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Australian PM gives election hint

07-12-2010 15:45 BJT

CANBERRA, July 12 (Xinhua) - Australian new Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday promised to ask the Australian people for their trust, as Governor-General Quentin Bryce cut short overseas trip, prompting talk of August election being called within days.

"In the days to come I will be putting forward more detailed arguments about some of the biggest challenges facing our nation," Gillard told a think tank in Adelaide.

"I will ask for the Australian people's trust to move Australia forward."

According to Australian Associated Press, there has been a possibility Gillard will ask Bryce to dissolve parliament before Bryce heads to France on Saturday.

Government House confirmed Bryce had originally intended to leave Australia on Friday, igniting speculation the trip was postponed so the prime minister could seek to have the writs for an election issued.

The trip, to include stops in Singapore and the United Kingdom over 11 days, has been shortened to five days.

Bryce will head to France to pay tribute to Australian soldiers killed at Fromelles during World War I.

The governor-general had reduced the time she was away because she has "constitutional responsibilities" that may require her to be in Australia, Bryce's office told Australian Associated Press.

Federal cabinet to meet in Canberra on Tuesday, in what could be the last top-level discussion before an election has been called.

Since Gillard ousted Kevin Rudd almost three weeks ago, Labor's ratings have improved, with the Nielsen and Galaxy polls showing a 52-48 two-party-preferred lead over the coalition.

The Galaxy poll showed the Greens' vote lifting from 12 percent to 14 percent, as voters dismayed at Labor's tougher stance on asylum seekers abandoned the government.

The same poll showed 59 percent of voters regarded Labor's East Timor solution for a regional processing center as poorly planned, even though 63 percent approved of the tougher stance.

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Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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