Scott Morrison rules out dual elections
SCOTT Morrison has ruled out a radical plan to hold two federal elections next year, which would have given the government more time to build support after the damaging leadership spill.
It comes after Fairfax Media reported some government MPs were open to the plan, which would have seen Australians go to the polls for a Senate election in the first half of the year and again in the second half for a House of Representatives election.
Split elections have been out of vogue for decades but occurred for a brief period in the 1960s after then-Prime Minister Robert Menzies called an early election for the House of Representatives in 1963.
Delaying the House of Representatives election until late next year, potentially as late as November, would have given the Morrison Government time to rebuild voter support after the outrage at Malcolm Turnbull being rolled in August.
A spokesman for Mr Morrison ruled out the plan this morning however, saying: "The government has no plans for a dual election. The election is due next year."
The Prime Minister yesterday denied his four-day bus tour of Queensland was essentially a pre-election campaign.
"This is me doing what I do - I'm out, I'm listening, I'm hearing and I'm doing," he told reporters.
Any speculation of an early election this year has also died down after Mr Turnbull was ousted.
There had been talk the government might call an early election as soon as August or September, after the Coalition saw a rebound in the polls in the final months of the Turnbull Government.
The poll is likely to be held in May now.
The latest date an election could be held is May 18.
An election could be held earlier but the Morrison Government is unlikely to want to go before or simultaneously with the NSW state election on March 23.