'Nothing unusual' in Australia election announcement
5 February 2013 Last updated at 04:29 GMT
Australia's Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, has said that there is nothing unusual in the announcement of the date for forthcoming elections nearly 8 months ahead of time.
At the end of January, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard set the date for the 14th of September - but since then she has lost two senior ministers and seen a former parliamentary colleague charged with fraud while early opinion polls suggest she is facing defeat.
Speaking to the BBC from the capital, Canberra, Mr Carr said that Australians were used to knowing the date of elections in advance.