Tasmanian election guide

Introducing the Poll Bludger’s guide to the May 1 state election in Tasmania.

The Poll Bludger’s guide to the Tasmanian state election is now available in all its painstaking glory. It features guides to each of the five electoral divisions, including interactive polling booth results maps, charts and tables of past electorate data, happy snaps and around 1200 words’ worth of information and analysis apiece, and a 2400-word overview of the electoral and political situation as it seems from my admittedly distant perch. What it doesn’t feature is a page for the Legislative Council, but that will be rectified over the next day or so.

Ahead of tomorrow’s deadline for nominations, which will resolve a few lingering mysteries about the state of the race, a summary of notable campaign developments so far, some of which my election guide still needs to be brought up to speed on:

• After the first week of Labor’s campaign was consumed by controversy over Dean Winter’s failure to win preselection in Franklin, the party’s national executive has intervened on his behalf at the request of Rebecca White. Winter, the mayor of Kingborough and a former economics adviser to White, had been denied by the state party’s Left-dominated administrative committee because of “anti-union views” on penalty rates and privatisation. One union that disagreed was the Right faction Australian Workers Union, of which Winter is a member, which filed a notice of appeal to have the result overturned. Labor will now have six candidates in Franklin rather than the originally mooted five.

Matthew Denholm of The Australian obliquely reports today on an “internal party debate” as to whether an unidentified Left-aligned candidate should be dumped over “allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards a woman”.

• One of the Liberals’ non-incumbent candidates for Franklin, Dean Ewington, was disendorsed last Wednesday for having attended an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne and posted a video on Facebook railing against the government’s “silly restrictions” relating to COVID-19. He has been replaced by James Walker, a podiatrist and Clarence alderman who ran unsuccessfully for the Legislative Council seat of Pembroke in 2017.

The Mercury reported last Thursday that Labor had entered a “secret deal” with the hotels lobby resolving not to repeat its 2018 election policy of removing poker machines from pubs and clubs, which drew immediate fire from the Greens and independent Clark candidate Kristie Johnston.

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.

34 comments on “Tasmanian election guide”

  1. Thanks for this. Hodgman’s sweeping victories (first para) were surely 2014 and 2018, not 2010 and 2014. He did improve things for the Libs in 2010.

  2. I live in Bass. Thus far I have seen only one Labor conflute. Zero green. Heaps of liberal conflutes (Gutwein is on every second one) erected within an hour of Gutwin announcing the election.

  3. I’m in Bass too, and as Taz says, it’s blue everywhere (except for some Windemere corflutes). Labor seem slow out of the blocks.

  4. I’m genuinely eager for some mid-campaign polling to see if the Liberals’ high numbers hold up and are a true reflection of voting intention or if they were just a bubble, due to positive covid ratings and the question being hypothetical at that point. All other anecdotes seem meaningless at this point.

  5. If the report that Tasmanian Labor is to clear the way for maintaining the status quo regarding poker machines,
    we will see a narrowing of the margins between the three main parties in the upcoming election. (Generously given Greens main status)
    The money spent at the last election by the poker machine vested interests was crucial for the liberal party and clobbered Labor under White.
    Premier Gutwein has performed well since taking over the leadership of the liberals particularly the response to Covid.
    The Tasmanian economy is showing good positive signs for the immediate future.
    The role of super hero Morrison PM now becomes a possible unneeded negative factor for Gutwein.
    Morrison will be discouraged from planting his dial anywhere south of Bass Strait.
    Labor’s White is popular, the expected new arrival more than likely a positive.
    The Greens are at risk of finding traction considering the major factors likely to influence the next election.
    Women are well represented across the five divisions.
    Gutwein is a gambler, it will be interesting to see this develop between now and the election.
    I expect a very tight result.
    Labor and the Greens should be talking about the possibilities, with the liberals hoping for a Labor /Green bun fight.

  6. “Labor’s Tasmanian election campaign – and the party itself – is in turmoil, after a prominent candidate and state party president Ben McGregor quit over alleged inappropriate text messages he sent to a woman.

    A tearful Mr McGregor did not denying sending inappropriate messages to the woman, who has signed a statutory declaration, but claimed he was the victim of a smear campaign he alleged involved party leader Rebecca White.

    Mr McGregor effectively claimed the party was in a state of civil war, while on Wednesday quitting as candidate for the Hobart-based seat of Clark.”

  7. The LNP will cling to this Tasmanian McGregor withdrawal of his candidicy as though their future depends on it.
    Premier Gutwein should have felt at ease with the Tasmania economy, his Covid performance and poker machines.
    Morrison PM has managed to scuttle Gutwein’s decision to go to an early election. Morrison doesn’t do Tassie!
    Rebecca White has managed the McGregor oversight with a clear decision.
    Anything less would have left a weakness for the LNP and Greens to use in a pincer movement to attack Labor.
    Some more Tasmanian polling should show the relative field positions of the parties.
    The Greens are looking desperate on their own.
    With the poker machine imbroglio put to bed, Labor plus the Greens have good chance.
    Politicians and politics aren’t always at their best during elections.
    If I were advising the various parties, I’d be screaming jobs jobs and more jobs.
    May 1 is not far away.

  8. The libs are already starting to run ads on tv linking Labor to the greens. If they take off Labor are screwed. In sections of Tasmania the greens are despised by voters (I’m one of those voters) Labor have to take a very strong and I mean VERY STRONG stance against any formal link with the greens (suggested or otherwise) and really have to counter the current lib ads.
    There have been two power sharing governments with the greens in Tasmania, one each to Labor and lib. Both were disasters.

  9. “The libs are already starting to run ads on tv linking Labor to the greens. If they take off Labor are screwed.”

    Labor shouldn’t worry at all about those ads. They should just focus on getting voters to shift from the Libs to the ALP, and neutralising issues such as that of the poker machines will help, alongside stressing more Progressive policies, and perhaps add a bit of the ScuMo crap in Canberra on the side. But in any event, it looks like that the most that the ALP can hope for is to form government with the Greens. In that case, I would strongly recommend a meeting, perhaps in friendly neutral territory such as Melbourne, between Rebecca White, Cassy O’Connor on the one hand and Andrew Barr and Shane Rattenbury on the other, to exchange experiences about the successful partnership between ALP and Greens in the ACT. Topic: “How lefty can you be without staying permanently in opposition?”.

  10. Alpo. I don’t know where you are but we’re talking about Tasmanian here. North Queensland gets mentioned for its parochialism, beginner’s. Labor can’t let the libs tie them to the greens at all, if they d0, they’re stuffed.

  11. Rebecca White and Tassie Labor should stick to their plan to form government as a stand alone transparent Labor team.
    Gutwein’s liberals would love to see a Labor/Green alliance during the election campaign.
    Any negotiations need only occur after the election, as required.
    Jobs, the economy and anything that’s not Morrison PM are the issues.
    Comparing the ACT and Tassie is a false narrative.

  12. Goll says:
    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 4:29 am

    So, the ALP will say “No Coalition with the Greens” and then go into Coalition with the Greens – much like the “No Carbon Tax under a Government I lead”. Type thing which worked out so well.

  13. Bucephalus says:
    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 10:18 am
    much like the “No Carbon Tax under a Government I lead”. Type thing which worked out so well.


    Yes Peta Cedlin admitted Gillard was telling the truth, there was no carbon tax

    Australian public fell gullible to the lies from Newsltd /other lib/nats propaganda media units and lib/nats

  14. Scott says:
    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 11:55 am

    “Yes Peta Cedlin admitted Gillard was telling the truth, there was no carbon tax”

    You still want to argue about the technicalities of a whether the fixed price period was a tax or not?

    Gillard called it a tax herself. The voters knew it was a tax. She lost.

    And it’s Credlin with an r.

  15. I’m interested to see that the prevailing view on here seems to be that it would be a wonderful thing for Tassie Labor to once again embrace the stinking pokies and the non-Tasmanians who have made their fortune from them.

  16. Buce: “Only the impotent are pure.”

    I don’t disagree. But, the change in policy certainly doesn’t seem to have had a viagra-like effect on their polling and they look set for a crushing defeat.

  17. The claims re Brooks posted by Scott above came originally from a prominent local crime-related Facebook page called Vigilante News which also posts some electoral gossip, and were then briefly tweeted by a local indy media type who is also a convicted conman (the tweet was soon deleted or taken down). The ammunition storage bit is correct – he’s been summonsed and maintains he is innocent – but the major media so far haven’t touched the other claim.

  18. The idea that party should take rejected policies to election indefinetely because of “principals” is a joke. Thats why it was right for Labor to dump pokies policy and thats why they should dump policies like franking credit changes and perhaps even negative gearing in federal politics.

    They will lose this election IMO because of covid.

  19. The quiet before the storm perhaps?
    A few crumbs of polling from parts of Tassie will create some activity.
    The next tranche of federal polling can’t be hidden forever.
    Will Mr Gutwein be rewarded for his Covid response and management or will the overexposure of the real Liberals from Morrison PM land cause the sponge to sink in the middle.
    The Greens could do with a spike!

  20. Not a lot of noise coming from the island state as the weather blows in from the south west.
    Both prominent newspapers have an opinion piece suggesting both the liberals and greens as having a chance to to maintain or improve their respective results from the last election.
    Absolutely no evidence to suggest why.
    It is hard to imagine that the Morrison PM factor will have no bearing on the election.
    Similarly it’s hard to imagine the publicity given to 51% of the voting population and their ill-treatment in liberal politics across Australia and the wages and superannuation discrimination remaining unfavourable toward women to have no bearing.
    The accord between Labor and the hospitality industry regarding poker machines seems to have reduced it’s prominence.
    Gutwein will be rewarded for Covid and White will be rewarded for not having picked an unwinnable fight this election.
    The Greens seemingly continue to polarize the electorate.
    Something will break soon, from one side or the other, the electorate kept at a distance with so little time remaining.
    Eric appears to remain well muzzled.
    Property prices on the up are always positive for the incumbents.
    What result?
    Poker machines were massive last election and it’s expected some wind has dissipated from this issue.
    Much closer result than imagined!

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