Tasmanian election minus two weeks

Highlights of the first half of a state campaign that has proved a particularly bumpy ride for Labor.

The first half of the four-week Tasmanian election campaign has been rather eventful, in terms mostly to the disadvantage of Labor:

• No sooner did Labor dispense with one blow-up through Dean Winter’s belated endorsement in Franklin, than a new one emerged with state party president Ben McGregor’s withdrawal under duress in Clark. McGregor’s offence related to text messages sent to a woman seven years ago which he conceded were “inappropriate”, but nonetheless within the spirit of the “dark humour” of the broader conversation, although their recipient remains rather less sanguine. McGregor claims to be the victim of an act of revenge by the Right over the effort to block Dean Winter, and is threatening to sue Rebecca White for her assertion that he was not “a fit person to stand for a candidate for election for the Tasmanian parliament”.

• Liberal candidate Adam Brooks, who has won his party’s endorsement for a comeback bid in Braddon despite having resigned his seat in parliament in February 2019 following an adverse Integrity Commission finding, has received a summons to appear in court for incorrectly storing ammunition.

• Former Premier Paul Lennon and outgoing upper house independent Ivan Dean have both raised concerns about legal complications arising from the House of Assembly election being held on the same day as the annual periodic Legislative Council elections. The Electoral Act requires that candidates in the latter run their own campaigns with no contributing expenditure by parties, which in Lennon’s view is violated by “every paid generic advertisement” for a party campaign.

• Upon the close of nominations last Wednesday, Labor’s secret fifth candidate in Braddon turned out to be Justine Keay, federal member for Braddon from 2016 to 2019 and (narrow) victor of one of the Super Saturday by-elections of July 2018.

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.

15 comments on “Tasmanian election minus two weeks”

  1. The interest in this Tasmanian election, for most of the politically engaged is to observe the penetration of the stench of misinformation, deception, lies and corruption emanating from the Morrison PM Federal government and whether it wakens any of the Tasmanian voters to alter their voting pattern.
    The two major news publications are very low key, with the location of a liquor store and strangulation laws being front and centre.
    The premier is not courting Morrison PM and had a swipe at the Federal Covid vaccine management!
    Keeping it all very local.

  2. I’m surprised at the lack of interest, tho. Tasmania tends to buck the trend, and then there is that particular voting system! There “may” be a gender break for Labor, perhaps, all things considered. There may not!

  3. That’s not a poll, it’s an unscaled opt-in survey that doesn’t even collect any demographic data. The results reflect nothing but the opinions of those who happen to take part in it.

    There was a uComms poll on Monday that *might* have been public polling; we live in hope. There was also another uComms that I think was for Australia Institute, who fairly often release the voting intention component (which is OK if so, the issue questions tend to be very slanted.) I assume EMRS might pop up next week too.

  4. Can’t help but wonder if the Tassie election will display a narrative akin to the last ACT election.
    The Greens have done well in the ACT election seemingly at the expense of the Liberals.
    I would love to see a resurgent Green result in the next Tassie election but there is absolutely no indication that it is a possibility.
    I suspect that ACT Greens were also not expecting the result they achieved.
    I believe that this Tassie election will be closer than expected.
    It maybe the Greens that do it!!!!!

  5. Hard to know what to make of this Greens campaign and how it will go. They seem more relaxed and positive than last time and have worked pretty hard on policy development. They’re not getting a great amount of attention but may pick up voters who switched to Labor over pokies in 2018 and won’t do that again. Aside from their two MPs their candidates are mostly low profile, apart from Tim Morris running as a support candidate (which is odd).

  6. Interesting results of polling by uComms on the front page of the HB.
    Tasmanians Hare Clark system of voting and the flow of preferences as each of the divisions and the flow of preferences evolve on election night may show up some surprises.

  7. Thank you for posting Kevin.
    I do hope some others are taking advantage of your explanations/summations/suggestions
    as it’s been difficult to get a read on this election.
    I’m still hopeful of some form of anti Morrison PM action, if not in the first preferences but perhaps enough to to cause some interest.
    I’m looking forward to the results as they will emerge, particularly the tail.

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