Tasmanian election minus two-and-a-half weeks

As the campaign approaches the half way point, reports suggest internal polling has the Liberals feeling optimistic.

Nominations were declared for the Tasmanian election today, giving me the occasion to tart up my election site. Some campaign news:

• The election has attracted a modest field of 109 candidates, down from 126 in 2014. Denison and Franklin have particularly uncluttered fields this time, with Palmer United, the Nationals and the Socialist Alliance all falling by the wayside. The Jacqui Lambie Network is running in Bass, Braddon and Lyons; Shooters Fishers Farmers are running everywhere but Bass; and there’s a party called T4T — Tasmanians 4 Tasmania that presumably won’t be troubling the scorers much.

• The Liberals have been prodigious in supplying the media with what wrongly gets called “leaked” polling, in this case tracking polling from MediaReach encompassing 300 respondents per electorate every couple of days. The Mercury reported yesterday that five rounds of polling from January 30 to February 12 has produced a combined result of Liberal 44.2%, Labor 29.9% and Greens 13.6% — immensely better for the Liberals than the last three EMRS polls, which have had Labor on 34% and Liberal ranging from 34% to 39%. The Australian today goes deeper into numbers ($), suggesting the Jacqui Lambie Network has tanked over the past fortnight, starting on January 30 with between 11.7% and 15.5% support in the three electorates where it is running, but now down to around 6%.

• Brenton Best is pursuing a comeback bid in Braddon, where he held a seat for Labor from 1996 until his defeat in the 2014 landslide, and is now running as an independent. Best has set himself up in opposition to Labor’s policy to phase out poker machines in pubs and clubs in 2022, which has been the subject of a heavy duty hotel lobby campaign branded “Love Your Local”.

• The Jacqui Lambie Network has nominated Lyons candidate Michael Kent for the health portfolio as a condition for the party’s support in a hung parliament.

• One of the Jacqui Lambie Network’s candidates in Braddon, Rodney Flowers, has been charged with riding a quad bike in the Arthur-Pieman conservation area, in what Liberal MP Adam Brooks describes as a “dickhead-like action”.

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.

13 comments on “Tasmanian election minus two-and-a-half weeks”

  1. Tasmanians 4 Tasmania reminds of the time I was at a corner store in Queenstown and I was asked to sign a petition demanding Queenstown jobs for Queenstown people.

    There was another petition concerning reinstating the death penalty.

  2. The “Love your local” campaign is one of the greatest bits of political advertising I’ve seen. It completely re-frames the debate into one that immediately resonates with the demographic they’re chasing. “DID THEY JUST SAY I’M STUPID? I’LL SHOW THEM!” says the voter, now off to the polls to eagerly show just how not stupid they are by voting for a party that told them to do so. It would be beautiful if it wasn’t so damaging.

  3. It’s crazy that a tight election is coming up and we haven’t had any polling in 2018.

    @WB – any idea when the next EMRS/Reachtel will be?

  4. It’s hard to make much of a comment without any fresh polling data.

    The Greens have made a very slow start to the campaign: almost invisible from my perspective.

    Bec White has been campaigning strongly: it must be really difficult for her with such a young child.

    The TV is full of Liberal ads: one assumes that the Libs are doing better than Labor in terms of donations from the pokies owners. But I haven’t yet seen a “save our pubs and clubs” ad on TV.

    I’d say most of the public are completely switched off.

  5. From afar, I reckon Labor was “gorn” the moment it announced its no-pokies policy.

    Going to Tassie today to help the tourism industry there – and maybe find out what’s going on.

  6. The Toorak Toff says:
    Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 10:41 am
    From afar, I reckon Labor was “gorn” the moment it announced its no-pokies policy.

    I agree. There was no need to put it front and centre like that. Just dumb, dumb,dumb politics.

  7. Apparently there are Liberal posters and ads everywhere. It’s clear they have much more funds to throw at this campaign but same was also true for last federal campaign which was a disaster.

  8. With all the focus on donations to political parties the end event of those donations is not addressed, being saturation promoting

    IF there is an advantage courtesy of that expenditure then that is where the problem is

    So “buying” your way into government

    The solution – including the “sand bagging” of marginal seats etc etc?

    Don’t know.

    Perhaps the donations are quarantined by the Electoral Commission to then pay for blocks of time in media for presentations on policy (aka the ABC) and we ban all other forms of advertising including Bill Boards and material in our letter boxes et al

    So we make it a straight out contest of policies free of all the nonsense

    Pressing the flesh with the public can maintain – but no advertising material

    And the allocation of time is based on the number of Candidates (in seats)

    So if you nominate 15 Candidates in 15 of the 150 seats you get 10% of the available time in the electronic and print media to prosecute your policy agenda

    Any surplus funds can be appropriated to a worthy cause, such as NIDS

  9. Betting agencies odds for Tasmania state election:
    Sportsbet : Labor 1.9, Liberal 1.9
    Ladbrokes: Labor 1.9, Liberal 1.9
    Unibet: Labor 1.8, Liberal 2
    Bookmaker: Labor 1.9, Liberal 1.9
    Betstar: Labor 1.9, Liberal 1.9
    Betfair: Labor 1.26, Liberal 1.76

    Conclusion: Result very close but with slight advantage to Labor.

  10. Those betting odds are in from odds that were as short as 1.20 for Labor at Sportsbet on Jan 19.

    Aside from a perception of an increasing chance of a Liberal majority, there is also the issue of what a hung parliament means. The initial assumption seemed to be it was probably a Labor government but people are realising that it is more likely to be a Liberal one.

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