Tasmanian election endgame

A down-to-the-wire preference count in Braddon adds yet more interest to the Tasmanian election result.

Click here for full display of Tasmanian first preference results.


Craig Garland has won the final seat in Braddon reasonably comfortably with 7861 votes after preferences, or 11.1% of the total, to fourth Liberal Giovanna Simpson on 6481, or 9.1%. So the Liberals emerge with 14 seats against ten for Labor, five for the Greens, three for the Jacqui Lambie Network and three independents, which will leave the Liberals relying on both the Jacqui Lambie Network and at least one independent, none of whom are natural ideological allies, to keep the show on the road.


The odds on independent Craig Garland reducing the Liberals to 14 seats by winning the last seat in Braddon continue to shorten. As things presently stand, three seats remain to be decided between six candidates left in the count. One is certain to go to Labor’s Shane Broad, who is 67 votes short of a quota, and another to Miriam Beswick of the Jacqui Lambie Network, who will be elected when party colleague James Redgrave is excluded, the two between them having 917 votes to spare over a quota. Darren Briggs of the Greens, presently on 4901 votes, will then go out. With the distribution of these preferences, Garland will need to close a gap of 5870 to 5479 against the remaining Liberal, Giovanna Simpson. The assessment of Antony Green is that “there are certain to be enough preferences for Garland to gain the required votes to pass Simpson”.


The Tasmanian Electoral Commission is now at a fairly advanced stage of conducting its preference distributions, results for which it unusually reports progressively rather than having a computerised system that calculates it all in one hit. These can be found only on the TEC’s site – the numbers shown on my own results facility, linked to above, are finalised first preferences.

This process has made the result look still more interesting, shortening the odds on the Liberals finishing with 14 seats rather than the generally anticipated 15, with Labor on ten, the Greens on five, the Jacqui Lambie Network on three and two independents. In doubt is one seat in Braddon that could either go to a fourth Liberal, which would get them to 15, or Craig Garland, putting independents at three. What follows is my summary of the situation in each of the five divisions, listed this time in order of interest rather than alphabetically.

Braddon. My assessment shortly after the election was that the Liberals would win four, Labor two and the Jacqui Lambie Network one, “barring some impressive preference-gathering from independent Craig Garland on 0.40 quotas or a late-count surprise for the Greens on 0.52”, potentially reducing the Liberals to three and making the parliament yet more unpredictable. The progress of the count so far has shortened the odds on the first of these scenarios coming to pass, with Garland enjoying such strong preferences from Shooters and leakage from excluded Greens candidates that Antony Green now rates him “favoured to win”.

Garland was outpolled by the collective Greens ticket by 4728 to 3637, but now leads the only Greens candidate remaining in the race by 5118 to 4632. With two Liberals elected and two excluded, their three remaining candidates have a combined 14834, 8875 of which will be used to elect Roger Jaensch, leaving 5959 to spare, some of which will leak when the next Liberal is excluded. Garland, meanwhile, should be further boosted as the one Greens and two Labor candidates are excluded.

What is clear in Braddon is that Liberal incumbents Jeremy Rockliff, Felix Ellis and Roger Jaensch will be returned (the first two having already done so) and incumbents Anita Dow and Shane Broad will win the two Labor seats. None of the three JLN candidates has been excluded yet, but it is clear that Craig Cutts soon will be. His preferences will decide the winner between Miriam Beswick on 3612 and James Redgrave on 3325. Based on the JLN’s form elsewhere, it would be unusual for these preferences to overturn an existing lead.

Bass. It is clear the result here will be three Liberal (Michael Ferguson, Rob Fairs and one to be determined), two Labor (Michelle O’Byrne and Janie Finlay), one Greens (Cecily Rosol) and one Jacqui Lambie Network (to be determined). The front-runners for the third Liberal seat are incumbent Simon Wood and Julie Sladden. Preferences so far have favoured Wood, who has added 1457 to a primary vote of 1949 to reach 3406, over Sladden, who has added 930 to 1747 to reach 2677, and will presumably continue to do so. Similarly, in the race for the Jacqui Lambie Network seat, first preference leader Rebekah Pentland has added 1165 to 2409 to reach 3574 while Angela Armstrong has added 1057 to 2033 to reach 3090, which probably leaves Portland home and hosed.

Clark. My post-election assessment was that Labor had a chance of winning a third seat at the expense of either independent incumbent Kristie Johnston or second Greens contender Helen Burnet, but I may have been out on a limb even then. It now appears clear that the result will be Labor two (incumbent Ella Haddad and former upper house member Josh Willie), Liberal two (incumbents Simon Behrakis and Madeleine Ogilvie, the latter seeing off a threat from Liberal rival Marcus Vermey on preferences), Greens two (incumbent Vica Bayley and the aforementioned Helen Burnet) and independents one (Kristie Johnston).

Lyons. As seemed likely from the beginning, the result here is three Liberal (incumbents Guy Barnett and Mark Shelton and former upper house member Jane Howlett), two Labor (Rebecca White and Jen Butler), Greens one (Tabatha Badger) and Jacqui Lambie Network one (preferences for the first excluded Lesley Pyecroft seemingly deciding the result for Andrew Jenner over Troy Pfitzner, the two having been closely matched on first preferences).

Franklin. The only vague doubt here after election night was which of the Labor newcomers would win the party’s second seat, and preferences have confirmed that it will be Meg Brown, as always seemed likely. The result is duly three Liberal (former Senator Eric Abetz, Jacquie Petrusma making a comeback, and incumbent Nic Street) two Labor (Dean Winter and Meg Brown), one Greens (Rosalie Woodruff) and one independent (former Labor leader David O’Byrne).

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.

145 comments on “Tasmanian election endgame”

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  1. There is the $6 per vote public funding. So that will be about $800k to the Liberals, $600k to Labor, $300k to the Greens and $140k to JLN. I suspect that they all spent more than that.

  2. Despite the Labor stance of no deals with the Greens they may have to seriously reconsider that in the next few years due to the expanded parliament. Due to Clark being extremely left leaning it is almost impossible for Labor or Liberal to win more than two seats there so you have to win four in every other electorate which is even harder now.
    Their primary vote is less than 30% so there is little hope of them governing in their own right. Best case scenario would be like the Liberals 14 or 15 if things went right next time so unless they are prepared to do what Labor has done in the ACT they will be in opposition perpetually.

  3. ‘justif01 says:
    Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 8:24 pm

    Despite the Labor stance of no deals with the Greens they may have to seriously reconsider that in the next few years due to the expanded parliament….’
    Ah. The Gordian Knot of distrust of the Greens. Labor justifiably has it in spades. The Liberals justifiably have it in spades as well.
    The lived experience.
    The notion that there is only one future scenario and that it MUST involve the Greens is nurtured carefully in the bosoms of the Greens.
    However, there are usually many ways to organize a gaggle of minors and the likelihood, IMO, is that future gaggles will continue routinely to avoid the Greens.

  4. Winter insulting Garland for his come-from behind election win is just a straight-up wacky thing to do in a situation where he’s continually going to need to talk to Garland any time he wants to defeat the LNP on any given legislation.

    Garland may be nuts, but the entitlement of attacking him for winning on preferences (not even for his views) in a context where a) it’s beyond politically stupid to alienate him if avoidable, and b) when the electorate just voted to elect more crossbenchers than Labor MPs, it’s wildly insulting to much of the Tasmanian voter pool, is just idiotic. Winter seems to be following the Tony Abbott guide to handling the crossbench.

    If Winter’s behaviour before he’s even won the leadership is anything to go by, he’s going to be the gift that keeps on giving for Jeremy Rockliff and the Liberals.

    Boerwar: if Labor’s grand plan is that “future gaggles will continue routinely to avoid the Greens”, why is the Labor keader-in-waiting randomly insulting a key independent crossbencher for shits and giggles?

    meher baba: Where does Rockliff get the extra vote for supply, though? Johnston would’ve been an obvious pick but had a fair swing against her in 2024 and could well lose her seat if she props up the Liberals, I think O’Byrne would prop up a Liberal government over his dead body, and Garland is nuts.

  5. Labor 2 seats per electorate. ….10
    Libs 3 seats per electorate less 1…..14
    Green s 1 seat per electorate…5
    Jln. ….3
    Ind 3
    Sums interesting when trying to cobble together 18 votes on the floor…. libs plus 4
    Alp plus 8
    Should someone abstain 17/17 possible
    What are the rules for pairs?
    Left ….alp Greens and 2 ind….ie 17
    Right…..liberals 14
    Centre right jln 3 if they all vote together
    What happens with the
    Casting vote in event of a tie?

  6. The more think I about it, the more I think Winter is shaping up to be Tasmania’s equivalent of Tom Playford’s old opponent in SA, Mick O’Halloran: someone who is quite comfortable being opposition leader and taking the occasional potshot from the sidelines and not too keen on actually trying to ever govern.

    These attacks on minority government – not just minority government with the Greens – after the outcome of this election, is completely insane – and he’s already locking himself in with comments that the Libs are going to beat him over the head with if he ever gets a grip down the line, just after White found herself boxed in by her own unwise previous comments.

  7. Mick Ohallaran was useless as opposition leader as he assumed he could not win.Huge difference when Don Dunstan was leader and premier

  8. Its unlikely the Liberals will want to form government with the ALP or Greens. So, that leaves any government formed pretty much needs the JLN to join it or provide support to form a minority government. If I was them I’d wait to hear back from the ALP and Liberals what they can gather from independents &/ Greens to form a government. Then the haggling will begin.

  9. B. S. Fairmansays:
    Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 6:37 pm
    There is the $6 per vote public funding. So that will be about $800k to the Liberals, $600k to Labor, $300k to the Greens and $140k to JLN. I suspect that they all spent more than that.

    Which probably means financially none of them want to go spending in a new election straight away. Maybe Labor should guarantee supply and confidence for a year to a minority Liberal Government. Then after a year see what the situation is?.

  10. Rebecca at 8.50 pm

    Your expressions don’t always match your ideas. What you’ve really said is that Winter is nuts, like an Empire Loyalist of the inter-war period who believes British (First Past Post) is best.

    Tactically you have noted that it is stupid of any Labor MP to attack or denigrate Garland. That should be obvious when Labor is so weak in Braddon (it has become weaker over the past 40 years).

    Here is the ABC note about Garland:

    “Craig Garland (Independent)

    A fisherman and long-term campaigner against salmon farms in the waters off Tasmania’s north-west coast, Mr Garland finally makes his way into parliament after going close on several previous occasions.

    He ran on a platform of affordable housing and energy, while calling for an anti-corruption commission like those in Victoria and New South Wales.

    While he only amassed 5 per cent of first preferences, he did very well on preference flows, indicating he has broad appeal in Braddon.”


    That suggests Garland, relatively speaking, ran a better campaign than Labor. So practically he is not nuts. Obviously he thinks the stadium fetish is nuts, let alone the choccie fountain.

    The JL man in Lyons is not a novice but rather a recycled Tory from the UK. A closet Liberal.

    So that gets Rockliff to 15 most probably all the time. The JL MP for Bass Rebekah Pentland is a supporter of the stadium fetish, clearly a minority view in Launnie. As a former drug company consultant she is much more likely than Garland or other Indies to support the Libs.


    Miriam Beswick, JL MP for Braddon, may be less likely than her colleagues to support the Libs.


    Because every vote counts Rockliff has an interest in making either D. O’Byrne or Johnston the Speaker.

    Rockliff might usually get 15 or 16 votes (including Pentland). He will need at least another two (i.e. Beswick if she agrees + one of the Indies) to pass anything not supported by Labor.

    The stadium fetish looks very exposed, now revealed for the waste that it is. There has to be a broad reason why the swing against the Libs was much higher in the north, especially in Bass. The JL ticket as a temporary option is one reason; the stadium fetish is clearly another.

  11. I think if Labor gives off too many more ‘unwilling to govern’ vibes, they will lose even more PV and be even more in the hole as regards ever forming a government.

  12. There is no $6 public funding this election – the legislation was passed but was not proclaimed in time as the TEC needed about a year of leadin to develop necessary systems.

    Re Garland’s views I have just become aware today that he was being promoted by Women Speak Tasmania, an anti-trans group, as having ticked certain of their boxes. There had also previously been a claim about him sharing something supposedly anti-trans on social media but I was never able to find it. So there is that as another point for right-wing tendencies, I would still say much more left than right on past record.

  13. Dr Doolittle: What you’re missing is that Garland turned into a conspiracy theorist during COVID, and it started with COVID but hasn’t ended there.

    I wouldn’t blame either party for not wanting to work with him if they can avoid it because it seems like he has potential to be a real handful. But at the same time, he’s a key crossbench vote, and someone that at least pre-COVID Labor could’ve found a fair bit of common cause with, so insulting him for a come-from-behind-on-preferences-victory when you’re going to be going begging to him at some point in the future to vote down an LNP bill or motion is incredibly foolish.

  14. Herding Cats.
    A good result for Labor to lose.
    The instability of the last parliament was created by Liberals who couldn’t work with each other.
    The Jaquie Lambie Nitwork, devoid of any policy, has three members.
    It has been postulated that Labor with the support of the three Nitworkers, Independents and The Greens could cobble together an administration.
    Why would they?
    Rockcliffe created this disaster, let him bear the electoral consequences and when any minority administration collapses within the next twelve months and another early election is called.
    In the current circumstance, and if Labor is so stupid to cobble together an administration, in the ensuing chaos the Liberals and their media allies will campaign on “a stability of government platform” and return the Liberals to majority government.

  15. I’ve been trying to find the comments Winter made about Garland so I can assess them, not been able to. Can someone point me at them?

  16. Will the libs put a moratorium on salmon farms and maybe phase one out for years of support from Garland.
    Desperate times watch for a major backflip somewhere Rocky’s ego/reputation means a deal has to be done.

  17. Labor will not win government for a generation. It would be electoral suicide for them to coalesce with the Greens, and the Liberal Party will always win a plurality of the vote even though the right wing may not get a majority. At best, they will eventually get inpatient and do a deal with the Greens to give Tasmania one term of non-conservative government perhaps once every thirty years.

  18. Why Rockliff gave that wierd speech on election night declaring that Liberals won the election is beyond me. That was one of the most wierd speeches I have seen by a so-called winner after Turnbull victory speech.
    Liberals lost 25% of vote and the cross bench is not that friendly to him.
    Make no mistake it is a very very bad result for Tas Labor. Eventhough Libs lost 25% of their vote, Labs hardly gained anything at all from that.

    Does P1s, Sohars and Rexs want this kind of result? This is disastrous for Tasmania.

  19. So, as of Saturday, “progressives” got 18 seats (10 Alp, 5 green and 3 left of centre indies) in a 35 member parliament and are refusing to govern.

    Who will emerge as the Mahatma Ghandi of Tasmanian politics to fix this? Crucially, when will they emerge?

    Refusing to govern in the hope the other side fails is not a sound strategy.

    Oh, Tasmania, let the wildlife be. The wilderness should be strong and free. [Gordon Franklin and co]

  20. Dr Bonham : “There is no $6 public funding this election – the legislation was passed but was not proclaimed in time as the TEC needed about a year of leadin to develop necessary systems. ”

    Given that they (Tasmanian Electoral Commission) can count (have counted) the votes, what system/s could possibly be required to enable public funding to proceed?

  21. If Craig Garland were to ‘fall under a bus’ – just being hypothetical here – who fills the vacancy as he was a ticket of one.
    Also, hypothetically, can a count back cause a seat to switch sides?
    Could this happen with the JLN as they ran tickets of 3 – less than 7.

  22. Boerwar:
    Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 8:34 pm

    I agree totally that there are other ways to build a gaggle that doesn’t involve the Greens but the Labor primary vote is perpetually stuck at sub 30% so for them to avoid dealing with the Greens in future they would have to at the very least pick up one seat in each electorate outside of Clark to be even able to contemplate doing anything. Indeed as I said before it may well prove almost impossible for either major party to get a majority in future so they may just have to think outside the box to govern.

  23. In Tasmania, they do a recount, but candidates do have to participate in the recount (so it will be someone who contested the election, but is possible that the next person who would be elected does not sit because they didn’t want to). In Garland’s case, we don’t really know how his primary vote would have been distributed if he had been eliminated so we really don’t know.

  24. It’s not just Garland’s primary vote that would be included in the recount but also (i) all the preferences he received on the way to victory and (ii) Simpson’s votes up to a maximum total value of 1014 would be thrown to attempt to bring Garland up to quota (which could even lead to Simpson voters who put Garland last being included in Garland’s recount). We do know who he received preferences from but not who they necessarily started with. We do know that by far the largest parcel he received was from Briggs, which would give Briggs a good shot at it although some of those would go back to other candidates.

    A candidate’s consent is required for them to contest a recount – it is optional not compulsory.

  25. Tassie Labor what a joke they are. Probably Paul Lennon behind the scenes being a bully and controlling the leaders and the party. They will never get in Government if they have this view of not siding with the Greens.
    Now the independents in Tasmania can do some horse trading with Libs, they should seek an independent corruption commission with teeth which holds open inquiries. And secondly they should seek an independant inquiry into Salmon Farming and Native Forest Logging and ask for all recommendations be put in place. All the minor parties should be careful because the Murdoch dominated press will be after them. They like a State run by the wealthy groups.

  26. Since the final results, did Labor in Tasmania declare that they wouldn’t govern or did they declare that they weren’t in a position to form government ?

  27. ‘sunny days says:
    Sunday, April 7, 2024 at 1:05 pm

    Tassie Labor what a joke they are. …’
    Labor 10 seats. Greens less than half that? This sort of comment is a demonstration of why Labor can’t trust the Greens.

    I really don’t know how the Greens might demonstrate that either Labor or the Liberals can trust them.

    The problem is that the Greens need to damage or destroy Labor in order to become the government. So the Greens bad mouth Labor all the time.

    Then when it comes time to form a government the Greens demand that Labor forms a government with the Greens.

    And when that government acts, the Greens accept all the praise for whatever success while condemning Labor for whatever shortcomings.

    So, how do the Greens regain Labor’s trust?

  28. A reminder.

    The ACT Labor/Green government exists. A fact that no amount of “but that’s an exception” can deny.

    The question for Labor is what is exceptional about it in it’s approach to the Greens compared to such examples around the world?

  29. Scott, we will see if you can still say that after the next ACT election, Pocock is coming after those green seats

  30. This really shows how much the majors were holding back the dam of the one third non-major party vote. So many games to deny 20-30% of voters their choices and finally this election was a long overdue correction. The only true enemy is First-Past-The-Post but I’d love Hare-Clarke on the mainland!

  31. It’s funny how there’s the talk about why doesn’t Labor partner with the Greens and others to form a Government even though they are enemies of the Greens.

    The easiest path to Government for the Libs is to partner with the Greens (19 seats), so why don’t they do it?

  32. Boerwar, when the left vote is split like this how do you expect Labor to ever get in Government. Labor needs to stop lving of the union vote from members of Forestry and Salmon Farming and looking at the overall picture of Tasmania. People simply are not happy with Tasmania’s environment being trashed. And look Salman Farming is not Australian owned, so the profits are not going to Tasmanians. Hospital workers and Education workers votes will not get you government. And the young are moving more and more away from Labor and their not going to change.

  33. Kevin – Thank you for the correction. I merely read the legalisation at a glance. That does mean the parties are all going to short on the cash front for awhile.

    Entorpy – Labor is not going to offer “supply and confidence” to the Liberal government. Why on earth would they do that? Why is it not in the Labor party’s interest to force the Liberals to squirm every time they want money?

    It is clear that most people here do not understand what “supply and confidence” that means. It means that they will back the budget spending bill and vote “yes” on confidence votes even if the government has messed up. Minority governments have existed in the past without having “Supply and Confidence” agreements.

    Rockwell can go to the governor and says “yep, we will give it a shot” then the governor is going to approve the Liberals returning to the government benches. Only if the government either can pass laws or funding it deems necessary to the good government of the state will there be another need for the governor to get involved.

  34. As I said last night, it just seems like Tasmanian Labor is entirely fine with staying in opposition for the next decade or two because of a reluctance to accept objective political reality. I understand, better than many progressives, the issues with Tasmanian Labor and the Tasmanian Greens working together, given that the last time was mutually disastrous – but given that minority governments are looking highly likely for the foreseeable future, what’s the plan here?

    Even if it’s not with the Greens, a Labor leader who keeps banging on about how he’ll only govern in majority and publicly pissing on the very concept of minority government from great height is – in this electoral environment – never going to govern at all, because by the time any given Labor leader has a come to Jesus moment (like Rebecca White did) and contemplates taking a shot at forming government, they’ve already provided the Liberals and the Murdoch press with a litany of quotes to destroy them with that make any such move far more politically painful and dangerous.

    MadHouse: I miss the days when people on this site were serious enough people as to not spout nonsense because of their party affiliations. The Libs and Greens won’t form government for the exact same reason Labor and Liberal won’t form government: ideologically opposed and politically suicidal.

    Blackburnpseph: Bob Brown was famously first elected to the Tasmanian Parliament in very similar circumstances to your question: a Democrat who had run on similar issues to Brown resigned, and the countback elected Brown instead of any of the minor Dems.

  35. did everyone speculating about parliamentary numbers in this thread miss that kristie johnston and david o’byrne already agreed to support the liberals over a week ago?

    according to this article, like JLN, johnston has agreed to offer ‘stability’ and budget supply while o’byrne has also offered ‘stability’ and agreed not to support ‘frivolous no-confidence motions’. this gives the libs minority gov 19 votes to labor/greens/garland’s 16.


  36. ‘Scott says:
    Sunday, April 7, 2024 at 2:59 pm

    A reminder.

    The ACT Labor/Green government exists. A fact that no amount of “but that’s an exception” can deny.

    The question for Labor is what is exceptional about it in it’s approach to the Greens compared to such examples around the world?’
    Meh. The ACT is like no other jurisdiction in Australia. For example it was the only jurisdiction which voted a clear majority for ‘yes’. The Greens love pointing to it as an exemplar but all they do is demonstrate how willing they are to misrepresent reality in other to further their interests. This bears directly on whether the Greens can ever restore Labor’s trust in them. The continuous personal attacks on Labor politicians, prime ministers and ministers are SOP, for one. The Greens then expect these very same people to form coalition governments with the Greens. Insane.

  37. Rebecca says:
    Sunday, April 7, 2024 at 7:52 pm

    As I said last night, it just seems like Tasmanian…’
    …Greens just don’t get it. They shaft Labor and then turn around and demand that Labor form government with them.

    IMO Labor’s problem is PASOK. It is damned to losing the following election if it gets with the Greens. It cannot form government without the Greens.

    As with PASOKification elsewhere, the vacuum is filled with gaggles of single issue parties, minor parties, individual ratbags and populists of every description.

    FWIW, the efforts of the Coalition, Bandt, Murdoch, Stokes, Costello, Buttrose and whoever runs the Guardian to force Labor into minority government in the next government will probably succeed. If Labor gets into bed with the Greens during that government it will lose the next election after that and the far right will run Australia for another ten years.

    In all this the Greens have an unresolved problem. Their policies attract maybe 10-15% of the vote. They will never form government in their own right. Thus they need to force Labor into minority government. But the activities that generate this outcome need to be calibrated in two ways.

    They have to maintain trust.

    They have to be careful not to be too good at destroying Labor.

    It seems to me that the Greens are getting better at destroying Labor. They have not got the least idea of how to do this without also destroying Labor’s willingness to work in government with the Greens.

    But worse than that, the Greens have not got a clue about calibrating Labor’s destruction without delivering government to the right.

    A clue about the almost total lack of self-reflection among the Greens and the impacts of their political behaviours in this space is that they invariably begin their sentences with ‘Labor must…’ ‘Labor has to…’ ‘Labor should…’.


  38. The Greens are to blame for Labor’s problems? Seriously? Sorry Labor is creating their own problems by having little in the way of policies and ideas. To say the Greens are responsible for Labor’ migration policies, their submarine contracts, housing policy and a slow reaction to international matters in the middle east is ludicrous. Labor is doing badly because Albanese is a weak leader, he is paranoid about Murdoch news and the conservative retail union. The Greens will continue to gain inner city seats for as long as Labor buries itself in the sand regarding doing things and being hijacked by a right wing media. Of which use the tactics of distraction ( immigration and boat people )to stop society concentrating on what is really making Australia and western World so unequal, that being the distribution of government resources fundamentally favouring the wealthy.

  39. I think Tasmanian Labor should probably look closely at the state Social Democratic Party branches of Germany in how they run their politics since they pretty much only govern in minority governments these days. Germany’s MMP and Tasmania’s Hare-Clark might work completely differently on paper, but they effectively work similarly in that it’s extremely difficult for a party to get a majority unless they win above 50% of the vote (probably easier in Tasmania than Germany), but that’s the system they have to work with.

    The only way I see Tasmanian Labor gaining a majority of at least 18 seats on their own is if the Tasmanian Liberals go right off the deep end, appoint Eric Abetz as Premier and he restarts Ray Groom’s 1990’s social culture wars against LGBT+ people as his main policy program.

  40. Boerwar: “A clue about the almost total lack of self-reflection among the Greens and the impacts of their political behaviours in this space is that they invariably begin their sentences with ‘Labor must…’ ‘Labor has to…’ ‘Labor should…’.”

    But that’s precisely what’s going to happen at any time when you’re reliant on another party for votes for things to pass (in either house of any parliament) – those parties will, at times, have differing views on how to deal with things, and any party that wants to govern will have to get used to being told that they should do things, and not necessarily getting all of their way on any given issue.

    It’s generally been something that Labor have almost always excelled at over the Liberals, at least since I’ve been old enough to follow politics – Beattie, Bracks, Rann, Weatherill, Gillard, and Andrews were all very, very good at wrangling crossbenchers and continually outmaneuvered their opponents for it. It doesn’t mean you need to surrender your agenda, but that you do need to live in shared reality, work with the crossbench you’re given instead of your fantasy majority, and be able to make deals.

    But Labor seems to be losing that edge, and Tasmania’s ground zero for it, because it’s not just the Greens that Winter and friends flip out at the prospect of having to talk to, it’s literally anyone – O’Byrne, Johnston, JLN, Garland. If they can’t find anyone they can tolerate being in government with without the kind of public raging that a) alienates any potential partners, and/or b) locks themselves into quotes and positions they have to go back on to form government, it’s going to be to the Libs’ eternal gain. It’s bewildering that the predominant, very successful Labor behaviour towards crossbenchers since my nearly-middle-aged ass was in kindy has gotten abandoned for…this petulance.

    Kirsdarke: I’m not sure the German SDP is a good example, given their history of grand coalitions, even if they’re better at wrangling minor parties. NZ is probably a better one, given that Ardern governed just fine with the Greens and wacky New Zealand First.

    But I do think you’re dead-on about the only circumstances in which Tasmanian Labor has a chance of majority government for the foreseeable future.

  41. @Rebecca

    Yeah, that’s fair. I recall having a go at a “coalition simulator” game set up by the Guardian for the UK 2015 election, and attempting to match up the Conservatives with Labour had the result of “Extremely unlikely, because most members and supporters of both parties would be outraged by this agreement”, and that’s probably the case with Tasmanian Liberals and Labor, unlike the German Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, who don’t have such a level of animosity.

  42. Rebecca at 2.52 am and Dr Bonham at 12.08 pm

    “What you’re missing is that Garland turned into a conspiracy theorist during COVID, and it started with COVID but hasn’t ended there.”

    There are two interesting statements by Garland on his 46 second video noting preferences:


    1) he misconceives the winning margin, having misunderstood the details of Dr Bonham’s point that he has set a historical record as the winning candidate with the lowest primary vote. Garland misconceives that figure (5.1%) as his winning margin, even though he was politely thankful for the preferences he received, so he at least understands preferences.

    2) Garland claims to have spent only $2,000 of his own money and $1,000 of others. There is no way of knowing, but perhaps (with historical inflation adjustments) he has set another record, being the candidate who has won a seat while spending the least (if he’s truthful).

    As a conspiracy nutter re the nature of the Covid pandemic and how to best protect the most people throughout the world, including in countries with much worse health systems than Tasmania, Garland has set another electoral record.

    He is not the first conspiracy nutter to become a parliamentarian in Australia, but he is the first one to do so without one or both of a lot of financial and institutional support. All the others (Malcolm Roberts, Babet, the various Lib conspiracy nutters) have had team support.

    Whatever the depth of Garland’s personal ignorance about Covid and other phenomena, if you look at his rhetoric, judging by his Facebook page (which was more active than all the winning JL candidates combined), he relied on a mix of home grown populism and localism, spiced up with a bit of the Juice Media video to emphasise the idiocy of the stadium fetish.

  43. I notice that, quite predictably, the Greens responses to my post about Labor and the need for the Greens to reflect on their calibrations and their trustworthiness was… to talk some more about how Labor has to change to conform to the Greens who are, apparently, perfect already.

    I repeat. The Greens have lost trust. Big time. They need to win that back.
    I repeat. If the Greens are too good at damaging or destroying Labor they will hand government to the right.

    I would appreciate some posts from Greens posters on how and why the Greens need to change.

  44. Well it’s been 2 weeks and the Liberal party have started to fall apart already. Eric is already undermining Premier Rockliff by attacking the Libs election strategy and trying to keep uber conservative (ie in Eric’s faction) Clarence Mayor in the party.

    The Mercury: https://archive.md/yyy84

  45. I note that the Liberals are trying to expel Clarence Mayor and long time member Brendan Blomeley. This comes after “winning” the election with 14 seats. Buckle up everyone this is going to be a bumpy ride.

  46. Boerwar: I’m not a “Greens poster”, and my post wasn’t even about their refusal to work with the Greens in Tas (which I’ve been continually sympathetic towards given the history) but their refusal to work with anyone at all in minority government in general.

    Winter isn’t just rejecting the idea of entering into minority government with the Greens, he’s rejecting the idea of entering into minority government at all (in general, not just this time). There are other crossbenchers than the Greens – and it seems Tas Labor won’t work with any of them. To the extent that you spout common Labor attitudes, it’s very revealing – if a party can’t cope with sometimes being told they’re wrong on an issue by someone whose votes they need to form government (in general), they won’t form government.

    There’s just no way forward for a Labor government in Tasmania in the near future if that doesn’t change, and Labor just keeps wishing for their fantasy majority despite the electoral unlikeliness. The alternative is being in eternal opposition perennially raging that the crossbench, in all their flavours, exists.

  47. The counter point Rebecca is that the Libs have absolutely ruled out power sharing with the Greens as well. The Lib Premier with just 2/5 of the parliaments seats is shouting from the mountain top that he is going to implement all his election policies, whilst not share any ministries with either indies or other parties. Meanwhile there’s an all but declared challenger for the top Liberal job.

    People calling for a Lib/Green government in the local rag – https://archive.md/3pcBT

    The Greens face their own issue with their incredibly divisive ex-leader likely to get an upper house seat in a few months and therefore sit inside the party room.

    There’s enough fantasists to go around.

    Any way you slice this there is no likelihood of a stable government in the near to medium future.

    So why would you recommend to Labor that their strategy should be to form government in this environment?

  48. I would say it is very sensible not to back ‘frivolous no-confidence motions’. I doubt the ALP would even back the type of ‘frivolous no-confidence motions’ that the Greens are known to throw around.
    I would suggest that the Liberals are going to govern for a 12 to 24 months without issues, but it is going to be a very small ‘c’ conservative type of governing – no big announcements or big spending because that is going to require the backing of parliament. There will probably be more enquiries in things like the Stadium which might delay them a bit.
    After a year or two of this, the Liberals will get fed up and they will be back at the polls before 2028.

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