Tasmanian Legislative Council elections live

NOTE: Results below were not updated beyond the day after the election. Official results are available from the Tasmanian Electoral Commission.

Dean* 7015 39.2% -11.2% 39.0%
Hay 4788 26.9%
Kaye 1750 9.8%
Sands 1433 7.9%
Whish-Wilson (GRN) 2904 16.3%
Gaffney 8344 42.9%
Jamieson 2590 13.3%
Laycock 3140 16.1%
Martin 5389 27.7%
Aird (ALP)* 9746 51.6% -25.9% 51.4%
Branch 6328 33.5%
Gunter (GRN) 2811 14.9%


5.30pm. The last exclusion in Windermere shows Ivan Dean will be elected over Kathryn Hay by about 55-45. Whish-Wilson’s votes went 2,229 to Hay and 1,545 to Dean with 191 exhausting, leaving Dean on 9,743 (55.05 per cent) and Hay on 7,956 (44.95 per cent). While there will still be late counting of postals and the rest and a formal distribution of preferences at a later time, that wraps up the Poll Bludger’s coverage. Once again, congratulations to the Tasmanian Electoral Commission for promptly resolving the outcome and keeping the public informed of all aspects of the count’s progress, from which a couple of larger and presumably better funded bodies on the mainland could learn a thing or two.

5.15pm. The final exclusion in Mersey elects Mike Gaffney over Steve Martin with a two-candidate split of 11,676 (59.99 per cent) to 7,784 (40.01 per cent).

4.30pm. Now Kaye’s 2087 votes have been distributed in Windermere, going 836 to Dean, 647 to Hay and 604 to Whish-Wilson. Next up, the big one – 3965 votes to be distributed from Whish-Wilson, including 2904 of his own, 457 received as preferences from Sands and the 604 from Kaye. Hay needs to close a gap of 2473 votes, remembering that voters need only need number three preferences so some votes will start to exhaust at this point.

4pm. Another round of applause is due to the TEC for providing progressive updates on its provisional preference distribution. In Windermere, last-placed Ted Sands’ preferences have gone 457 to Greens candidate Peter Whish-Wilson, 347 to Ivan Dean, 337 to Peter John Kaye and 292 to Kathryn Hay. Rechecking has also given Dean a handy boost, docking 101 votes from Hay’s tally at the George Town booth. Hay now needs to make up a 2282-vote gap from the exclusion of Whish-Wilson (3361) and Kaye (2087). In Mersey, the elimination of last-placed Caroylnn Jamieson has sent 1107 votes to Gaffney, 828 to Martin and 636 to Laycock, so Gaffney needs fewer than 300 preferences from Laycock’s total of 3723 to defeat Martin. In other words, the only issue is the size of his margin. In Derwent, Kevin Bonham in comments corrects my earlier statement that there was no Greens candidate in 2003 – party affiliation was not listed at the time, but the one candidate who opposed Michael Aird ran under the party banner.

1am. A Tasmanian Electoral Commission media release informs us that a “provisional distribution of preferences” will be conducted today in Windermere and Mersey. Props are due to the TEC for this, and also for their counting of pre-polls and postals on election night.

Windermere. Kathryn Hay needs two-thirds of the minor candidates’ preferences in the context of a system which only requires voters to number three boxes (out of five in this case). I expected that Ivan Dean would win reasonably comfortably, and have emerged from the count duly impressed by the vote-pulling power of Kathryn Hay, whom Labor would do well to pursue if they’re not already. Antony Green: “It’s worth noting that Ivan dean’s vote held up in George Town, near the site of the proposed Gunns Mill, but was down between 10 and 20% through the rest of the electorate.”

Mersey. The only issue at stake here is the size of Mike Gaffney’s margin. I had tended to think Gaffney would suffer from his association with Labor, owing to past indications outside of Hobart of antipathy towards major party influence in the chamber, and the advancing years of the government. The success of a candidate who has been openly contemplating a ministerial position with the government might have been heartening news to Labor …

Derwent. … if it weren’t for the 26 per cent drop in Michael Aird’s vote, which can only be partly explained by the entry of the Greens (who have polled 15 per cent). Antony Green: “If you compare tonight’s result with the 2006 state election within Derwent, Labor has polled 51.6% compared to 64.8% in the Derwent booths, the Greens 14.9% compared to 10.3% in 2006, and Jenny Branch has polled 33.5% where the Liberal Party polled 22.9% in 2006.”


7.58pm. Some pre-polls added for Mersey and postals for Windermere (good work by the Electoral Commission getting on to this on election night, and for what seems a well conducted count all round). The latter have gone 45 per cent to Ivan Dean, giving him a slight boost.

7.53pm. The last remaining booth, Newnham in Windermere, has reported a par for the course result. Ivan Dean’s career in politics depends on the flow of preferences from the Greens and two independents to Kathryn Hay.

7.51pm. All booths now in from Mersey – Gaffney’s vote has fallen a little further, but he’ll still win.

7.47pm … but Valley Road pulls him back again. Only Addison Street and Turners Beach to come.

7.44pm. Gaffney gains a further 0.5 per cent in Mersey from the large Devonport Central and Spreyton booths.

7.41pm. Kevin Bonham on Windermere preferences: “In Windermere just Newnham and postal to come, and Dean leading by nearly 11% on primaries. On the current figures, assuming Kaye’s preferences break evenly, Hay will need 73% of Sands and Whish-Wilson’s prefs to beat Dean assuming zero exhaust. But a few percent do exhaust and if enough anti-mill voters refuse to preference either Hay or Dean the exhaust % could be higher. At the moment Dean should survive, unless the Kaye prefs break against him as well.”

7.35pm. All booths now in from Derwent.

7.31pm. More booths in from Windermere, leaving only Newnham to come. Ivan Dean still looking shaky against Kathryn Hay.

7.27pm. Three more booths from Derwent, leaving just Austins Ferry and Bridgewater to come.

7.21pm. What’s more, the swing against Ivan Dean has picked up with the addition of further booths.

7.18pm. Despite what I’ve been saying, Kevin Bonham in comments reckons Ivan Dean is “not safe” as Hay will get Greens preferences. I tend to assume preferences in these elections scatter around a bit more than that, but local issues might mean that doesn’t apply here.

7.16pm. Four more booths added from Mersey.

7.14pm. 448 pre-polls and 1083 postals added for Derwent.

7.10pm. Most Derwent booths now in, Aird continuing to hover around 50 per cent.

7.09pm. Four more Windermere booths consistent with the overall trend.

7.07pm. Three more booths from Mersey suggest Mike Gaffney should win quite comfortably unless something unusual happens with preferences.

7.01pm. Three more booths from Windermere. Kevin Bonham in comments noted that the Norfolk booth which reported first was a good booth for the Liberals, but these have maintained the trend of an 8 per cent dip in Ivan Dean’s vote which should not be enough to trouble him.

6.55pm. Three more booths from Derwent maintain the overall trend.

6.53pm. Four booths, mobile and Hobart in from Mersey, and Mike Gaffney’s looking very good.

6.49pm. Seven new booths from Derwent. Looking very much like Aird will have to rely on Greens preferences, which he would have to rate as a disappointing result.

6.48pm. Changed the way I calcuate the swing and projection to correct for that.

6.44pm. Mobile votes in from Windermere as well – they dampen the swing shown (and boost the projection) because Ivan Dean is coming off a base of zero.

6.42pm. First results from Windermere are from Hobart and the substantial Norwood both – Ivan Dean down by 8 per cent, but looking good to retain the seat.

6.40pm. I should stress that the big booths at Bridgewater, Brighton, Claremont and Norfolk get 10 times as many votes as these ones, and they might tell a different story.

6.39pm. Kevin Bonham in comments notes these booths are showing the Greens vote much higher than at the state election. Fremantle home against West Coast.

6.33pm. Westerway in as well, and Aird’s vote there is down 36.4 per cent – if this keeps up he might have to rely on Greens preferences. Perhaps the trend showing to date is something to do with small booths beyond the orbit of Hobart.

6.31pm. Maydena booth reporting – Aird down 24.5 per cent there as well (remembering he polled 77.3 per cent overall last time).

6.30pm. Explanatory note: my “projection” is a projected primary vote, calculated by applying the swing shown on reporting booths with the total result in 2003. Obviously this is only being done with the incumbents.

6.28pm. Very big swings against Aird in both places, as should be expected against stronger competition, but not enough to suggest trouble.

6.27pm. Two small booths added for Derwent – Bronte and the booth in Hobart city – so the table’s looking good again.

6.25pm. 48 “mobile” votes added for Derwent. Since there was no such count in 2003, the “swing” currently shown for Aird is off a base of zero. Best ignore my “projection” for now! (It adds the booth swing to his total 2003 vote).

6pm. Polls have closed in the elections for the Tasmanian state upper house seats of Windermere, Mersey and Derwent. This post will provide live coverage, with first results due in in about half an hour. Further coverage from Antony Green at ABC Elections.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

35 comments on “Tasmanian Legislative Council elections live”

  1. First booth in – Derwent mobile Aird 28 Branch 14 Gunter 6. If that’s an accurate sample of the rest of the evening I shan’t be in the least surprised!

  2. Bronte in – Aird only 45% there cf 56% Labor at last state election. He will want to do better than that.

  3. Maydena similar. Aird 45% cf 66% ALP last state election. Gunter (GRN) outpolls Branch (closet Lib). Greens nearly outpolled Libs this booth last state election. Aird will want to keep more of the party’s state votes in the suburban booths because being taken to preferences in this seat would be a very bad result.

  4. Westerway also – consistent pattern, in these smaller booths the Green vote is much higher than in last state election.

  5. First votes in in Windermere – Dean cruising on 45, no one else above 20. But that is mostly based on Norwood which is a very strong Liberal booth.

  6. Aird tied with Branch in Ellendale, a booth in which the ALP beat the Libs more than 2-1 in 2006! Losing to Branch in Hamilton where it was more than 3-1. Narrow win in Pontville where it was similar. Have to see the suburban booths still to see if it will go to preferences.

  7. Mersey in and more surprises – Gaffney currently winning and Laycock currently running last. Now these are small booths but Miandetta is an outskirt of Devonport and Gaffney won that booth with 49%!

  8. Big update in from Windermere – Dean still cruising, Hay polling poorly, of the anti-millers Whish-Wilson (GRN) doing quite well but Sands (IND) doing dreadfully and currently last. On current figures WW might look a chance for second but Hay should move up compared to WW as the big blue collar booths come in.

    Dean fine at present, his primary lead should be too hard to catch.

  9. Just saying hi and thanks for the coverage! I’m surprised that the Greens are holding up so well in Derwent, given they were one of two candidates last time. Although, it is consistent with swinging voters in Tasmania going between the ALP and Libs and Greens voters being relatively ‘loyal’. It’s good to see Aird being given some competition. But we should wait for Bridgewater and Gagebrook, which presumably will be better than average for Aird?

  10. Hi Simon!

    Yes I’m a bit surprised the Green vote is quite this high at this stage. I’m still not writing off Aird’s chances of an outright majority with those big booths still to come.

    Big update for Mersey in; Laycock into third ahead of Jamieson. Martin still running second (surely his best result ever if he can stay there), Gaffney still way ahead.

  11. Windermere closer (41:27 Dean:Hay now). With WW on 17, Dean is not safe on those numbers. How the Green prefs break between Dean, Hay and exhaust will be critical.

  12. Hi all. Kevin’s doing his usual great job on the detail. I’m surprised at Laycock’s poor showing, and Steve Martin’s relative good result. Ivan Dean is entitled to feel nervous. And hello Simon too.

  13. Hi Peter!

    Dean’s primary below 40 (into the danger zone!) and his lead down to 11 now, may come down further, hope they do an indicative 2CP on this one.

  14. Good to see already received postals being counted on election night in Derwent. Austins Ferry and Bridgewater to go and Aird on 51. Between 50 and 55 (if it ends up there) is poor for Labor but not as disastrous as sub-50, at least it keeps intact their 30-year record of winning this seat on the first count.

  15. Sands is doing terribly in Windermere, currently running last, after what I heard described as a very active campaign. Dean on 38%! Wow, he must be having conniptions. Aird in Derwent is looking less like he will be forced to preferences with Bridgewater still to come – surely safe Labor territory.

  16. In Windermere just Newnham and postal to come, and Dean leading by nearly 11% on primaries. On the current figures, assuming Kaye’s preferences break evenly, Hay will need 73% of Sands and Whish-Wilson’s prefs to beat Dean assuming zero exhaust. But a few percent do exhaust and if enough anti-mill voters refuse to preference either Hay or Dean the exhaust % could be higher. At the moment Dean should survive, unless the Kaye prefs break against him as well.

    The Voters Block has been even more of a flop than I expected. I said I couldn’t see it getting Sands and WW to more than a quarter plus Sands’ personal vote and as it is they are not on a quarter including it!

  17. In Derwent it’s now looking like both the ALP and Greens are down 1/3 on their vote last time – meaning that those who voted for Branch (is it ok to call them Libs?!) split ALP/Green last time in the same proportions as the rest of the electorate.

  18. I suspect there’ll be some sensationalist mainstream journo writing up Derwent as either a crushing win for the incumbent or a 25% swing against him. It is neither given that we are comparing a 3-candidate vs a 2-candidate race, but comparing it to the state election (66-23.5-11.5 for the three parties) it is a rather poor result for Aird and a fairly good one for Branch with the Green result neither here nor there.

    Notably after we predicted Aird to win more comfortably in our piece released on Tuesday, he spent the last few days of the campaign doing his best to put his foot in it as much as possible. I didn’t think it would be enough to take him below 50 and it wasn’t, but there is a message for Labor here that they have to look at their support in the rural booths, since Lyons is a critical (in my view the most critical) seat in the State election and even a small swing against them there in 2010 will likely put them into minority government.

  19. Mersey all in now and Martin’s 28% to run second is a brilliant result for a candidate with a poor electoral track record. Gaffney’s 15% lead is too much in the absence of a reason for preferences to break one way or the other. He might even win on the first exclusion (Jamieson). Jamieson’s vote shows that being from the same family as the incumbent does not trump lack of profile (and it’s doubtful that incumbent would have won the seat anyway).

  20. Windermere all in – the 73% figure I mentioned before is now out to 74.7%. Non-exhausting WW/Sands votes will have to break more than 3 to 1 Hay over Dean now unless Kaye votes break anti-Dean as well.

    Considering Kaye, WW and Sands pooled together and assuming 2% of all votes for these three exhaust when Whish-Wilson is excluded (this is a bit higher than the normal rate for a 5-candidate race actually but given the anti-mill anger it is probably still conservative) then Hay will need 68% of preferences.

  21. One of the main interests in these elections is the possible implications for state politics. I think, tentatively, that Labor will be reasonably satisfied. In Derwent Aird at least has won on primaries, and although they would have preferred somewhere in the high fifties, considering Aird’s position as treasurer, recent leaks and some blunders, I think Labor will take low 50s. Certainly there is no real succour for the Libs, although Branch did well enough to likely get her guernsey as one of the team in Denison. In Mersey, Labor’s all-but-in-name candidate in Gaffney has pulled off a stunning victory, plastering the quasi-Lib hope in Laycock in the process. And in Windermere, Kathryn Hay is in with at least a chance. Also, as Kevin points out, the anti-pulp mill vote has not been a major factor, which will please the government. All in all, Labor should be pleased and shows there is no great baseball bat mood in the electorate, at least in these elections.

  22. Hi Kevin. Thanks for the commentary. I tend to agree that the majority of Green and anti mill preferences will go to Hay. It is impossible to imagine Dean being preferenced at all.
    Disappointing the Sands vote. He ran an old fashioned door knock campaign and could have had a higher media profile. Whish- Wilson should be pleased, on his first time run with his performance.
    Voters were unable to be reminded on the voters block. Strict electoral policy prevented leaflet campaigning on Voters Block and anti mill issues.

    Thanks for the updates. Good work.

  23. Even Ivan Dean will get Green preferences, though he may not get very many of them.

    Kaye has Lib connections in the past and is a single-issue candidate while Sands and Dean are on the same council, so there will be some flow to Dean from these factors.

    Donkey and partial donkey voting should lead to a small amount of spray all over the shop.

    I wonder if Dean and Hay had scrutineers in the booths sampling preferences?

  24. Recheck followed by provisional distribution tomorrow afternoon and evening. Excellent!

    “A provisional distribution of preferences will commence on Sunday afternoon after the recheck is completed. If possible, a result will be determined on Sunday afternoon or evening, however if close, the outcome may not be known for some days until final postal votes are received.”

  25. Rechecked figures posted at 2:45pm show Dean has gained 49 votes in rechecking while Hay has lost 50. Kaye, Sands and Whish-Wilson have gained 120, 3 and 214 respectively. As a net result, Dean’s position has improved slightly.

    Re Derwent, the Greens are not a new entry – Aird’s opponent in 2003 was a Green, although I don’t believe party affiliation was listed on the ballot paper then. The new entry is the tokenly non-Liberal Branch.

    My prediction in #21 came true; Sunday Tasmanian refers to “scare from Branch” (nonsense) and “swing of almost 26 percentage points” (irrelevant), but also draws a comparison with Aird polling 58% in a field of three in 1997. Aird explains that that was a different election compared with this one being “effectively Liberal, Labor and Green”, which is true, but doesn’t explain why his figures are so down on what Labor polled in this seat in 2006. Seems like Aird is putting a lot of positive spin on what is actually a pretty unimpressive result.

    Sunday Tasmanian also quotes Peter Tucker saying numerous sensible things so at least those who read to the end of the articles will get a fair picture instead of just the silly headlines.

  26. Thanks for the correction on the Greens candidate in 2003, Kevin. My reading of the change in the votes in Windermere is different from your own. It seems that Hay has been docked 101 votes from the George Town booth, whereas the adjustments to Dean’s totals have all been very minor. We’ve also had provisional and absent votes added, which have given 54 votes to Dean and 57 to Hay. Does any of that sound wrong to you?

  27. Yes I was giving a net total of changes from rechecking before noticing that these included addition of provisional and absent votes, so Hay lost votes from GT and then gained some back on absent and provisional.

    Distribution of preferences is happening now – quite rapidly in fact. Sands split in favour of Whish-Wilson with more to Dean than Hay and Kaye’s went more to Dean than Hay or Whish-Wilson (no huge surprise in the latter).

    Hay now needs 81% of Whish-Wilson’s preferences assuming zero exhaust. There will be some and I’ll be fascinated to see how much or little there actually is.

    The impression I get is that the hardline anti-pulp-millers have generally voted for Whish-Wilson with just a small minority voting for Sands.

  28. That is a strong performance by Dean to get almost 40% of Whish-Wilson’s preferences, or perhaps more to the point, a weak performance by Hay to let him. I was expecting high 20s – low 30s. Exhaust at almost 5% was, as I expected, higher than normal for this sort of contest, but Dean won so easily it didn’t go near mattering. Unless the anti-mill vote was really down and Whish-Wilson’s rather good vote included a high personal vote component unrelated to his politics, it is hard not to see some kind of message in this – Hay not campaigning hard enough and Green voters seeing not enough reason to toss the incumbent.

  29. Oh, I echo the congrats to the TEO; their standards are normally high but in this case they have outdone themselves.

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