Election 2016: Australians set to head to polls on July 2 after Senate hands Malcolm Turnbull election trigger

Baku, April 20, AZERTAC

The Senate has defied Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull just one day into a three-week special sitting of Parliament, handing him a double dissolution trigger and setting the stage for an unprecedented 75-day election campaign, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Turnbull's high-risk plan to hold a double dissolution poll on July 2 comes as two new polls found the Coalition tied or even trailing a resurgent Labor opposition.

The government had set aside up to three weeks for a special sitting of the prorogued Parliament, which was opened by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove on Monday morning in a bid to pass laws designed to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

But on Monday evening four of the eight Senate crossbenchers - Jacqui Lambie, Glenn Lazarus, Ricky Muir and John Madigan - stared down Mr Turnbull's threat of a double dissolution poll, even at the risk of their own seats.

The government was defeated in a 36-34 vote.

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