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.
Ms White is due to give birth in June, which prompted commentary the baby could complicate Labor’s election strategy.
ABC election analyst Antony Green tweeted: “Tasmanian Labor and Opposition Leader Rebecca White is due to give birth in June which could complicate Labor’s campaign in the election. #politas #auspol”.
But in a tweet on Friday Ms White said it was “game on”.
“I’m not sure why?” she replied.
“Plenty of pregnant woman continue to work. I’m no different and I can assure everyone that as far as I’m concerned it’s game on!”
The tweet was flooded with retweets and approving comments, with commentator Wendy Harmer writing “Onya Rebecca… never underestimate the ability of a pregnant woman”.
Unions Tasmania secretary Jessica Munday wrote, “Hot tip – women can work and be pregnant at the same time. I went into labour while at work at 39 wks. Rebecca is completely capable.”
Federal Labor MP Tanya Plibersek also joined in congratulating Ms White on her response, tweeting that she had continued to work while pregnant in politics.
“I was pregnant during both the 2004 and 2010 campaigns,” she wrote.
“I was a minister in 2010 and travelled all over Australia campaigning.
“I’m sure Rebecca White will manage admirably.
“She deserves to win and Tassie deserves a great Labor leader like her.”
“Love your response!! And, really, what better time?” wrote another Twitter user.
Another simply said, “You go, girl!”
Some users pointed to the example of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who gave birth while in office in 2018.
The Tasmanian state election call comes after controversial MP Sue Hickey was kicked out of the Liberal Party this week, putting the government in minority.
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.
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 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.