Aug 4 - Labour Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announces parliamentary elections amidst a modest rise in support for his party. Tom Dinham reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~*AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION - NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA / .COM.AU INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY AUSTRALIAN BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS / AUSTRALIAN NVO CLIENTS / SMH.COM .AU / NEWS.COM.AU**~ Announcing elections in Australia, Labour Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promises his party can deliver a stronger economy. (SOUNDBITE)(English) PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD SAYING: "The Australian people therefore face a real choice for this election, a real choice. A choice between a new way for the future with positive plans for managing the new economic challenges we face as opposed to the old negative politics and three word slogans of the past." But although support for Rudd has spiked conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott is still favourite to win power. Both parties will have to work hard to convince undecided voters. (SOUNBITE)(English) PAUL CARBERRY, UNDECIDED SAYING: "Well to be honest I don't have a lot of respect for either Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott. So, I've got a real dilemma. I've got to have to make up my mind between now and election day and quite frankly I'm not keen on either of them." Rudd's government currently holds 71 seats in parliament, while the opposition boasts 72 in addition to one Green party member and six independent cross benchers. Rudd was dropped by his party in 2010 but returned to power on June 26 after he toppled the country's first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a leadership vote.