English expected to announce election date

voting election politics
An early announcement is in line with what former PM John Key did

Prime Minister Bill English is expected to announce the election date on Wednesday following the cancellation of his regular post-Cabinet press conference today.

Mr English will be meeting with Cabinet today, however, his usual news conference has been rescheduled for 2pm on Wednesday - smack bang in the middle of the first all-day caucus meeting of the year.

The Prime Minister said last week he'd announce the election date "shortly", but he wanted to inform his caucus colleagues first - Wednesday will be the first opportunity he has to do that.

Traditionally the Prime Minister only speaks to media at the beginning of the day as he enters the all-day caucus meeting which is held at Premier House.

Holding the press conference in the middle of it signals he's got something big to say.

Announcing the date early in the year would keep in step with his predecessor, John Key, who announced the 2011 date in early February, and held back a little in 2014 announcing nearer the end of March.