The latest EMRS poll of state voting intention in Tasmania has Liberal support slumping six points since the February poll to 36%, its lowest level in this long-running series since 2018, but with Labor up only one point to 31%. The Greens are up two to 15%, their best result since 2019 in a series that has shown a tendency to overestimate them. Despite Labor’s apparent softness, leader Rebecca White takes a 40-38 lead over Jeremy Rockliff as preferred premier, reversing Rockliff’s 44-36 lead last time. The poll was conducted by phone last Monday to Friday from a sample of 1000.
Recent Tasmanian developments of note:
• The government lost its parliamentary majority a fortnight ago when Bass MP Lara Alexander and Lyons MP John Tucker quit the Liberal Party to sit as independents. Both had flagged concerns with future debt from the AFL stadium at Macquarie Point and Marius Link electricity interconnector with the mainland. This puts the numbers in the House of Assembly at Liberal 11, Labor nine, Greens two and independents three, although Labor’s nine includes David O’Byrne, who was ejected from caucus in July 2021.
• The dominant issue of recent weeks has been the aforementioned Macquarie Point AFL stadium, to which the federal government has contentiously contributed $240 million of the projected $715 million cost. While this has ensured Tasmania will finally land a team at the AFL, the funding has been very widely criticised at a time of serious housing shortages, with state Labor opposing the state government’s contribution of $375 million. A poll of 2541 Tasmanians conducted by Community Engagement last October found 67% were opposed to the stadium with only 17% in favour.
• Results have been finalised for the three periodic Legislative Council elections held on May 6, each of which were won easily by the incumbents. Labor’s Sarah Lovell fell seven votes short of holding Rumney without having to go to preferences, with a primary vote of 11,003 (49.97%) out of 22,018 amid a field of four candidates. Independent Ruth Forrest polled 16,542 (71.88%) out of 23,013 against two rival independents and a Shooters Fishers and Farmers candidate in Murchison; another independent, Rosemary Armitage, polled 15,548 (78.23%) out of 19,875 in a two-horse race against the Greens in Launceston.