How Trad could become a minister again
While Annastacia Palaszczuk will never admit it, her controversial former deputy Jackie Trad will likely be a minister again if Labor wins the October 31 election.
And that's because the authority to pick who is elevated to Cabinet doesn't entirely rest with Palaszczuk but is shared with the faceless powerbrokers of Labor's factions.
Trad, who was involved in a messy exit from ministry in May after it was revealed she faced a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation, first has to win her South Brisbane seat which won't be easy.
But if she manages to defy the electoral maths against the surging Greens and LNP preferences, Trad will want back in.
Trad already signalled as much in July, just two months after resigning, saying she'd "love" another Cabinet career and wasn't in politics to simply "just occupy a seat".
And given the Premier didn't dismiss Trad but accepted her resignation on the grounds she did not want to be a "distraction" during the COVID crisis, there's no reason she can point to now as to why she wouldn't be welcome.
For Palaszczuk, this issue is electoral poison.
Polling conducted by both the major parties shows Trad remains a deeply unpopular figure, particularly in regional Queensland, and that's why her image is plastered on billboard throughout the state by the LNP.
That's also why the Premier sidestepped the issue yesterday and talked instead about how happy she was with her current team and pointed to the tough contest in South Brisbane.
But the problem with that is there are three vacancies in that team following the resignations of Kate Jones, Anthony Lynham and Coralee O'Rourke.
With O'Rourke and Trad both from the party's powerful Left, faction powerbrokers who remain fans of the former deputy could potentially pick her without having to push someone else out.
Palaszczuk would have to flex her muscle as a third-time winner to resist.
The question is, would she?
Originally published as How Trad could become a minister again