A snap state election in Queensland is expected to be called by Premier Campbell Newman on Tuesday.
According to reports, the election will most likely take place on 31 January or possibly early February.
The popularity of Mr Newman’s Liberal National government has fallen dramatically since the sweeping landslide win of 2012. According to recent polls, the premier may even face a challenge to keep his own seat of Ashgrove in Brisbane from its former holder, Labor’s Kate Jones.
In a Newspoll published by The Australian over the weekend, more than half of respondents were dissatisfied with Mr Newman’s performance. However, Mr Newman led state Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk as preferred premier, 44% to 35%. The same poll had LNP and Labor even on a two-party preferred basis.
Allegations of nepotism and a series of hardline budgetary measures, including severe cuts to government departments – notably those related to environmental protection – have played a large part in the Newman government’s flagging popularity.
Campbell Newman had previously been Lord Mayor of Brisbane and was controversially elevated to the leadership of the state LNP just before the 2012 Queensland election, despite not yet holding a state parliamentary seat.
Led by Mr Newman, the LNP won 78 seats to Labor’s seven, the largest majority in Queensland history, in 2012.
IMAGE: Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)