Coalition MPs mull two elections in 2019

Coalition MPs mull two elections in 2019

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Senior federal government minister Simon Birmingham is confident Australians will go to the polls in May, despite suggestions there could be two separate elec...

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Senior federal government minister Simon Birmingham is confident Australians will go to the polls in May, despite suggestions there could be two separate elections next year.

"I would fully expect that a normal election will be held, in the normal course of events, in the normal time, which is May next year," Senator Birmingham told the ABC from Shanghai on Tuesday.

A general election in May remains the most likely scenario.

But some coalition MPs are canvassing a radical proposal to buy their government more time to win back support.

The plan involves holding a Senate election early in 2019 and a separate election for the House of Representatives several months later, Fairfax Media reported.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's office dismissed the idea.

"The government has no plans for a dual election. The election is due next year," a spokesman told AAP.

Mr Morrison is spending the week touring marginal LNP seats on Queensland, in what is widely considered a soft-launch of his federal election campaign.

Asked on Monday whether his four-day bus tour amounted to a quasi-campaign, Mr Morrison replied: "This is me doing what I do. I'm out, I'm listening, I'm hearing and I'm doing. That's what I'm doing as a prime minister."

Senator Birmingham said getting around Australia was exactly what voters would expect the prime minister to do.

"The members of the government are all getting on with their job. The job of the prime minister is in part is to get out and connect with the electorate and the community and that's precisely what he is doing," he said.

The prime minister will visit the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday, while Opposition Leader Bill Shorten attends the Melbourne Cup carnival at Flemington.

Australian Associated Press

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