Kevin Rudd is in a highly unusual situation. He is acting as an Opposition Leader while being Prime Minister. This greatly affects the calculus of election dates and, in particular, the duration of the official election campaign.
The minimum official election period is 33 days after the issues of writs for the dissolution of the House of Representatives.
Rudd is presently benefiting as a Prime Minister campaigning while not in caretaker mode. Due to these unusual circumstances, I strongly expect that he will choose the shortest possible election campaign.
If the election date is 31 August, that means he does not have to visit the Governor General until Monday 29 July 2013. Why should he visit the Governor General today, 21 July, if he can campaign for another week as the Prime Ministerial Opposition Leader?
Unless he chooses a 24 August election date.
For the record, I still think the election will be in October. Rudd has many weaknesses, and one is indecision. He also wants to attend that G20 meeting in September. The current polls appear to indicate a roughly 50/50 chance of Rudd winning the election. His hubris will not tolerate this – he wants to have a significantly higher chance to win. While his lieutenants will be recommending an earlier election, Rudd will continue to think that his stocks will climb the longer he remains in office.
That’s a strange personality conflict: hubris and overconfidence in his own ability, but underlying uncertainty in decision-making.