Liberals to finalise Tas election line-up

·2-min read

Tasmania's Liberal Party will this weekend finalise its candidate line-up for the May 1 state election, which could include a current independent MP.

Premier Peter Gutwein on Saturday confirmed that all 12 incumbent Liberal MPs from the 25-seat lower house will recontest the upcoming poll.

"Tomorrow, subject to party processes, I expect to announce the exciting new talent who will be seeking to join our team at the election," Mr Gutwein said.

Asked if Independent Madeleine Ogilvie might be among the Liberal team, Mr Gutwein said it was a matter for the party and Ms Ogilvie.

"I haven't spoken to her since calling the election but I've spoken to her over the course of the past week," he said.

Missing from the Liberal line-up will be outspoken Speaker Sue Hickey, who quit the party this week, plunging the government into minority and prompting the calling of the election, which was not due for more than another year.

"Now more than ever, we need a strong, stable majority government," Mr Gutwein said.

Opposition Leader Rebecca White has brushed aside a suggestion her pregnancy will "complicate" Labor's campaigning.

ABC political analyst Antony Green wrote on Twitter that Ms White's expected June delivery "could complicate Labor's campaign in the election".

She replied: "I'm not sure why?

"Plenty of pregnant woman continue to work. I'm no different and I can assure everyone that as far as I'm concerned it's game on!"

The Liberals and Mr Gutwein are riding high in the popularity stakes on the back of the state government's COVID-19 management, which has largely kept the virus at bay.

Ms Hickey was told last weekend she would not be re-endorsed by the Liberals for the next election, prompting her to announce her campaign as an independent.

Ms Hickey used parliamentary privilege this week to accuse Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz of "slut-shaming" former federal coalition staffer Brittany Higgins, who's made a rape allegation.

Mr.Abetz has strongly denied making the recounted comments.

Mr Gutwein will face the polls for the first time as premier after taking over from Will Hodgman early last year.

Mr Hodgman was returned to power in 2018 but stepped down mid-term citing a desire to spent more time with family.

Labor hold nine seats in the lower house, the Greens two, with Ms Hickey and Madeleine Ogilvie sitting as independents.

Mr Gutwein plans to reveal details of all party donations above $5000.

"We are going to have the most transparent election campaign we've ever had."