as soon as Thursday morning for May 18

Australian voters will go to the polls for a general election on May 18, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

The measure will reportedly take effect the day after the Australian authorities call the election and will apply to ads containing references to politicians, parties, and electoral procedures, as well as various political slogans and logos.

Speaking to reporters ahead of officially launching his campaign in Melbourne at 11:30 a.m. local time, Shorten said that he was ready to deliver a "fair go" for Australia.

- Australia does not have a set date for national elections but the maximum term between polls is three years.

The Prime Minister spruiked his government's economic and immigration policies, and framed the election as a direct contest between himself and Labor leader Bill Shorten. We should get a condition named after us (the Australian disease?) for a complacency-induced brand of self-defeating political dysfunction and leadership churn. And that's why there is so much at stake at this election.

Shorten responded by promising a boost for the Australian economy. "The election will be a choice between more cuts and better healthcare for your family", Shorten said.

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"Keeping our economy strong ensures that we can secure your wage, your job, your business and, importantly, the business you are going to work for today", Morrison said.

The International Monetary Fund said overnight stimulus may be needed in Australia and financial markets are fully pricing in the probability of at least one interest rate cut later this year.

Labor's platform of climate change action and greater spending on health and education has so far resonated with voters.

He said Labor would be offering "lies and higher taxes", while the government had a positive agenda.

- Since 2010, Mr Kevin Rudd (Labor), Ms Julia Gillard (Labor), Mr Rudd (for a second time), Mr Tony Abbott (Liberal), Mr Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal) and Mr Morrison (Liberal) have served as prime minister.

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