Ever since Julia Gillard powered into the prime ministership last week, everyone has been asking the key question: when’s the election? The media is in a frenzy to be the first to pick it, but no one is quite in agreement.

Should she go while she’s high in the polls in the honeymoon period? Or wait a few more months for the electorate to get to know her better as PM?

Here’s what we know so far:

  • Gillard declared on The 7:30 Report that the election will be this year.
  • Gillard won’t move into the Lodge until she wins the election
  • She made very minimal changes to the front bench
  • Rudd will only get a ministerial post after Gillard wins the election
  • Joe Hockey said “I expect the election to be called this weekend … or the following weekend at the latest.”

And we’re not immune to the election date fever here at Crikey. In fact, we’re running a competition to pick the date, available to subscribers only, so head over and get your entries in.

Here’s what the pundits are picking:

The Australian

Jack the Insider: The polls toll for Julia Gillard

She will have to put her own stamp on the job and she has little time to do so if, as seems likely, we head off to the polls in August.


Mark DeBono: Labor candidates told to prepare for August poll

The ABC understands an email was circulated this morning with advice that an election could be called for as early as August 7 or 14 and the announcement is likely to be made on Friday.

The Age

Michelle Grattan: Election to be sooner not later

But Ms Gillard needs some breathing space for bedding down difficult issues, notably the mining tax, and also for Labor to recalibrate its campaign, planned for months around Kevin Rudd

The Sydney Morning Herald

Phillip Coorey: Snap poll option sparks division in Labor ranks

There is fevered speculation in Canberra and within sections of the ALP that Ms Gillard wants to call an election for August, possibly as early as August 14.

A senior party figure said yesterday, however, that an emerging countervailing view inside the Labor Party was to let the public see Ms Gillard as Prime Minister for a while and call the election for October

The Daily Telegraph

Simon Benson and Sue Dunlevy: Prime Minister Julia Gillard set to call federal election on August 28 or October 10

August 28 and October 10 have emerged as the most likely dates for a federal election, with senior Labor sources dismissing talk Prime Minister Julia Gillard may this weekend call a snap poll.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey