Off to the polls as early as August?
COULD we have a federal election later this year, perhaps as early as August?
This is the tantalising possibility after the High Court this morning unanimously ruled Labor's Canberra Senator Katy Gallagher had not been eligible to stand at the 2016 poll.
The Gallagher case is pivotal because the case rests on both timing and what the Court calls taking "reasonable steps" to renounce any foreign citizenship.
In Gallagher's case she had sought to renounce her British citizenship but did not do it in time.
There are now four other House of Representatives members who could also be ruled ineligible because of these timing and reasonable steps tests.
These are the Queensland Labor MP Susan Lamb, her Tasmanian colleague Justine Keay and Western Australian ALP member Josh Wilson, as well as former Xenophon member from South Australia Rebekha Sharkie.
Today's strict interpretation by the Court - a decision dripping in black ink - doesn't give this quartet much wriggle room.
All of their cases turn on timing and reasonable steps and the Court has effectively said the rules are cut and dried - reasonable steps had to be taken in a vigilant way at a precise time and there is no exception available on the hard facts.
There would seem to be two options available for Labor - which is the main actor here - and that's to either take the High Court option in the three other cases or to cop it sweet and say we'll have by-elections.
If Malcolm Turnbull acts quickly we could have by-elections before July 1.
There is another couple of options and they are to have the four by-elections (and probably the one due for the seat of Perth where Tim Hammond has quit) and a Half Senate election, which would mean the government could then delay the House election until the end of 2019.
More possible if there's to be a set of polls beyond just by-elections, Turnbull could have an election for the House and Half the Senate and that can't be held before August.
Neville Wran did that in New South Wales when his government faced just three by-elections more than 30 years ago.
However, the most likely option is going to be a "Super Saturday" of by-elections in Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.
Dennis Atkins is The Courier-Mail's national affairs editor.