Australian July 2 poll likely, says attorney general

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks during a media conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Lukas Coch/AAP

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia’s attorney-general on Sunday said an early election on July 2 is likely, ahead of a crucial week in parliament for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Parliament is sitting this week to consider several bills, which if rejected could lead to rare dissolution of both houses and an early election.

The release of the 2015/16 national budget has already been moved forward by one week to May 3 to facilitate a potential early poll.

“I think it’s impossible to imagine a set of circumstances in which the ABCC Bill passes and the Registered Organisation Bill doesn’t,” Attorney-General George Brandis told Sky News in reference to the bills that if rejected will be used to call an early election.

Several of the independent senators required to pass the bills have already indicated they will vote against them.

Australia has seen a revolving door of political leadership in recent years. If Turnbull loses a July 2 election, the country will have its 6th prime minister since 2010.

Turnbull took over the top job after an internal party coup in September ousted former prime minister Tony Abbott.

His government’s popularity has faded in recent months and polls suggest a July election will be close.

Reporting by Jarni Blakkarly; Editing by Stephen Coates