Governments always call an election when they think they can win.
Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
Premier Peter Gutwein could have held out until May next year but he will risk a premature poll to capitalise on the boost the pandemic has handed several governments in the past year.
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Now is not a good time to be in opposition.
In setting up National Cabinet Prime Minister Scott Morrison established a clear pathway for victory for both conservative and Labor governments alike.
Two weeks ago, the WA Labor Party won a thumping victory over its tough border policy, winning 53 out of the 59 seats.
Last August, the Northern Territory Labor government coasted to victory and in November the Queensland and ACT governments won clear majorities.
Mr Gutwein's excuse for a snap election is pretty thin but he would have persuaded Governor Kate Warner that he needs a mandate to push Tasmania's economic recovery. That might work.
The preferred Premier or Prime Minister questions in opinion polling are not cast iron indications the incumbent will win, and indeed colleagues reckon I place too much emphasis on the preferred leader context.
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But remember, in the lead up to the 2007 federal election the unassailable John Howard for the first time lost to new Labor leader Kevin Rudd on who was the preferred PM in opinion polling, and guess who won the election?
Mr Gutwein is easily the preferred Premier to Bec White and while it's not a cast-iron indicator, it is a factor when you think how presidential and gladiatorial elections have become, where the leaders win or lose it.
You would expect the election to produce a solid Liberal victory, on the back of the pandemic, but I'm not so sure.
For starters the Libs will not have Will Hodgman's huge vote in Franklin, he won a record 27,184 votes at the 2018 election.
If they can't and are reduced to one seat in Franklin without the Hodgman factor, they are in minority government again at best and will have to explain how come the great gamble flopped.
It would be safe to assume a three-two result in Bass, Braddon and Lyons, but the government will be struggling to snatch back Ms Hickey's seat in Clark, and you could anticipate that Ms Ogilvie's preferences would go back to Labor.
I am assuming neither independent will retain their seats. As well the Libs have been in power since 2014. That's seven years and a long time in the Tasmanian electoral cycle.
They would have to be out of luck to lose the election in the face of the pandemic and consistently favourable polling.
If they can't win a majority with all they have going for them, they can forget about another victory in 2025.
The It's Time factor will make a fourth term near impossible. I don't believe the Libs have done enough to demand a new mandate.
They throw around big dollar numbers but there's not enough positively happening to electrify voters.
In the early years, the Libs were smug enough to always aim to keep their activity off the front pages, whether it be budgets or major events.
They lived off the marketing mantra that a strong economy is required to make progress. While true, the mantra has grown old and tired as a call to arms.
There are only so many times you can dine out on the theme no new taxes or no higher tax rates.
Yes, the government managed the pandemic superbly, but we never got to drive on the dual carriageway Midland Highway, TT-Line is in a straight jacket of options to produce the Spirit replacements as an election winner.
The Bridgewater Bridge replacement has never left the drawing board and there's conjecture as to whether the Hobart Airport road works will solve Hobart's traffic jams.
Meanwhile, Macquarie Point in Hobart is still a paddock of tumbleweeds.
Nothing seems ready for an election and the Libs have had since March 2018 to turn a few sods and get past the hard-hat stage.
So voters are faced with a big choice.
Does the government deserve a third term, and alternatively, is Labor ready for government.
I'm expecting a narrow Liberal victory but I can't say whether the Libs will win majority government or settle for minority government.
There are many Liberals who would rather go into opposition than become a lame-duck government, always having to rely on the votes of Ms Hickey and Ms Ogilvie.
Still, it's much harder for a politician to give up his limousine, staff and status, than it is for a politician to win the perks.
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