Tasmanian pollsters EMRS have produced a survey of state voting intention from 1002 respondents which provides all kinds of bad news for Premier Paul Lennon. Support for Labor is down to 33 per cent from 39 per cent at the previous survey in March (and from 49.6 per cent at the March 2006 election), while the Liberals are up to 42 per cent from 37 per cent (31.9 per cent at the election). The Greens are steady on 22 per cent (16.2 per cent at the election). Worse still, a question on preferred premier has Liberal leader Will Hodgman on 39 per cent against 17 per cent for Paul Lennon, who is barely ahead of Greens leader Peg Putt (14 per cent). The agency has gone against its usual practice in failing to break the results down by electorate. Apple isle pundit Peter Tucker has more.
UPDATE (26/5/08): Lennon quits.
Tasmanian pollster EMRS has published a survey of 853 committed voters on state voting intention, which shows Labor on 39 per cent (down 1 per cent from May 2007), the Liberals on 37 per cent (up 2 per cent) and the Greens on 22 per cent (up 1 per cent) (hat tip: Steve). Under the state’s Senate-like voting system, such a result would certainly see the Greens holding the balance of power, perhaps with as many as six of the 25 seats. The results in 2006 were 49.6 per cent, 31.9 per cent and 16.2 per cent; in 2002 they were 51.9 per cent, 27.4 per cent and 18.1 per cent. On both occasions the result was 14 seats to Labor, seven to the Liberals and four to the Greens.
On May 3 two independent members of the state’s 15-member upper house will face re-election under the chamber’s unusual system of annual rotating elections. They are Huon member Paul Harriss, a one-time Liberal candidate whose parliamentary votes go overwhelmingly against the government, and Rosevears member Kerry Finch, whose votes split about evenly. One suspects neither is in much trouble: one or both might even be re-elected unopposed, unless the Greens want to be a pain in the arse again. The numbers in the chamber at present are four Labor, one ex-Labor renegade, and ten mostly conservative independents. More from Peter Tucker and Kevin Bonham at the Tasmanian Times.
UPDATE: Following yesterday’s close of nominations for the upper house elections, it has been revealed that two-horse races will proceed in both divisions. In Huon, Paul Harriss will face Greens candidate Mark Rickards, a former Royal Australian Navy officer and candidate for Franklin at the 2006 state election. Kerry Finch faces a challenge in Rosevears from independent Colin O’Brien, who would appear to be the proprietor of a bed and breakfast at Legana just outside of Launceston.