Seat of the week: Franklin

With Saturday’s election in the corresponding state upper house seat of Huon fresh in the mind, Seat of the Week takes a visit to the Tasmanian seat of Franklin.

Red and blue numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Labor and Liberal. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

The only seat left standing for Labor in Tasmania after a 9.4% statewide swing at the last election, Franklin covers the Hobart suburbs on the eastern bank of the Derwent River together with Kingston on the city’s southern fringe, small towns further to the south, and the unpopulated southern part of the World Heritage area in Tasmania’s south-west. The remainder of Hobart, including the city centre and the suburbs on the river’s western bank, constitutes the electorate of Denison. As one of Tasmania’s constitutionally mandated five House of Representatives seats, Franklin has an enrolment of roughly three-quarters the national average and an uninterrupted history going back to the state’s division into single-member electorates in 1903.

Labor first won Franklin at a by-election held two months after the election of Jim Scullin’s government in 1929, then lost it again amid the party’s debacle of 1931. The seat subsequently changed hands in 1934, 1946, 1969 and 1975, before remaining in Liberal hands throughout the Fraser years and the first 10 years of the Hawke-Keating government. Labor finally won the seat when colourful Liberal member Bruce Goodluck retired at the 1993 election, which together a strong statewide result for Labor delivered a decisive 9.5% swing to Harry Quick. Quick maintained the seat with only mild swings either way at subsequent elections, although there were occasional suggestions he might be brought undone by internal party machinations. When his preselection appeared threatened ahead of the 2004 election, Quick was able to secure his position partly by indicating that he might run as an independent.

After choosing his own time of departure at the 2007 election, Quick sought to keep the seat out of factional hands by promoting his staffer Roger Joseph as his successor. This was thwarted when a deal assigned Franklin to Kevin Harkins, state secretary of the Left faction Electrical Trades Union, and Bass to the Right-backed Steve Reissig. Objecting that Harkins was a “right thuggish bastard” who would lose the seat, Quick declared that he planned to vote for the Greens. His attacks drew blood as newly anointed Labor leader Kevin Rudd sought to distance the party from unsavoury union associations, with Harkins carrying baggage from the 2003 Cole royal commission into the building and construction industry. Harkins’ position ultimately became untenable in July 2007 when the Australian Building and Construction Commission brought charges against him over an illegal strike. When he won preselection for the Senate ahead of the 2010 election, he was again rolled by the intervention of Kevin Rudd.

With Harkins out of the picture and the election looming, the preselection was referred to the party’s national executive, which maintained the factional balance by choosing the Left’s Julie Collins, the state party secretary and a strongly performing though unsuccessful candidate at the March 2006 state election. The loss of Quick’s personal vote combined with the manner of his departure resulted in Collins suffering a 3.1% swing, one of only four swings to the Coalition at that election. Coming off a suppressed base, she went on to enjoy a 6.8% swing at the 2010 election, the highest recorded by a Labor candidate anywhere in the country. She then emerged Labor’s only lower house survivor in the face of a swing that unseated sitting members in Bass, Braddon and Lyons, her margin reduced to 5.1% by a 5.7% swing to the Liberals that was 3.7% below the statewide result.

Collins was made a parliamentary secretary after the election, and progressed to the outer ministry as Community Services Minister in December 2011. After backing Kevin Rudd’s successful leadership bid in late June she was promoted to cabinet, adding housing and homelessness, the status of women and indigenous employment to her existing area of responsibility. Since the election defeat she has held the shadow portfolios of regional development, local government and employment services.

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.

904 comments on “Seat of the week: Franklin”

  1. confessions@699


    Milne’s comments were truly awful.

    Why is a Greens leader invoking the language and imagery of misogynistic shockjocks FFS?

    As the third party that will in all likelyhood never see Government, I guess that they think they can get milage out of ultimately attacking the ALP

  2. Dee 696

    Perhaps getting too many downloads etc then to bother about PB? 😀 , What wouldn’t I do to get NBN, stayed with friends last week who have it Grrrrr

  3. Put me in the “this is an own goal for Milne” camp.

    She could have used a line that didn’t accept the LNP framing of the carbon tax.

  4. [deblonay
    Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Roerwar re Katyn
    I don’t know if you realise that the Katyn massacre in Stalin’s times is now admitted by the Russian Govt…and some time ago the polish PM/Pres and many others attended a joint ceremony at the site with major Russian representatives there to

    try to get you mind out the the Cold War mode
    Stalin is dead and the Soviet Union is gone
    ignorance is not really bliss …]

    Oh, I am well aware of what happened in Katyn and the subsequently history wars relating to Katyn and the final admission by the Russians that they were the perps. I have a lifelong interest in Katyn. It fascinates me that you can kill so very, very many people and then get most of the world for many decades to believe that someone else did it.

    My point in reasing Katyn was that pravda, more or less, will come out… even if it takes decades.

    The problem I have with what you write and what you link to is that it always comes out US bad and Russia good. Obama bad; Putin good. It is 100% predictable, regardless of the circumstances and regardless of the events. I invite you to think about your utter predictability.

    I recall being absolutely diddled by Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book – just as generations of lefties were completely and utterly diddled for decades by Stalin et al. I also recall reading about the Gulf of Tonkin incident and again being diddled. The latter was, of course, symptomatic of the way in which the US and Australian governments had pulled the wool overy my eyes. I take some credit for overcoming that, as I overcame the cult managers of the roman catholic church.

    That sort of stuff took me a lot of work.

    I took these lessons seriously. I don’t like being duped by spinmeisters, masters of disinformation, cherrypickers, unicorn herders, and the like. My bullshit antennae on both sides quiver constantly.

    But your bullshit antenna only quivers on the right side. On the left side your bullshit antenna is frozen solid.

    What Tsar Putin is trying to achieve in eurasia has absolutely nothing to do with the cold war as such.

    But it has everything to do with the (only slightly interrupted) historical mission of all Russian tzars: expand the Russian empire.

    If you don’t get that about Putin, you understand absolutely nothing about what just happened in the Crimea, what happened in Georgia before that, and what is about to happen in the Ukraine.

    Here is a little itchy powder for your Putin antenna: a lot of ordinary people who want nothing more than to get on with life will die, will go hungry, and will be displaced as a result of Putin’s historical mission.

    Other players will have blood on their hands as well. But that absolves neither them nor Putin for what is about to happen.

    Comrade, I call on you to come clean on Putin. It would clear the air and restore your credibility on Bludger.

  5. mari:

    Go on your holiday knowing you’ve done everything you can to rouse Schnappi.

    Enjoy your time away. If Schnappi is roused and tweeting when you get back, you get first dibs at kicking his arse for being a douche and disappearing when we was all looking out for and worried about him. 🙂

  6. Confessions 705

    Ta I will, looking forward to seeing Croatia as havn’t been before. re Schnappi, do hope I have to kick his arse.

  7. [poroti
    Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Hilarious. Barn Yabbie lauding Australia’s first export of fresh milk to China. No mention that it was done by the sort of people his Coalition hate . A Cooperative . Well done the 190 farmers from Northern NSW who said feck you to the Rodent era push to get rid of them all.]

    Plus with the help of Austrade, also on the Commission of Audit’s death list.

  8. BH
    [Kezza Just saw Milne’s comment on Sky. Disappointing when it was Milne herself who insisted on the 3year carbon price.]
    Was she actually on camera when she said it, today, or even yesterday, because I recall an interview with Milne not so long ago about Abbott’s broken promises. And in that context she said wtte that if you want to call Julia Gillard’s carbon price a broken promise then that is his Juliar moment.

    So, did you actually see Milne say the words to camera, or as I just saw, when those words were spoken it had a file video of Gillard?

    I did work in newspapers, and I know how easy it is to create a situation where it looks as if something happened that did not. And in televisuals, and multi-media, so much easier to portray something false.

    Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 9:11 pm | PERMALINK
    Christine Milne in my opinion made an error of judgement in using the Jul**r term in referring to Abbott’s lies.

    But the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Abbott is the main game – thuggish oaf, congenital liar, moral weathervane, economic imbecile and foreign policy incompetent – Australia’s least ever PM. May he soon be booted from the national stage in ignominy.

    end rant]

    Yeah, and also take on board the ability of the msm to use footage and voice-overs to convey a completely different perception of what really happens.

  9. Solution in the Ukraine …make sure 2014 doesn’t become another 1914 …from a Norweagian academic writing in Counterpunch

    There is an immediate danger in Ukraine which has 15 badly maintained olf nucleur reactors

    They are in a pretty bad way and any crisis like Chernoblyl or Fukishima would be beyond the ability of the weak regime in Kiev to cope with and would bring disaster ,with catastrophic consequences for all of Europe..and the world

  10. Rex Douglas

    “I would suggest the context of Ms Milne’s quote was purely directed at PM Abbott’s hypocrisy.”

    Of course it was. This is obvious to anyone less insane than Centre.

  11. I see the usual suspects are saying that Senator Milne should not have used the Juliar term.

    Senator Milne correctly identifies the taking up of that as the big slide in Julia Gillards popularity.

    What she says is true. This happened because the likes of Alan Jones propagated this along with the LNP.

    Stating historical fact is not an attack on Labor

  12. Mari

    Could be wrong but seem to remember a PBer trying to arrange a hook up with OPT for coffee.

    Not sure if it was Cuppa??, or the chap that played the pubs.
    Gee, they could be one and the same….grrrr….age & memory!

  13. Now that Cabinet has confirmed it the Deceit Tax is in the budget as reported by Mark Simkin on the ABC Labor can use that.

    LNP MP’s have said its a broken promise and makes Abbott a liar.

  14. Given the way the media is notorious for taking statements and twisting them out of context, one would think that a seasoned political leader, such as Milne, would have thought twice before making that comparison.

  15. deblonay

    I feel secure in the firm belief that comrade Putin has got it firmly in his mind that, inter alia, he is playing with nuclear fire.

  16. twaddle

    Did you see the footage on Sky News?

    No, of course not!

    Give them a call and get them to post it on the net in its entirety, then you can see yourself first hand at your delusional best!

  17. “@DrCraigEmerson: “What you’ll get under us are tax cuts without new taxes.” “No excuses, no surprises.” A new levy isn’t a new tax? Very clever, very tricky.”

  18. Kezza

    It was direct to camera today. Presser was about the debit tax. Milne thinks
    Abbott will wear it like Julia did with carbon tax. His Juliar moment.

  19. Yesiree Bob

    People stupid or hyper-partisan enough to read an anti-Gillard as opposed to anti-Abbott intention behind Milne’s remark aren’t going to vote Green anyway.

  20. YB @ 716

    No’p. I got the impression Milne was getting enjoyment out of referring to Gillard as Juliar.

    I’d say Milne does not like Julia at all 😉

  21. Seems odd that the respected Justice Heydon would open up his Royal Commission with a self confessed fraudster and Asian sex tourist. The cross examination will be withering.

    [THE corrupt former AWU official who has confessed to fraudulently using a slush fund that was set up two decades ago based on advice from his friend and lawyer, Julia Gillard, is set to be the first witness in public hearings of the national Royal Commission into union graft and wrongdoing.

    Ralph Blewitt’s legal associate and adviser, Harry Nowicki, told The Australian today that Mr Blewitt has been asked to be in Sydney on Monday morning for at least a day of testimony at retired High Court justice Dyson Heydon’s Royal Commission.]

  22. Centre

    Tell me. Was I wong that it was Alan Jones that coined the term Juliar?
    Am I wrong in saying the LNP used that term with gusto to propagate their narrative?

    Do try and recognise fact.

  23. [
    Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Morning bludgers

    Just heard report on radio that due to voter backlash and slide in the polls, The deficit levy will only be applied to those earning $150,000 and over. “Facepalm”
    It is a funny world, Liberals introduce a progressive tax, Labor opposes it.

  24. Centre

    I’m not denying Milne said it, I’m saying its obvious she referred to Abbott’s Juliar hysteria to underscore his own hypocrisy vis a bus the deficit tax.

    Again, if you think the purpose of Milne’s remark was to make a political attack on an EX Prime Minister that delivered one of the Green’s greatest policy wishes (a price on carbon), then you’re a fucking moron.

  25. Let’s take the comparison the other way. If you think a “juliar moment” refers to an unwarranted labelling by a bunch of nutjobs, then what does that suggest about Abbott’s alleged lie?

  26. [There is an immediate danger in Ukraine which has 15 badly maintained olf nucleur reactors]

    Given they have now found debris from the Fukushima core in Norway…which went via USA… some 10,000ks…I am sure Germany and others are real pleased at the US determination to plunge Ukraine into civil war….and risk..say some of the fighters Saudi Arabia have now sent over….doing some damage to a few of them. The Saudis didn’t mind financing 9/11 I am sure fuking around with a nuclear reactor in crude ways to create more havoc would be just up their ally.

    And I am sure Russia will be happy if one or more of them go up…as though it wont affect them….well some Morons here seem to overlook that fact…..Im sure Comrade Obama is happy the US is a long way away… and maybe are thinking now how they can leverage that to their advantage…

    The NSA must have some good stuff on Merkle for her to keep bending over a barel against Germany’s best interests to help the US in its many decades long policy on Russia..

  27. Can I just add that I have always thought the pejorative “Juliar” to be extremely offensive and unbecoming of anybody who uses it. No matter the context.

  28. Ralph Blewit, I thought was facing allegations of raping his sister.

    [Penelope Lennon has bravely spoken out about the trauma because she was so disgusted, outraged and horrified about her evil brother being considered a font of truth by one side of politics and some in the media.

    Blewitt has returned to Malaysia rather than face these new and chilling claims.]

  29. But Im betting Merkle wont be so popular if Germany ends up getting showered in nuclear reactor debris….not as though the can spend the weekend sweeping it up….

  30. DisplayName

    Interesting question but somewhat moot if you consider the label ‘Juliar’ to be hypocritical in light of recent events surrounding Abbott’s Great Big New (deficit) Tax. That’s obviously the spirit in which Milne intended her remarks be interpreted.

  31. guytaur

    And Milne is implying that Abbott like Gillard has lied.

    Gillard has lied, for introducing a policy that the Greens had insisted, according to the Greens.

    So many Greens supporters must be feeling unbearably dirty right now 😐

  32. I did not read into Milne’s comment that it was disrespectful to Gillard. She is equating and throwing back in their face the disgraceful comments of the Tories.

  33. Centre

    You don’t get politics do you. That battle is history the tale is accepted that she lied by the general public thanks to the MSM.

    Now Milne is using their weapon against their appointed one. Only fitting I think. Julia Gillard may have even been cheering

  34. And as it turns out Fukushima was melt down on day one as Tepco knew but didn’t tell…and the explosion spread material all over Japan. AND now things much worse and perilous than ever….

  35. You guys are so naive about commercial media.

    If you don’t toe the line, in terms of what your advertiser wants, then you sink.

    And that’s from an owner’s point of view. That’s it, frit. You sink or swim on what you can sell for your advertiser.

    I think, on PB, there has been only two people who have been intimately involved in how print media works. That would be Scringler and me.

    The rest of you have a dewy-eyed view.

    It’s a lot worse in television.

    You know, advertisers sign up for contracts. And if you’re not delivering the goods, they won’t re-sign. And that’s it, frit. End of revenue.

    So, even when you start out to be good corporate citizen you’re soon sucked into the merry-go-round.

    And you start to tailor your business to their end. You lose your integrity and some of your staff walks, because they can’t or won’t compromise.

    And when an co-owner walks, then you know something’s wrong with the system.

    And there has been a lot wrong since the early 1980s.

    As I was a proprietor of a newspaper back then, and I was one of the ones who walked away, but still worked in the industry – all over the spectrum for another 15 years – I can’t say I acted solely with integrity (after all I had a child to raise as a sole parent), I did refuse to agree with some of the stuff that was printed.

    In the end I couldn’t stand the way peoples’ reputations were being besmirched on the flimsiest of allegations, nor could I ignore the corporate influence on the editorial stance.

    So many of the people I know in the industry went on to sell their souls as PR people. Good writers gone.

    And then we get to the ABC. I don’t think Jon Faine is worth $300,000 a year. He’s not.

    These paydays are getting out of hand.

    And I certainly don’t think any CEO of any corporation is worth more than half a million. A year.

  36. Yesiree Bob

    “Can I just add that I have always thought the pejorative “Juliar” to be extremely offensive and unbecoming of anybody who uses it. No matter the context.”

    No matter the context? Really? So even if I’m using the term ‘Juliar’ solely to point out another’s hypocrisy or stupidity for using the term in earnest that’s unbecoming and offensive?

    That’s ridiculous.

  37. Centre

    I could watch a replay of Milne’s comments non-stop for the next 10 years and wouldn’t see whatever deranged imputation your fevered brain does. Sorry.

  38. absolutetwaddle@747

    No matter the context? Really? So even if I’m using the term ‘Juliar’ solely to point out another’s hypocrisy or stupidity for using the term in earnest that’s unbecoming and offensive?

    That’s ridiculous.

    Not really, there are ways of referencing that term without specifically mentioning it.

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