Tasmanian firm EMRS has published the latest of its occasional polls on state voting intention, which has Labor down four points since August to 30 per cent, the Liberals up seven to 42 per cent and the Greens down two to 24 per cent. The figures at the election were 36.9 per cent, 39.0 per cent and 21.6 per cent. Opposition Leader Will Hodgman is favoured for premier by 39 per cent against 23 per cent for Premier David Bartlett and 21 per cent for Greens leader Nick McKim.
One has one’s doubts about EMRS, which consistently overstates support for the Greens, but it’s nonetheless good to have occasion for discussion of the state’s politics. That being so, it might be an idea to reprint my most recent observations on the matter from recent posts:
• The Legislative Council voted a fortnight ago against a motion supporting an increase in the chamber’s numbers from 15 to 19. This follows an agreement between the Labor, Liberal and Greens leaders in October that the Legislative Assembly should revert to the 35-member seven-seat region model which prevailed until 1998, when Labor and the Liberals combined to support a 25-member five-seat region model in the expectation that it would neuter the Greens. The ongoing rise in the latter’s electoral support gave lie to that, and the state returned to minority government with the election of one Greens member in each region at the election held in March – with the added sting of the major parties being deprived of the range of parliamentary talent that they would have enjoyed in the old days. However, Premier David Bartlett told Tim Cox on ABC Radio that it would be up to the Council to decide if it wanted to follow suit in reverting to its pre-1998 numbers. The motion was opposed by the chamber’s three Labor members, who were no doubt mindful that the proposed increase in lower house numbers was a hard enough sell as it was – although the solitary Liberal, Vanessa Goodwin, joined with four independents in support.
• State Treasurer Michael Aird has announced he will be quitting his upper house seat of Derwent, to which he was re-elected for a six-year term at the periodical election in May 2009. This means an election for the seat will be held concurrently with the annual periodical upper house elections on the first Saturday in May, which next year will cover the seats of Launceston (previously known as Paterson), Murchison and Rumney, respectively held by independent Don Wing, independent Ruth Forrest and Labor’s Lin Thorp. The ABC reports talk Labor preselection might be contested by David Llewellyn, who lost his seat in Lyons to party rival Rebecca White. More surprisingly, Damien Brown of The Mercury reports former Premier Paul Lennon might fancy a tilt at the seat. The Liberals have confirmed they will field a candidate for the seat, which has traditionally been safe for Labor.
47 comments on “EMRS in Tasmania: Labor 30, Liberal 42, Greens 24”
Looks like labor is on the nose everywhere.
Barlett broke is election promise not to form government with the greens given the seat and 2pp outcome and I hope he suffers for it at the next election
very very pleased with the green labor combination, it will bring policies that are progressive,
the left vote with labor and greens shows the liberals are very much out side the loop
careful or the thought police will get you
Re #1 there is no “2PP outcome” as 2PP is not calculated in Tasmania.
Bartlett’s actual promise re the outcome was premised upon the number of seats and comparative primary votes, and his promise was that he would give the Liberals the first opportunity to form a government. The Liberals were given first opportunity on his request to the Governor, but failed as (i) they made no attempt to secure the support of the Greens (ii) they were unable to provide evidence that they had Labor’s support.
It was a particularly silly promise on Bartlett’s behalf but he nonetheless technically kept it.
What is happening with electoral reform in Tas? Have there been moves to expand the number of seats in parliament, as I understood was part of the agreement Barlett and McKim had for forming govt?
Look no further than the post above, Confessions.
Oh dear. Sorry William.
It’s been interesting to gauge the mood among the Tassie deep left posters on Tasmanian Times about the expansion. For a decade they’ve been wailing that the 25-seat house is an appalling desecration of Parliament designed to nobble the Greens. Now that the parties intend to return the house to 35 seats a lot of them are realising that they’ll get back Laborials they just got rid of or rejected – the possible return of David Llewellyn in particular has aroused some mixed feelings about the change!
#4 the point is that we don’t know what he said to the governor.
He did not tell governor anything of the sort.
Also the liberals could not get Labor’s support because of Barlett regened on this pre election promise at the insistence of the Labor heavy weights
[#4 the point is that we don’t know what he said to the governor.]
Yes we do, since the Governor published letters sent to him by both Bartlett and Hodgman and also summarised their content and the basis for his decisions in the following document:
[Also the liberals could not get Labor’s support because of Barlett regened on this pre election promise at the insistence of the Labor heavy weights]
Bartlett’s pre-election promise was not to support the Liberals but to give them the first opportunity to form a government. He did not in fact renege on that promise, although Will Hodgman may have been duped into reading more into it than was literally said.
He promised to resign if the Liberals won more seats but did not extend that promise to the case where the Liberals won the same number of seats and more primary votes.
Some of Bartlett’s comments of 1 April were interpreted by Hodgman as promising support, but that was after the election.
many people would love a football team in Tasmania, well i many be in the minority enough has been done in this area, we do not want to spend more on a Victorian football team hop on a plane and go over and watch it, MR, Bartlett is correct we cannot afford it. Its time for the arts and the museum the other long term upgrading of our facilities where done. I beleive the liberals may have been happy about the footy team, if so being popular is not alwasy the answer.
p.s. gus the thought police silenced me on the other area gus
I keep hearing how the Tasmanian Green- Labor Government is working so well
I guess it is another myth
Trollin’ trollin’ trollin’?
Kevin, do you think that this agreement between the ALP and the Greens is setting a long-term understanding, or, if another hung parliament is delivered next election and the Libs win more seats than Labor, do you think the Greens would switch horses?
[I keep hearing how the Tasmanian Green- Labor Government is working so well
I guess it is another myth]
I think it’s a total myth that it is popular. People are talking about Bartlett being the most popular Labor leader in the nation but I greatly doubt that he is popular at all. We don’t have regular leader approval ratings here but he was net -19 before the election and is probably worse than that now.
[Kevin, do you think that this agreement between the ALP and the Greens is setting a long-term understanding, or, if another hung parliament is delivered next election and the Libs win more seats than Labor, do you think the Greens would switch horses?]
I think that in that situation the Greens would do the same thing they did last time, ie look at what could be gleaned about the preferences of their voters, and consult widely among their supporters, before deciding whether to continue in coalition with Labor or to switch to supporting the Libs.
Also they would expect the Libs to be interested enough to talk to them. If Hodgman repeats a no-deals-with-the-Greens line then I think they would support Labor no matter what.
In the current parliament it would be a bit of a joke to support Labor if the numbers were something like 8-12-5. But the next election will most likely be fought with 35 seats meaning that even if Labor does really badly the coalition will still have at least three more seats to play with. Unless it loses outright of course.
So, basically, ALP-GRN government hasn’t caused the end of the world then?
One these numbers, they’d have to reduce the chamber to 2 members to keep the Greens out 😛
The internal war in the Liberal Party may yet impact on how it is perceived by the public when the next election rolls around. Even with the swing to the Liberal Party we are still looking at a 58-42 left/right split in the voting intention.
[Even with the swing to the Liberal Party we are still looking at a 58-42 left/right split in the voting intention.]
Probably more like 56-44 since the Greens are really only on about 20. EMRS first asks a question that captures strong voting intention then asks one along the lines of if you are unsure, who are you leaning to. William reports the figures with the leanings added in as the headline figures because they are equivalent to the headline figures used by other pollsters. But it seems that the only votes the Greens ever get at election time are the strong ones – whatever the level of “leaning” and undecided voters – and everyone else goes to the majors or independents.
The thing about the left-right split is that the preferencing between the Greens and Labor and vice versa is pretty weak down here. Firstly because voters only have to vote 1-5 and secondly because Green voters perceive Labor and the Liberals as very similar while some Labor voters are swinging major party voters who can’t stand the Greens. So even when the Greens + Labor are well ahead of the Liberals, if the Liberal vote is high enough the Libs can still win a majority in the right circumstances.
Oddly enough, the change to 35 seats will make it harder for them. I was just asked a question about that on Tasmanian Times and noticed that with the change to 35 seats, Labor and the Greens have quotas locked in in Denison, Franklin and Lyons in such a way that fewer preferences are distributed and it’s very hard for the Libs to win the majority of seats in any of those.
gosh it a long time to another election we hope, Mr, Bartlett may not be popular but i dont think its a myth at all that a lot of people are not happy with the arrangement i think they are and how many people where polled, about 480 or something like that.
Could the liberals have fixed the problems in Lin Thorpe area i doubt it this is a very very good minister who is very hard working, most of the liberals are new they have been here 5 minutes and criticizing ms Thorpe who is i would say one of the hardest working ministers in the team. MR. Aird is going so we may see a few changes/
I doubt the liberals or william Hodgeman could do any thing better, i wonder if the liberals could have done the deal with the forestry i know this is a shaky deal but i am sure they will get there.
No the liberals are all talk they could have done nothing more. This is more about what people perceive, re the football and the problem now ms Thorpe area .
I think these last 6 months have been months of consolidation and i have heard that , and next year will be more policies on the table.
Problem also people these days expect change to quickly, look at what happened with MR. Rudd, people expectations in 2010 are far to high.
we have to learn to get back to basics and not wanting so much in life, be happy that things are ticking along, There has also been a few problem s with factories in the north closing the liberals could have done nothing either from what we hear.
they are bit like the federal liberals i am yet to hear one policy.
Power price rises are a big problem for the Bartlett government.
Clear Bartlett was misleading, it was clear that if both parties had the same number of seats the party with the high primary vote would be favoured/ bartlett would resign. He said nothing to correct that. It was an attempt by Bartlett to be decisive and sure up the labor vote prior to the election. But as we see with most Labor governments they will say and do anything to stay in power.
I looked at the letter
past of it below
I advised Mr Hodgman that Mr Bartlett would have
to make any commitment to me before I could place any weight on it. We parted
on the basis that Mr Hodgman would ask Mr Bartlett to give me the
commitments that Mr Hodgman said Mr Bartlett had given prior to the election.
Clearly Bartlett two face and reneged
way back you said you were silenced
dont hold back
gus it got to the point i felt its best to say nothing about what the discussion was,
and i just lost heart for the rest of it.
[Clear Bartlett was misleading, it was clear that if both parties had the same number of seats the party with the high primary vote would be favoured/ bartlett would resign. ]
Not in anything I have seen that he said before the election. His pre-election promise to resign under certain circumstances is contained here:
Will Hodgman asked Bartlett directly if he would resign if the Liberals won more seats and Bartlett said yes. That question did not cover the case of the same number of seats with the Liberals winning more votes – whereas Bartlett’s promise to give the Liberals the first chance of forming government did.
If you think Bartlett did say, before the election, that he would resign (as opposed to offer the Liberals the first chance of forming government) in that circumstance then please provide a direct quote and source as evidence.
[Clearly Bartlett two face and reneged]
Not clear at all. Bartlett followed his promise to ask the Governor to give the Liberals the first opportunity to form government. However the Governor refused to commission the Liberals as the Liberals presented no compelling evidence they would last more than five minutes.
You can see what Hodgman wrote to the Governor here:
(The latter one is especially useful as it quotes the statements Hodgman was hanging his case on. )
Totally off topic here, except for the Tassie connection: where’s the Tasmanian Politics blog gone (Peter Tucker’s)? I used to read it off Possum’s blogroll, but it seems to have been offline for a while. Where is it?
Peter has chucked the blog in after taking up the position of chief-of-staff to Andrew Wilkie.
Bugger! Used to be a good read.
(Go to bed William. My excuse is being a nightshifter, but you’re a total insomniac.)
So that’s where he went. After all of his rubbishing when I said that Wilkie had a chance too!
Shame, I enjoyed that blog, good luck to him though.
lefty e 16
Yes – they reduced the house from 35 to 25 to increase the quota from 12.5% to 16.7% to try and reduce the Greens, but instead have ended up with the Greens having 5/25 seats. But now surely going back to 35 seats would make some 3-2-2 splits likely rather than 3-3-1 so surely the Greens will have the possibility of up to 10 in the lower house, with a definite base of 5.
The thing about the vote against unshrinking the LC is that the 3 ALP MLCs opposition is that killed the expansion because if the had voted for it then there would have been a majority for unshrinking.
Expansion would help the Greens wouldn`t it? (smaller electorates more likely to include 1 or 2 that can have Green majorities)
Possibly, but they still wouldn’t break through.
There are, what, 300,000 voters in Tasmania, divided by 15 that’s 20,000 voting constituents each. Cry me a river. There are electorates in NSW state with 60,000 voters.
[But now surely going back to 35 seats would make some 3-2-2 splits likely rather than 3-3-1 so surely the Greens will have the possibility of up to 10 in the lower house, with a definite base of 5.]
Last election was 10-10-5 under the 25-seat system and the same figures would have produced 14-14-7 under the 35-seat version, ie exactly the same proportion.
[Possibly, but they still wouldn’t break through.]
They might win the Hobart seat if its boundaries were redrawn slightly. Even following the last redistribution it is getting into marginal Labor/Green territory, probably about 55/45. The Hobart Council area which it comprises most of elected a Green Deputy Mayor (albeit by a whisker).
Of course, the problem with the idea of the Greens beating Labor in Hobart is that left-independents can beat both of them – as Wilkie showed, and there is more than one shot in that barrel.
Old _______________________s never die, they go straight to the Legislative Council. 😉
Off topic. But does anyone think that the appearance of Prince William in Zurich to support the England bid for 2018 (as a future head of state for England) but not proffering the same level of support and energy to Australia for 2022 (for which he is also a future head of state) will be used by republicans to show how the monarchy is not an Australian institution but simply English?
James, I refer you to the comment moderation guidelines entry on off-topic comments. The current venue for such things is the current federal poll thread.
[If a post deals with anything other than a federal opinion poll, please stay on topic. Do not use the most recent thread for whatever you feel like saying purely because that’s where you think the most people will read it. Federal poll threads are for wide-ranging discussion of politics, within reasonable limits. I will inevitably have to exercise highly subjective discretion in determining those limits.]
In spite of the rumours re Lennon and Llewellyn, Labor has preselected Derwent Valley deputy mayor Craig Farrell, 46, for the seat of Derwent. Labor has won Derwent with an outright majority continually since 1979.
Farrell was elected to the Derwent Valley council in 2002. In 2007 he topped the aldermanic poll (unusually in a field of 10 for 5 positions nobody polled a quota on primaries) and stood unsuccessfully for Deputy Mayor. In 2009 he won the Deputy Mayor position fairly narrowly in a three-way contest.
Not familiar with him beyond that.
Ex-Liberal Jenny Branch, who contested the seat as a tokenly independent Liberal last time and did reasonably well, is also running according to the Mercury here:
Branch stood as an endorsed Liberal in the state election but recently quit the party as detailed here:
No other candidates for this seat are known to me yet but vacant LegCo seats tend to attract much larger fields than occupied ones!
Kevin Bonham 33
[Last election was 10-10-5 under the 25-seat system and the same figures would have produced 14-14-7 under the 35-seat version, ie exactly the same proportion. ]
Figures courtesy of Psephos’ site :
(and I know Hare-Clarke is hard to predict)
Bass – Liberal 42.6, Labor 34.5, Green 21.0
– Likely 3-3-1
Braddon – Liberal 45.2, Labor 40.2, Green 13.7
– Fairly certain 3-3-1
Denison – Liberal 29.8, Labor 36.3, Green 24.9, Wilkie 8.4
– surely 2-3-2 most likely (or Wilkie over 2nd Green)
Franklin – Liberal 41.2, Labor 30.5, Green 27.4
– again 3-2-2 surely
Lyons – Liberal 36.1, Labor 42.8, Green 21.1
– 3-3-1 likely
So Liberal 14 – Labor 14 – Green 7 (or maybe 6 and Wilkie) – yes, same ratio.
Kevin – I misinterpreted your numbers, then found myself in furious agreement with you!
Yes that’s the same breakdown I get. It’s a rather academic exercise in the case of Denison because we don’t know what will happen with the Wilkie factor. If he is still in Federal parliament then there may not be any serious Independent threat in Denison and if so, Wilkie’s votes would just go back to sender. But if he has been defeated as federal MP for Denison by then he could easily crop up as a state candidate and with an increased profile and a different distribution of votes between the other parties he would probably easily win a seat. That seat wouldn’t necessarily be at the Greens’ expense either; Wilkie takes enough votes off the majors that it could be 2-2-2-1.
If both parliaments go full term he will face another federal election before the next state election, but that isn’t guaranteed in either case.
A curiosity of the 25 vs 35 thing is that Wilkie almost won in the 25 seat system but in the 35 seat system with the same vote he wouldn’t have got near.
Yes, there are some curiosities in the 25-35 switch.
I remember Antony Green wrote about some of the intended (and unintended) effects of switching between 25 and 35, and I just found his article from 2006.
I was asked a question at TT about whether the change to 35 seats would make it easier for the Liberals to win a majority. Question (Luke Martin):
[Kevin, a somewhat overly optimistic Liberal identity recently suggested to me that on the current polling trends, in addition to the considerable “it’s time” factor that will be so pronounced at the next election, there is every reason to expect that if the Parliament is restored to 35 members, the Libs could end up winning as many as 7 or 8 of those new seats. They suggested that the Libs have a better shot at securing a majority in their own right under a 35 seat house of assembly, compared to the current 25 seat structure.
I guess this would require an election result delivering a Parliament somewhere along the lines of Libs 17-18, ALP 10-12 and Greens 5-6. With the Greens picking up a second seat in Denison?
Do you have a view on this? And would you take a stab on what this current poll result on what it could deliver in terms of both a 25 seat and a 35 seat House of Assembly if these results played out at an election? ]
[Re #1, having a look at the assumption of a 4-5% swing from Labor to Liberal with the Green vote roughly unchanged – which is what I think this poll is pointing to if an election was held now – it’s actually harder for the Libs to win a majority in the 35-seat chamber. I can find them 17 seats in a 35-seat chamber but the 18th is a very different story.
The main reason for this is that in the 25-seat system the Liberals need to win three seats in three electorates and are within striking distance in Bass, Braddon (which falls from the Greens with a very small swing from Labor to Liberal) and Franklin. In the 35-seat system they need to win four seats in three electorates, and again they can do it in Bass and Braddon if things go their way but Franklin becomes much more difficult.
With a quota at 12.5% under the 35-seat system, Labor and the Greens each have two quotas locked up in Franklin and therefore the Libs can poll 47% and they still only win three seats.
In the 25-seat system, Labor and Green only have one secure quota each and therefore a mid-high 40s vote for the Liberals leads to a three-cornered contest for the final seat where the Liberal leads on primaries and may well survive the preference flow between the other parties, especially if the Labor candidate is cut first.
It needs to be kept in mind that assuming no swing against them, the Greens win seven seats in a 35-seat parliament (two in Denison and Franklin.) A substantial swing against the Greens needs to be assumed to knock them below seven seats. Whereas in a 25-seat system they can poll the same vote as last time and still lose Braddon to the Liberals.
All this said, it may be that by election time there is a swing against the Greens, or the swing against Labor is larger. ]
Thanks for your article in the Tasmanian Times about these recent elections, which I am shamelessly plugging here –
On Thursday night before the Victorian election I had brought my prediction back to
Labor 42 – Green 2 – Ind 1 – Coalition 43, but by Friday night I had the distinct feeling that Bailiieu was definitely going to be Premier the next day. I even looked at those betting markets and saw Baillieu at $4-75 and was seriously thinking about signing up and putting money on, but in the end I just thought “The markets can be wrong, like in WA, but surely they can’t be that wrong!” – clearly they can be.
As for the “late swing” (wish some Australian bowlers had some!) – my close relative who has voted for the winning side in Victoria in 9 straight elections starting in 1982 said that the prospect of a tired 15-year old govt along the lines of NSW or Qld was a very major factor in their decision. A bit like “Minority Report”, maybe people really were voting out Brumby’s Government for “pre-crimes”.
As for the 25-35 thing in Tasmania, it’s hard not to see it locking in a Labor-Green arrangement for some time, or do you feel the Greens would support a Liberal minority government if they got several more seats than Labor, but still short of 18?
[As for the 25-35 thing in Tasmania, it’s hard not to see it locking in a Labor-Green arrangement for some time, or do you feel the Greens would support a Liberal minority government if they got several more seats than Labor, but still short of 18?]
See second half of #15 above where I answered a similar question.
That said, I don’t view another hung parliament as inevitable just yet. If the current coalition collapses or becomes unpopular it is possible the Liberals could win the next election outright – even though the 35-seat system will make that harder.
A result with more seats for the Liberals than Labor might prove a bit of a problem for David Bartlett (assuming he is still Premier at the next election). At the previous election Bartlett promised to resign as Premier if the Liberals won more seats. There will doubtless be pressure on him to repeat that promise next time.
I read on the University of Tasmania website that you studied molluscs (and are now clearly working your way back down the evolutionary tree to politicians!)
When I was last in the Melbourne Museum I saw again the statement that Australia is the site of more mammal extinctions than anywhere else in the last 200 years. I have often wondered whether this statement is partly a result of a “sampling error bias” or sort of a “cohort bias”.
My theory is that various naturalists did extremely good work cataloguing the many new species they found in areas that European settlement had not reached, and that when many of these species became extinct with European settlement (mainly due to habitat destruction), scientists had proof of their recent existence and could therefore say they had become extinct. In contrast, say in the Americas 200 years before, the science was not so good, and mostly it was done more with/after the wave of settlement and so would not have that earlier “record” to compare with.
I am not absolving Australia from species destruction, but I just wonder whether our “late discovery” and “scientific” explorations may have caused bias in the figures. Having seen rock art of thylacines in the NT, I still hope some day that the thylacine can be re-animated from the ancient DNA “Jurassic Park”-style.
William: I mentioned “politicians”, “sample bias” and “Tasmania” so clearly on-topic!
What is happening to the minimum number of preferences required? Is it going up from 5 to 7 like the number of seats, staying at 5 or going back to 3 where it was when there were 7 members per electorate?
[What is happening to the minimum number of preferences required? Is it going up from 5 to 7 like the number of seats, staying at 5 or going back to 3 where it was when there were 7 members per electorate?]
The 3 is in the Legislative Council, even though the LC is single-member, it’s a rather strange form of semi-optional preferential in which votes start exhausting when there are at least 5 candidates. When there were 7/electorate in the Lower House it was 7 so I’d expect it to be 7 again if the House is restored to 35.
Re #44 yes being an expert on spineless animals is fruit for all kinds of jokes when it comes to discussing the behaviour of both politicians and voters. I am very interested in all kinds of debates about extinction rates and how they are measured/projected. I don’t know the answer to your question about mammals though I have seen one paper for the UK that suggests a vaguely similar thing for invertebrates – groups that were well-studied earlier rather than later have the higher rates of documented extinction.
Labor candidate for Murchison withdraws from local politics and race: