Australian Prime Minister calls national election for 18 May

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Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to call the federal election today. It needs to gain seats to stand still because redistributions have made some seats notionally Labor, and because the Liberals lost the seat of Wentworth previous year after Malcolm Turnbull was removed as prime minister - a loss that pitched Morrison into minority government.

The Prime Minister used his speech to highlight the government's track record on managing the economy and his record of being the preferred Prime Minister over Labor's Bill Shorten in successive polls.

"The Australian people actually want to make a choice: six years of instability, three prime ministers, 13 energy policies, enough is enough, times up, let's have an election", he said.

The ABC reports 18 May is firming as the most likely date for the poll.

China is an important market for Australian exports so its economy is a major driver of the Aussie Dollar and news Thursday of a pickup in Chinese factory-gate inflation in March suggests that China's economy could be reviving, helped by infrastructure spending and tax cuts.

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.

Morrison's pitch comes just as the economy shows signs of beginning to slow.

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Shorten's leadership has largely gone unchallenged in his party which forms "basis of one of its campaign selling points - stable leadership".

"Introducing tax reform measures from opposition is a challenge, but there is so much upside in that for Labor with the extra revenue that allows them to do a lot of things the government can't do because it won't have as much money to spend".

"For goodness sake, mate, call the election", he said yesterday.

"I believe that we must win this election for the interests of our country".

No Australian Prime Minister has faced re-election in 12 years, since former long-time leader John Howard lost the 2007 election to the Labor Party's Kevin Rudd.

"I have got a more united and experienced team".