Australian federal election to be held 21 May

Australians will go to the polls to vote for the federal government in six weeks, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirming today the election will be held on 21 May.

Morrison locked the date in today after visiting the Governor-General in Canberra. It sets up a six-week campaign that will pit Mr Morrison's Liberal-National Coalition against a Labor Party led by Anthony Albanese.

Mr Morrison said he did not think his government was "perfect" but that the public would judge it on what it had done over the last term.

"Our government is not perfect - we've never claimed to be, but we are up-front and you may see some flaws but you can also see what we have achieved for Australia in incredibly difficult times," he said.

"You can see our plan. Our plan will deliver more and better jobs and the lowest unemployment seen in some 50 years."

In calling the election, Mr Morrison becomes the first prime minister since John Howard - more than 14 years ago - to serve a full term as the nation's leader.

The Coalition is seeking its fourth term in office, while Mr Albanese hopes to return Labor to government for the first time since 2013.

At today's conference, Morrison said he knew Australians had been through a "very tough time".

"I also know that Australia continues to face very tough challenges in the years ahead. More than ever, I know that we live in the best country in the world and more that than ever I am optimistic about our future and what I know Australians can achieve.

"That's because despite the very real difficulties that we face, and the setbacks we, indeed, have had, Australia and Australians have shown that we can overcome. That's by working together, we avoided the nightmare scenarios that so many countries faced in recent years."

Term limits mean the poll must be held before the end of May.

Morrison's centre-right coalition is trailing the opposition Labor party in opinion polls. He kicked his campaign off with his pitch to the nation today.

"Unemployment was predicted to reach 15 per cent, but now is at just 4 per cent and falling - the equal lowest level in some 48 years.

"Our economic recovery measures, especially JobKeeper, saved some 700,000 jobs and our health response, working together, has saved compared to other countries tens of thousands of lives.

"On almost any measure - on fatality rates from Covid, vaccine rates, economic growth, jobs' growth, or debt levels - Australia's recovery is leading the world.

"We're not out of the woods yet. Australians know it. There's still a lot of uncertainty ahead. I get it. I get that it people are tired of politics as we go into this election.

"But this election and this campaign is incredibly important. That's because there is so much at stake for Australia and our future.

"This election is about you - no-one else. It's about our country and it's about its future. Above all, this election, as all elections are, this election is a choice. It's a choice between a strong economy and a Labor Opposition that would weaken it."