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A July poll?

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It appears increasingly likely the country will go to the polls on 2 July after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull brought forward the Budget and recalled Parliament to debate controversial industrial laws.

A week after pushing through Senate voting reforms, Mr Turnbull announced the Federal Budget would be delivered on 3 May, a week ahead of schedule, and Parliament would resume on 18 April so the Senate could debate legislation to reinstate the Australian Building Control Commission.

By bringing forward the Budget, the Prime Minister has created room to call an early July election if, as is expected, the Government fails to muster the support in the Senate it needs to pass the ABCC Bill.

The Government needs the support of six crossbench Senators to have the legislation become law, but just two have indicated they would back it. Three have said they will oppose it, and three others are uncommitted.

If the Bill is rejected, it would give Mr Turnbull a trigger to call a double dissolution election, which the Government hopes – thanks to the Senate voting reforms – would wipe out many of the minor party and independent Senators and deliver it a working majority in the upper house.

If the Government goes ahead with a 2 July poll, it means the AMA National Conference will take place in the thick of the election campaign, providing an opportunity to boost health and health funding as an election issue.

Adrian Rollins 

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