Prime Minister Scott Morrison calls election for May 21

Mr Morrison flew to Canberra this morning, where he made the journey to Government House to request Governor-General David Hurley dissolve parliament to trigger the election.

He then made the short trip to Parliament House to address the media and make his first official pitch to voters.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called the election for May 21. (Getty)

Mr Morrison said he is aware that “people are tired of politics” but urged Australians to take the election and their democratic rights seriously.

“This election and this campaign is incredibly important,” Mr Morrison said.

“Because there is so much at stake for Australia and our future.

“This election is about you. No-one else.

“It is about our country and it is about its future.

“And above all, this election, as all elections are, this election is a choice.

“It is a choice between a strong economy and a Labor Opposition that would weaken it.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told voters "this election is about you" as he set down a six-week campaign.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told voters “this election is about you” as he set down a six-week campaign. (Getty)
Mr Morrison has angled the Coalition’s re-election bid on fiscal management, on the back of a big-spending Budget heavy on cash handouts.

He used his first speech after setting the election date to compare the incumbents as proven performers against the “risk” of voting for the opposition.

“It is a choice between a government you know, and a Labor opposition that you don’t,” Mr Morrison said.

“Our government is not perfect.

“We have never claimed to be, but we are upfront.

“And you may see some flaws but you can also see what we have achieved for Australia in incredibly difficult times.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at Government House in Commonwealth car C1.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at Government House in Commonwealth car C1. (Getty)
The PM arrives at Government House to meet with Governor-General David Hurley to ask him to dissolve parliament and trigger the election.
The PM arrives at Government House to meet with Governor-General David Hurley to ask him to dissolve parliament and trigger the election. (Getty)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison departs Government House after meeting with the Governor-General.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison departs Government House after meeting with the Governor-General. (Alex Ellinghausen)

The May 21 polling day means a 41-day campaign – but that period does include the Easter holidays and Anzac Day.

The Prime Minister goes into the election campaign as the underdog, with polling showing Labor in a strong lead.

Unlike the last federal election, Labor’s lead in the polls is outside the margin of error.

Bookmaker TAB is offering $1.40 for the ALP to win the election, with the Coalition claiming a fourth term in government paying $3.

The election ending in a hung parliament is currently paying $2.80.

The declaration of an election date comes after months of shadow campaigning.

Albanese visits Easter Show in Sydney

While the theatre of Australia’s electoral process unfolds in Canberra, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese chose to visit the Royal Easter Show in Sydney.

The Labor leader has so far run a small target campaign, with a $2.5 billion aged care plan the centrepiece of his budget reply.

Mr Albanese will address the media later today.

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