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PM rules out dual election option

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Scott Morrison has shot down reports voters could be forced to cast votes in two federal elections next year.

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The prime minister has kiboshed suggestions that 2019 elections for the House of Representatives and Senate could be broken up and held months apart.

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

A general election is due by May and remains the most likely scenario.

However, some Coalition MPs have been 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 lower house later in the year, Fairfax Media reports.

Labor Senator Jenny McAllister savaged the “desperate” idea.

“It’s a marker of how desperately obsessed this crowd is about their own jobs that they’re coming up with crazy plans like this,” she told Sky News.

“It would be a very expensive way to conduct. I think it would be extremely unpopular with voters. It hasn’t happened for decades. I’m very surprised to see people talk about it.”

Senior federal government minister Simon Birmingham is confident Australians will go to the polls in May.

“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,” Birmingham told the ABC from Shanghai.

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

The prime minister says he has no time for “narks” who have complained about him abandoning a bus in favour of a VIP jet to complete his whistlestop tour of Queensland.

Morrison’s epic adventure up the Bruce Highway will be short-lived as he hops off in central Queensland, catching a VIP plane up to Townsville instead.

His “listening and doing tour” will be stopping all stations before passengers disembark at Rockhampton, about 600km north of Brisbane.

He has shrugged off criticism about ditching the “ScoMo Express” from those in the “Canberra bubble”.

“I know the narks have been carrying on about that,” Morrison told 92.7 Mix FM today.

While Morrison winds his way north through marginal seats in Queensland, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will attend the Melbourne Cup.

– AAP

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