IT’S ON: Scott Morrison tipped to call election

 

SCOTT Morrison last night privately flagged calling an election today to capitalise on internal polls showing Bill Shorten is being bitten by his "$200 billion" tax burden.

The PM is expected to the pull the trigger for a May 18 election, buoyed by a post-Budget bounce in Coalition support, plus a backlash from voters to Labor's electric vehicle plan.

Breaking with tradition, Mr Morrison has told his inner circle he does not want to wait until Sunday to visit Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, but instead consider a 39-day campaign, heavily focused on Queensland and Victoria

Sources said the plan was ­decided on earlier this week.

The PM's office confirmed Mr Morrison had flown from Melbourne to Canberra, with a visit to the GG the most likely explanation for his return.

 

The PM’s office confirmed Mr Morrison had flown from Melbourne to Canberra, with a visit to the GG the most likely explanation for his return. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
The PM’s office confirmed Mr Morrison had flown from Melbourne to Canberra, with a visit to the GG the most likely explanation for his return. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett


Mr Shorten is on the ropes over his relationship with a ­Chinese billionaire and questions yesterday about Labor's negative-gearing costings.

The Government holds 21 of Queensland's 30 federal seats, and nine of those LNP seats are marginal, meaning both leaders will heavily bombard the state.

A parliamentary campaign team, including Peter Dutton, Matt Canavan and James McGrath, are believed to have met yesterday. They will feed information to LNP campaign director Lincoln Folo.

The Coalition's 130-strong campaign headquarters in Brisbane has been running for days and staff are ready for the election to be called from today.

The Coalition's Minister-in-residence Mathias Cormann will arrive in Brisbane today.

Monday's Newspoll boost - which still has the Coalition behind 48-52 - is understood to mirror internal polling.

The Westpac/Melbourne Institute's monthly survey found Australians were noticeably more positive after last week's Budget. Mr Morrison, who in recent days has blitzed marginal seats across the country, will tell voters this election will be one of their biggest choices and will define their country for the next decade. It is understood the Coalition's warnings about Labor's $200 billion in new taxes - including rent hikes - is resonating with voters.

Yesterday, Mr Morrison ramped up his warnings about Labor's target of 50 per cent of new cars sold to be electric by 2030 and costings for its negative gearing plan.

Mr Shorten said: "They are so addicted to scare campaigns they even want to scare you about their own (vehicle emission) policies because there are a lot of similarities between our policy and that of the Government.''