A ROGUE MP and the ailing health of another will prompt Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to visit Government House and call a snap election for November 25.
A statement released this morning said the Premier would visit the acting Governor at Government House at 10.30 this morning.
She has this morning visited her grandmother as promised.
As promised on Friday, I’ve dropped in to visit my Nanna - she’s very important to me! Happy Grandparent’s Day to all QLD grandparents. pic.twitter.com/NaVwxXz6mj— AnnastaciaPalaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) October 28, 2017
Ending weeks of speculation, Ms Palaszczuk will ask Queenslanders for a fresh mandate and to deliver Labor majority government so she can continue the task of creating jobs, tackling energy prices and building key infrastructure.
The Premier will seize on Member for Pumicestone Rick Williams' decision to quit Labor after he was disendorsed and former Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne's critical heart health to bring on the election three months early.
Mr Williams' defection to the cross bench further imperils the minority Labor Government's precarious grip on power, while Mr Byrne's health will mean he will struggle to attend the final two sitting weeks of Parliament.
"I spoke with Bill during the parliamentary sittings," Ms Palaszczuk told The Sunday Mail.
"He explained his medical advice and that he needs more tests. He is due to be in hospital next week."
Ms Palaszczuk has repeatedly said she would need a serious reason to call an early election and yesterday described her decision to dump Mr Williams as an "extraordinary step".
"You need to treat constituents with respect and the final straw occurred yesterday. He didn't live up to my standards and he's gone."
Labor enters the election with a slim lead in published polls, with the latest newspoll showing the Government ahead of the Tim Nicholls-led LNP 52 per cent to 48 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis.
However the spectre of the Pauline Hanson-led One Nation will loom large throughout the 28-day campaign, with the right-wing political outfit polling 16 per cent statewide.
Internal party polling leaked earlier this month showed that vote was as high as 30 per cent in some regional electorates.
The introduction of compulsory preferential voting in a state election for the first time since 1992 has thrown a wildcard into the outcome, with significant numbers of One Nation supporters likely to choose the LNP ahead of Labor.
A radical redraw of electoral boundaries and the addition of four extra seats has added further volatility to the outcome with several seats of both major parties now marginally better for the other side.
Both Labor and the LNP enter the election with 41 seats and each needs to win six more to govern in their own right.
They are readying to battle it out regionally and in southeast Queensland in a bid to reach the magic 47-seat target.
The electorates of Townsville, Mundingburra, Thuringowa, Cook, Cairns and Whitsunday will be key battlegrounds in north and far north Queensland, while Mount Ommaney, Mansfield, Springwood and Logan will be among the hardest fought electorates in the southeast.
Mr Nicholls told The Sunday Mail."Labor will run the mother of all scare campaigns - it will be false, untrue and frankly Queenslanders deserve better from Labor and their big unions.
"I have ruled out, on countless occasions, any deal with One Nation - there will be no deal, no coalition and no shared ministry. Put simply, a vote for One Nation is a vote for Labor."
One Nation is hoping to steal seats from both sides, targeting Lockyer, Keppel, Maryborough, Hervey Bay, Ipswich West, Burdekin and Logan, among others.
There is a fear within Labor that the reintroduction of CPV, combined with a preference deal between the LNP and One Nation, could help them leapfrog Labor in seats where they run second.
The party has responded to the threat with a campaign linking Mr Nicholls to Ms Hanson in a bid to encourage voters to place their vote and preferences elsewhere.
Ms Palaszczuk will also enlist her father - former Beattie government minister Henry Palaszczuk - on the campaign trail in a bid to bolster Labor's stock in regional seats.
"Whenever I am in regional Queensland, people ask me 'how's your dad'," she said.
"When we have the election, Henry will be an asset for us. I know the LNP had been planning to use Barnaby Joyce as their secret weapon. I'm going to ask Dad to be ours."
The LNP is planning to campaign hard on Queensland's record electricity prices, and its pledge to build a coal-fired power station in North Queensland.
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