Far Northern candidates for Queensland state election waiting for Anna Bligh to call poll
Premier Anna Bligh's silence over an election announcement has not stalled the political rumour mill, with speculation mounting that voters will go to the ballot box next month.
The date of the state election is anyone’s guess until Ms Bligh makes an announcement, but candidates for seats in the Far North say they are ready for the showdown, whenever it’s called.
The Opposition yesterday ramped up its pressure on Ms Bligh to go to the polls, installing a countdown timer beside a main road in Brisbane to signal the end of Labor’s mandate to govern.
Despite technicalities in the legislation that allow Ms Bligh to hold an election as late as June 16, LNP leader Campbell Newman insisted the election should be held no later than March 24 – three years after the Government was elected.
But many punters believe Ms Bligh will call an election in the next fortnight to seize on the goodwill that has swelled recently as Queenslanders observe the first anniversary of the floods and cyclone Yasi.
If speculation eventuates, election day would be held on February 18. Mr Newman was backed by his Cairns candidate, Gavin King, who said the campaign had started whether the Premier liked it or not.
Mr King is among the Far Northern candidates from all political parties who are already taking the pulse of constituents by door-knocking and setting up street stalls. "One of the biggest messages I’m hearing is that people are fed up and they want to have their say," Mr King said. His opponent, the ALP’s candidate for Cairns, Kirsten Lesina, said her door-knocking suggested differently. "I think people aren’t in an election mode – they’re getting back to work and getting their kids ready for school – so people haven’t really been aware that there’s one coming," Cr Lesina said.
Katter’s Australian Party candidate Darren Hunt predicts the election will be called after the local government poll on March 31. "The ALP is so low in the polls that they can only come up, and the shine can only come off Campbell Newman," Mr Hunt said.
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