Patrick Deegan has been preselected as Labor's candidate for the seat of Page.
Patrick Deegan has been preselected as Labor's candidate for the seat of Page.

Federal candidate warns of early election

A FEDERAL election could still be held as early as March warns the ALP candidate for Page, Patrick Deegan.

Mr Deegan said while the government was talking up an election in May after it put forward the Federal Budget to early April, continuing crises could encourage it to go early.

Mr Deegan is not alone in this assessment.

Veteran commentator Dennis Atkins writing in The Courier Mail, said there were three critical reasons why a March poll made sense.

Atkins said the economy was showing a downward turn, despite the government spruiking a good news mid- year economic statement.

He also said the Morrison Government had displayed a "reverse Midas disease" since coming to office at the end of August.

"Monday's expected good news from the mid-year economic update was quickly pushed aside by another sleaze eruption when junior Nationals minister Andrew Broad was outed as someone who surfs on sugar baby sites and misbehaves when he's away from home," he said.

The news the NSW LNP Government has distanced itself from the Morrison Government ahead of its own election in March, showed further signs of disunity in the Liberals camp.

Atkins said the Federal Government's campaigning skills were at a low ebb.

"The skills of those who were humiliated at the Longman by-election have not improved," Atkins said.

"In NSW, Gladys Berejiklian and her lacklustre team look like at least losing its majority when they go to the polls in late March.

"Whichever way you look at it, Morrison looks better placed to kick off 2019 with a trip to Yarralumla soon after Australia Day."

Mr Deegan said in Page the ALP was ready to go, whatever the Prime Minister decided.

"I'm ready and raring to go," he said. "My first and most important commitment to the people of Page is to be a local who listens.

"Over the past few months I've clocked up 15,000km on the road - holding dozens of market stalls and mobile offices, making hundreds of phone calls and knocking on hundreds of doors."

He said people were worried about what they were seeing from the Government.

"It is clear that our community is sick of shallow political stunts, and frustrated by the continuing chaos," he said.

"Most importantly, they want to be treated with honesty and respect."

The incumbent, Nationals MP Kevin Hogan, has gone on the record supporting a May election date. Mr Hogan was contacted for comment on Mr Deegan's views, but had not replied by the print deadline.