Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has poured cold water on election speculation, telling journalists to “chill out” about when the election will be held.
Late last week many observers were tipping the election would be called on Tuesday, but polls showing the government losing ground slightly to the opposition put the brakes on the momentum.
The premier on Tuesday seemed to rule out calling the election in the next fortnight, indicating the government would sit through the entirety of next week’s sitting of state parliament.
“The only people asking about the election, can I say, are journalists,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.
“Not one member of the public has come up to me and asked me about the election, so let’s stop the speculation, let’s everybody chill out and relax, because we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
The government still has to pass a number of pieces of legislation, including introducing industrial manslaughter laws and expunging past homosexual convictions.
Deputy Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington hit out at the premier’s comments, labelling them “out of touch”.
“The Premier’s excuse today that she ‘has a lot of work to do’ is almost laughable given she has done nothing for nearly three years,” Ms Frecklington said.
The deputy opposition leader ironically hopes to win her regional seat of Nanango with the help of Labor preferences, with Labor’s decision to put One Nation last likely to send a number of votes her way and fend off a potential challenge by the minor party.
The data was in polling conducted by ReachTel, commissioned by unions and obtained by the Courier Mail, which Ms Frecklington said was “telling”.
“This shows how desperate the Labor government are to be releasing their own polling,” Ms Frecklington told reporters in Mackay.
While in addition to surging support in individual seats like Nanango, One Nation’s primary vote has again lifted to sit around 18 per cent statewide.
A second ReachTel poll also shows the government trailing the LNP 52-48 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.
The election is due by May at the latest, but has been widely tipped to be held before the end of the year.
However, with the government unlikely to hold a December election, the window available for the premier to call it this year and still hold a poll in November after a minimum 26-day campaign is starting to close.