Federal parliament has resumed this week, consumed by debate about asylum seekers. The lower house independents resume their roles of cradling the balance of power on some bills — and dancing in the media spotlight when that happens. So if you could ask these queenmakers any question at all, what would it be?

OurSay Australia and Crikey are giving you a chance to unleash your inner journalist, asking the lower house independents whatever you like through the Grill the Independents Forum. The three questions voted most voted for will be put to the independents by Crikey’s Bernard Keane next month.

OurSay user Trevor Mathew has gone straight for the Realpolitik jugular, asking when the independents will withdraw their support for Julia Gillard’s struggling government.  Here’s his question, currently sitting at number three:

“We keep hearing the independents saying things like ‘People want us to get on with running the country and providing a stable government’, when all the polls suggest that what people really want is another election. So when are the independents going to finally listen to the voters and withdraw their support from this mistake-riddled government so we can have the election that the majority of Australian’s are craving?”

At No.1 with 930 votes is how the independents will vote on the legislation for same-s-x marriage. The No.2 with 370 votes asks how the military’s Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme pension stacks up against other government pensions on indexation.

As for Mathew’s question, Newspoll tells the story of why the independents might be slow to rush to the polls. Their polling has shown the Gillard government has never scored a better rating in the primary vote than since the 2010 election, when it peaked at 38%. With a term low of 26% in September last year, latest polling taken on August 3-5 has the government’s primary vote at 33% — to the Coalition’s 45%.

If, however, an early election were to occur, it certainly seems that the next federal government would not be a hung parliament. The re-election chances of the independents Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie vary from slim to none for Windsor and Oakeshott, to a hot contest for Wilkie’s Tasmanian seat of Denison (pending preference arrangements).

So will the Gillard government see out the full term, or will Mathew get his wish? The arrangement between the minority government partners remains delicate. With about a year to go until the 2013 election needs to be held, Oakeshott and Windsor may need to start asking themselves some questions, starting with whether their support for Gillard’s struggling performance in the public’s eye is helping or hindering their re-election chances.

Until then, the opportunity to Grill the Independents is open until on September 7, with the forum set for September 12. Go to OurSay.org to post and vote for the questions you really want answered.