Australia is set for its longest federal election campaign on record after Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the election date nearly eight months ahead of time.
Ms Gillard revealed yesterday in a speech at the National Press Club that the federal election would be held on September 14.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will give his response in a speech to the National Press Club today.
Treasurer Wayne Swan says the Coalition will now have no excuse not to release its policy costings after the May budget, but Labor too is under pressure.
Watch Julia Gillard's full speech to the National Press Club
Ms Gillard says the big-ticket items of disability and education would be funded through "structural savings", and she suggested the scaling back of so-called middle class welfare would continue.
Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos says Ms Gillard needs to spell out what that means.
"She would have done better by Australian families by detailing more quickly the sort of plans she has in mind for 'savings' - which is code, based on what she said in her speech, [for] tax increases for Australian families," he said.
"[Families] can't plan with confidence for the future because they're not quite sure what 'savings' measures will affect them."
Now that the election date has been decided, we asked what you want to know from Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.
Last night, Tony Abbott was deployed to the evening news, touting what changes a Coalition government would make.
"What we will do is get rid of the carbon tax, get rid of the mining tax. We'll stop the boats, we'll bring the budget back to black," he said.
The media blitz will continue today, as will discussion over Ms Gillard's strategy.
But the Government is reluctant to reveal anything now.
Ms Gillard told the Press Club more will be made public ahead of and in the May budget.
The election manoeuvre is designed to put more pressure on the Opposition to release its costed policies.
Senator Sinodinos says they are coming.
"Well, I think there are two stages to this. There will be a sequence of policy releases over the next few months," he said.
"That's been the consistent strategy of the Opposition with full costings available before the election which will take into account whatever the latest official numbers which the Government can provide."
The opinion polls are showing that Mr Abbott as a leader is unpopular. But Senator Sinodinos says there will be no leadership change in the Coalition ahead of the vote.
"The polls that I see, the publicly available polls all suggest that the Coalition has a relatively strong and sustained lead and the reason for that is Tony Abbott's leadership," he said.
"He may have lost some skin on the way through but that's because he's driven the argument so hard against the Government."
Ms Gillard maintains she is not trying to engineer Australia's longest election campaign.
"Quite the opposite. It should be clear to all which are the days of governing and which are the days of campaigning," she said.