Premier Peter Gutwein has called an early election for Tasmania. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Premier Peter Gutwein has called an early election for Tasmania. Picture: Zak Simmonds

State calls an early election for May 1

Tasmanians will head to the polls on May 1 after Premier Peter Gutwein called an early election for the state.

Liberal Premier Mr Gutwein and Labor Opposition Leader Rebecca White will now begin their campaigns to each try and convince Tasmanians that they should be running the state.

The election call comes after controversial MP Sue Hickey was kicked out of the Liberal Party this week, putting the government in minority.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has called an early state election. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has called an early state election. Picture: Zak Simmonds

After Mr Gutwein told Ms Hickey she would not be endorsed by the Liberals for the next election, she began her campaign to run as an independent.

Ms Hickey on Wednesday stood up in state parliament and accused federal senator Eric Abetz of 'slut-shaming' alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins.

Using parliamentary privilege, she alleged Mr Abetz said Ms Higgins "put the security of the nation at risk" by being so "disgustingly drunk" that she would "sleep with anybody".

Ms Higgins, a former Coalition adviser, alleges she was raped inside a minister's office in Parliament House by a colleague.

Mr Abetz categorically denies making the comments.

He said Ms Hickey was "trying to destroy the party" on the way out by accusing him of saying "horrendous" things.

The Liberal Party in Tasmania were plunged into minority government when Speaker of the House Sue Hickey left the party. Picture: Zak Simmonds
The Liberal Party in Tasmania were plunged into minority government when Speaker of the House Sue Hickey left the party. Picture: Zak Simmonds

The Tasmanian Liberal Party is preferred at 52 per cent against Labor's 27 per cent, the Launceston Examiner reported earlier in March.

Mr Gutwein in the preferred premier ratings was at 61 per cent, against Ms White's 26 per cent.

Originally published as State calls an early election for May 1

Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White will try to turn the state at the election in May. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White will try to turn the state at the election in May. Picture: Zak Simmonds

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