Will Hodgman resigns

Tasmania’s Premier resigns after two election landslides and one-and-a-half terms.

After two landslide election wins and six years as Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman has just announced his resignation “to allow for new leadership”. Twitter chat suggests the front-runners to replace him are Jeremy Rockliff, Deputy Premier, Education Minister and member for Braddon, who according to my notes is a “factional moderate”; and Peter Gutwein, Treasurer and member for Bass, who once “went against party policy in his first term by calling for an end to old-growth logging, and was briefly dumped from the front bench after voting in favour of a Greens motion calling for a commission of inquiry into child sex abuse”. Local hero Kevin Bonham will no doubt be good value in these proceedings, on his blog and his Twitter feed.

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.

21 comments on “Will Hodgman resigns”

  1. “I don’t know — I have no job to go to,” he said.
    Don’t worry William, someone will offer a plum job to you.!
    It’s the Liberal way.

  2. He seems to be leaving much earlier than being shoved. He said spending time with his kids caused him to reconsider things. I suspect it might be genuine.

  3. Mixed feelings about Hodgman….and his time as Premier. No doubt the economy has turned around but there are a some more have’s and a lot more have not’s.
    His contempt and dislike for the Greens has been front and centre.

    He has had to deal with some internal dramas…..Rene Hidding, Sue Hickey becoming speaker etc and has kicked on.

    Not as confident in his successors, the talent is not extensive

  4. William, how do you define a “landslide election win”?
    Liberals 13 seats
    Labor 10 seats
    Greens 2 seats….
    Is that a “landslide win” for the Liberals?

  5. Scout: “No doubt the economy has turned around”…. How is the Tasmanian economy doing after discounting for the recent real estate speculative boom?…

  6. PeeBee: “One of his successes he can point to is the percentage of old growth forest has been logged during his tenure.”….

    Libera Central is currently working hard on their reply to your post…. beep beep… reply ready to be posted: “Logging is a fuel reduction strategy to prevent dangerous bushfires”….

  7. I think he did good, but dont follow Tas politics very much.
    I probably dislike him less than any other Liberal state politician.
    When he came to power there had been a lot of drama between Greens and Labor, and there really needed to be a reset, and thats been done…
    Hopefully progressives in Tasmania can make it a harder decision next time.

  8. Re “landslide win”, the Hare-Clark system, being proportional, tends not to convert large vote margins into large seat margins. The Liberals got just over 50% of the primary vote and they won just over 50% of the seats. Also, they were very close to getting a 14th seat.

    In any other state these primary votes would have been an absolute thrashing (I get it at about 56-44 2PP) resulting in a massive seat majority. That said, the lopsided primary votes seen in Tasmania at four of the last five elections are artificial, because a lot of Tasmanian voters don’t care which major party wins so long as they avoid a minority government supported by the Greens. This tends to create bandwagon effects, except for cases like 2010 when nobody trying to vote for a majority can work out who to vote for. Under a single-seat system the primary votes and the implied 2PP might well have been less lopsided than they were.

  9. Kevin Bonham says:
    Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 6:16 pm
    “… a lot of Tasmanian voters don’t care which major party wins so long as they avoid a minority government supported by the Greens.”

    Interesting comment. Are there any stats on the number of people of this mindset?

  10. PaulTu: not directly but I infer that it’s well into double digits. In the last few decades since the Greens appeared on the scene, twice we’ve had primary vote swings of approaching 25% from one side to another over the course of a few elections. Other states don’t have this pattern.

  11. If Dr Bonham is right and a lot of Tasmanian voters are motivated by fear of a government that includes the Greens, then it is hard to see how the Labor Party will ever form government if this thinking prevails.

  12. The blueprint for how Labor wins was shown in 1996 and 1998. In 1996 they all signed a pledge saying that they would not govern in minority, and the Liberals had stuffed enough up in the term that the Liberals lost their majority anyway. That left the Liberals in government in minority with minimal Greens support and the whole thing was very unstable, leading to a Labor outright win in 1998.

    I’ve updated my coverage at https://kevinbonham.blogspot.com/2020/01/will-hodgman-resignation-and-recount.html . We currently have us a leadership contest with a moderate ticket of Gutwein and Rockliff and a conservative ticket of Ferguson and Archer. Winner TBD at high noon Monday!

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