Australian PM Gillard sets September 14 election date

In her first major political speech of 2013, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, has called an election for September 14th.

Usually lasting a month, the Australian election campaign could now become one of the longest in Australian political history.

Voters were shocked when Gillard announced an election for September 14, eight months away Credit: Chris Radburn/PA

Ms Gillard said that she would ask Governor-General Quentin Bryce to order parliament be dissolved on August 12.

Gillard's minority holds a one seat majority, with support from independents and the Greens.

Polls suggest her government would be out of office if the elections were held now.