D-day for Australia: Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull calls election for July 2

Australia’s prime minister officially called a July 2 election on Sunday as he pitched for a second three-year term for his conservative coalition. Malcom Turnbull visited Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove in the capital, Canberra, to seek the dissolution of both houses of parliament, kicking off the longest campaign in the country’s history. He also thrust economic issues into the forefront of the upcoming battle at a time of considerable upheaval in Australian politics. Mr Turnbull warned that a win for the center-left Labor Party would prevent the economy diversifying from a mining industry that had been hit hard by the Chinese slowdown.

At this election, Australians will have a very clear choice: to keep the course, maintain the commitment to our national economic plan for growth and jobs or go back to Labor with its high-taxing, higher spending, debt and deficit agenda which will stop our nation’s transition to the new economy dead in its tracks.

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull

Climate change, gay marriage, climbing house prices, company tax rates and union corruption in the national building industry are also shaping into key issues. Labor leader Bill Shorten said a re-elected Turnbull government would mean another three years of “dithering and of disappointment.” He added: "I will fight this election to make Australia a fairer place where the needs of families, small businesses — the great bulk of Australians — are placed at the top of the priority list.“ However, neither man has ever led his party into an election campaign before - Mr Turnbull only replaced his unpopular predecessor, Tony Abbott, in a leadership ballot in September.

Will this country be a country that ensures that the fair go is for everyone or that the fair go is just limited to the fortunate few?

Labor leader Bill Shorten