In announcing a May 1 date for the next state election, Premier Peter Gutwein brushed off suggestions he was going to the polls 10 months early out of political self-interest.
The last EMRS poll shows the Liberals have a sizeable lead over Labor among voter preferences and his approval rating more than double that of his opponent Rebecca White.
Instead, Mr Gutwein at a press conference on Friday said the early election was due to recent instability in the House of Assembly due to the government being placed in minority - in which he had played a role.
"This is a decision made to secure Tasmania's future," Mr Gutwein said.
"Minority government will lead to a loss of confidence, it will lead to a loss of jobs, and it will impact our economy - that's something we simply cannot have.
"We have come too far in terms of the work that has gone to ensure that Tasmania is a safe and one of the safest places on the planet, our clear plan is working, as we rebuild Tasmania and I want to continue with that plan.
"We are rebuilding the economy and we are rebuilding jobs.
"It is important that we don't lose that momentum and we continue to secure the future for Tasmania.
"That's why I have called this election."
Legislative Council elections are scheduled to be held in Windermere, Mersey and Derwent.
The Liberals have candidates running in Windermere and Derwent.
Mr Gutwein said he had taken advice from the Solicitor-General who had informed him running elections in both houses would be manageable.
Nominations to run in the state election will close on April 7 and will be announced on April 8.
Former Liberal Sue Hickey says the government needs to show Tasmanians what they have actually delivered for them over the past term.
Ms Hickey was a member of the government until Sunday when she received confirmation she would not be re-endorsed to run in a state election with the party.
She then announced she would run as an independent which meant she was automatically dismissed from the party.
Ms Hickey said she and fellow independent Madeleine Ogilvie had guaranteed supply and confidence to the government in writing.
She said therefore, she could not be blamed for triggering the early election.
Ms Hickey said the Premier had called the election because he was riding high in the polls and governments in other Australian jurisdictions had been re-elected due to their strong efforts in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
"Every leader of the country that has led their state through COVID has done well," she said.
"But that doesn't give him a free kick ... he has to show us what he's actually delivered.
"We've had heaps and heaps of announcements - there's always an announcement and there's always a new thought - but where are the things on the ground."
Ms Hickey said majority governments were dangerous and toxic.
"They bully internally, they push out some dud policy and then they try to get it through the house," she said.
"They become lazy governments."
Labor leader Rebecca White has said Tasmanians deserve a better government than the current one.
"Peter Gutwein has manufactured a crisis of instability in his own government to call an early election," she said on Friday.
"Effectively, what Tasmanians should be asking him to explain today is why he has given up on the job before it's even done."
Ms White said the government had overseen a crisis in housing and access to health care over the past term.
"Now with JobKeeper ending at the end of this week, more Tasmanians will be out of work," she said.
Ms White said the party had opened a nomination process for every seat across the state, but had not yet endorsed candidates.
She said candidates would be announced in coming days.
"Labor has always been ready for an election campaign," Ms White said.
"There are so many things to fight this campaign on."
She said the party would not be entering into deals to form government with anybody and would not govern in minority.
"[We'll] certainly not do deals with any minor party, particularly the Greens," she said.
Ms White is due to give birth to her second child in June.
"I'm not different to any other woman who has worked while she is pregnant," Ms White said.
"As far as I'm concerned, this is a brilliant time for us to go to an election.
"It doesn't matter if I'm pregnant or not, we will be campaigning as hard as we can as Tasmanians deserve a better government than this one."
Mr Gutwein had considered Ms White's pregnancy when he made a decision to call an election for May 1.
"For obvious reasons, if the Parliament were to descend into dysfunction in June or July or August, it would not be appropriate and it's something that I certainly would not do," he said.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said the party was election-ready.
"We have a plan to build back from COVID greener and fairer and to make sure nobody is left behind," she said.
Ms O'Connor, who holds a seat in Clark, likened the contest in that electorate as akin to a Melbourne Cup field.
"We are taking nothing for granted in Clark," she said.
"We will need every single number one vote that we can secure.
"No matter what the result of the election, we'll keep working hard, we'll keep representing those communities that have been disenfranchised by both the Liberal and Labor parties."
Franklin member Rosalie Woodruff retained her seat quite late in the vote count in the 2018 election and will need to again fight hard to keep it.
She said her focus would continue to be on planning, forestry, health and housing issues.
The party has announced lead candidates in each of the state's lower house electorates.
Ms O'Connor said pre-selection processes for the remaining candidates in those electorates would be finalised in the next week.
She said gaming reform was an outstanding issue which would be dealt with as one of the first matters of business should the government be returned for a third term.
DONATION DISCLOSURE TO BE DIFFERENT THIS TIME
Mr Gutwein said as legislation for electoral donation disclosure in Tasmania had not been brought to Parliament, the party would commit to voluntarily disclosing its donation received within two business days.
This would be for all donations exceeding $5000 and details would be listed on the Liberal Party's website.
Aggregated state campaign donations over $14,300 would be listed on its website at the end of each week.
Ms White said the party would commit to matching the Liberals' method of donation disclosure.
"But what we could have had instead is real electoral reform in Tasmania if [Mr Gutwein] had kept his promise and introduced legislation before the next election," she said.
Ms O'Connor said it was a good start for the Liberals to start disclosing donations in a manner close to real-time disclosures.
But she added these disclosures would not account for the millions of dollars the party had received over the past three years that would remain secret. "I'd be very surprised before the writs are issued over the next coming days if the corporate money isn't flowing thick and strong to the Liberals right now," Ms O'Connor said.
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