DECISIONS: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has a big call to make about when the next election is held.
DECISIONS: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has a big call to make about when the next election is held.

Why an early election might tempt Premier Palaszczuk

THE delay in the naming of the draft report on the redistribution of state seats may well make Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tempted to go to an election early, says political analyst Dr Paul Williams.

The Electoral Commission Queensland has announced draft boundary changes will not be out until February from the Queensland Redistribution Commission.

There will be 93 seats, an increase of four, at the next Queensland election provided Premier Palaszczuk calls it after the boundaries and new seats have been finalised.

Both major parties are keen for the draft report to come out sooner rather than later so they can advance their planning with clarity and certainty.

The delay will likely see an election held soon after the boundaries have been finalised.

"But that is not unusual," Dr Williams said.

"It is ideal to have a redistribution completed in a non-election year.

"But it is not unheard of that a redistribution would be held closer to the mark, and this one is particularly difficult because it will change the numbers and not just the redistribution of seats.

"So if there was a snap election and Palaszczuk saw the Governor and said 'that's it, I am calling an election today', before the redistribution process had been completed, then we would have an election based on 89 (seats)...and that would improve Labor's chances."

The reason is that the extra seats may well be in LNP voting areas.

The ALP suggests four new electorates in its submission to the Queensland Redistribution Commission- in Caboolture in the Moreton Bay local government area, Nerang in the northern part of the Gold Coast, Ipswich in the Ipswich council area and in the Caloundra area at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast.

Both major parties support a new seat based around Springfield.

The LNP has similar suggestions for new seats to the ALP, although instead of Caboolture it proposed a new electorate at Palmerston in North Queensland.

Those changes are more likely to play into the LNP's favour.

"Either way, that extra seat on the Gold Coast is not going to be won by Labor. That is an extra seat in the LNP column straight away," Dr Williams said.

"Labor would love to have had a redistribution on 89 seats because that would mean the LNP would have lost one and maybe two seats in the bush.

"So it would be in Labor's interest to go early.

"People I talk to say that Palaszczuk will call an election in February for March or March for April and get the election out of the way before the budget.

"But personally I can't see it. I think the election will be based on 93 seats in October.

"Either way, I don't think a redistribution will be kind to Labor."

Even if that is the case it is unlikely the boundaries will be finalised until mid-year.

"And that might give not only voters uncertainty, it might give candidates a bit of uncertainty about exactly who their demographic and constituents are," Dr Williams said.

Dr Williams said that if the redistribution process was wrapped up by mid-year, and the election was held in October, it wouldn't give candidates and parties much time to campaign and let electors know they were in a new seat with new candidates.

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