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Australian PM surprises with Sept election call

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

CANBERRA, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard stunned voters on Wednesday by calling an election for Sept. 14, eight months away, in her first major political speech for 2013.

Gillard's minority holds a one seat majority with support from a group of independents and the Greens, and polls suggest her government would be swept from office if elections were held now.

Australian election campaigns usually last just over a month, and 2013 is an election year, but Gillard's announcement means the rest of the year will effectively be one of the longest campaigns in Australian political history.

(Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by Michael Perry)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130129/australian-pm-surprises-sept-election-call