The Prime Minister, John Howard, drove into Government House at Yarralumla at 12.25pm this afternoon to seek a dissolution of the House of Representatives. It is expected that the election will take place on Saturday, November 10.
The election will be for 150 members of the House of Representatives and 40 members of the Senate.
There are 148 members in the current Parliament, but redistributions have added one seat each in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
The Senate election will be for 6 Senators in each State and 2 each in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. The State Senators serve fixed 6-year terms. Those elected next month will take their places on July 1, 2002. Territory Senators serve the same term as members of the House of Representatives.
The coalition won 80 seats at the last election. They lost the Queensland division of Ryan in a by-election earlier this year, reducing them to 79.
The ALP won 67 seats on October 3, 1998. Since then, the member for Calwell, Andrew Theophanous, resigned to sit as an independent. There is one other independent member, Peter Andren, from the NSW electorate of Calare.