Turnbull says federal election can be expected around September, October 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has downplayed the prospect of an early federal election, say he "expects" it to be held around September or October next year.
Some Coalition strategists had been weighing up the possibility of a poll in March to capitalise on the popularity of the new leader.
But Mr Turnbull said he was in no rush.
"We will be going to an election next year," he said.
"I'm expecting it to be about this time, well perhaps November is getting a bit late, I would say around September, October next year is when you should expect the next election to be."
There has been discussion about a number of options, including the prospect of a double dissolution election or a house only election to be held before the next federal budget is handed down.
A proposed calendar for parliamentary sittings in 2016 suggests the Coalition is keeping the option open before the Easter long weekend.
= But other strategists claim Mr Turnbull needs more time to campaign on changes to Australia's tax system, with questions about whether there is a sufficient trigger for a double dissolution election to be called.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop also downplayed the prospect of a poll being called on February 14, 2016.
"I cannot imagine that we would be having an election on that day unless the Australian people are wanting to send a valentine to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull," she said.
"I expect the Australian Government will serve out its full term and there will be an election later next year."
The earliest possible date for a House of Representatives and half-Senate election is the August 6, 2016, while the latest possible date is the January 14, 2017.
Source: ABC News