Early election possibility in Queensland
Queensland's premier has threatened to call an early election if outspoken newly Independent MP Rob Pyne blocks her minority government's legislation.
It means voters could be forced to the polls three times in a year, with local government elections in March and the federal election due in coming months.
Mr Pyne announced his resignation from Labor on Monday night after months of speaking out against his own party, particularly over its controversial lockout legislation and claims of local council corruption.
His move to the cross benches gives Labor an even more tenuous grip on power, leaving the government and the Liberal National Party opposition both with 42 MPs in the state's 89-seat parliament.
Although only a year into a three-year term, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday promised she'd 'absolutely' call an early election if any MPs tried to stop her government passing job-creating legislation.
'I say to all members in parliament here today, I need your support,' she said on the Gold Coast.
'And if you don't give me your support, I'll get the support of the Queensland public.'
The premier insisted she knew nothing of Mr Pyne's plan to quit and planned to speak with him later on Tuesday.
However, Mr Pyne's dissatisfaction with Labor has been on display for months, particularly when he resigned from the party's left faction in January and threatened to quit altogether.
Mr Pyne said he finally decided to pull the pin after becoming sick of the games and 'political argy-bargy' of the party system.
'I come back to Cairns and I have a good bath in Dettol and try and clean myself from that process and try and focus on what's important to the people of Cairns,' he told ABC Radio.
Mr Pyne said he'd be better able to represent his constituents from the cross benches.
'I want to speak out for those people without fear or favour, not being second-guessed, muzzled or vetted by a political party,' he said.
Griffith University political commentator Paul Williams said Mr Pyne's resignation could have been avoided if the government had done more to placate him months ago.
'Pyne feels he's fallen through the cracks, he feels north Queensland has fallen through the cracks,' he said.
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said Mr Pyne's resignation indicated internal frustration within Labor, but promised not to take advantage of the situation by moving a vote of no confidence against the government.