Australia's Governor-General cuts trip short over looming election

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

File photo of Australia's Governor-General, Quentin Bryce.
Image: Bidgee.

Australia's Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has cut Singapore and the UK from her official winter trip, keeping only France on her schedule, due to expectations that Prime Minister Julia Gillard will arrive at Government House in the coming days to request the Governor-General to call an election.

A spokesperson for the Governor-General said that "She wanted to be out of the country for as little time as possible [...] She was supposed to go Singapore and UK and now she's just going to France".

There has been much speculation as to when Gillard was to request that the election be called by the Governor-General, with 21st and 28th of August being most likely. This would be the first time since 1987 that an election was held during the winter.

As a result, Ms Bryce will head to Fromelles in France to represent Australia in a dedication ceremony and then return home, bringing her ten day trip down to five days.

In a speech today in Adelaide, South Australia Gillard suggested that she wanted to achieve a mandate by the people through the usual means of the Governor-General.

"I will ask the Australian people for their trust to move forward," Gillard said in the same speech.

According to current Nielsen and Galaxy polls, on a two-party preferred basis, Julia Gillard leads her rival, opposition leader Tony Abbott, 52-48 percent.