Nelson – Tasmania LC 2013

Incumbent MLC
Jim Wilkinson, since 1999. Previously Member for Queenborough 1995-1999.

Nelson's current and previous boundaries. 1999-2008 boundaries shown as red line, 2009-2013 boundaries shown as white area. Click to enlarge.
Nelson’s current and previous boundaries. 1999-2008 boundaries shown as red line, 2009-2013 boundaries shown as white area. Click to enlarge.

Geography
Nelson covers the southern fringe of the Hobart area and areas further south. Nelson covers Dynnyrne, Sandy Bay, Mount Nelson and Tolmans Hill in the City of Hobart, as well as Fern Tree, Taroona and Kingston in Kingborough council area.

Redistribution
The 2009 redistribution saw Nelson shift further south out of the Hobart area, losing the Cascades and South Hobart and gaining more of the area near Kingston in the south. The areas lost were particularly favourable to the Greens in 2007.

History
Nelson was first created at the 1999 redistribution. Jim Wilkinson, the independent member for Queensborough, was assigned to Nelson.

Wilkinson was re-elected in 2001 with 49% of the primary vote in a field of four candidates, and polled 58.6% on a two-candidate-preferred basis against Pru Bonham.

In 2007, Wilkinson only faced opposition from the Greens’ Tom Nilsson. Wilkinson won with 61.6% of the vote.

Candidates

  • Tom Baxter (Greens) – University lecturer
  • Helen Richardson – Organiser for the Australian Education Union
  • Jim Wilkinson – Sitting MLC
  • Hans Willink – Former Liberal Party member, standing in support of same-sex marriage.

Assessment
It is difficult to predict how results will fall in Legislative Council elections, which are dominated by independents and don’t take place in the context of a statewide race or a contest for the Premier’s position.

In recent times, conservatives in the Legislative Council have blocked same-sex marriage legislation and the forestry peace deal.

Wilkinson is likely to be re-elected, but his three opponents will be more difficult than the race in 2007. Richardson is running from the left, criticising recent decisions of the Legislative Council and promising to work as a full-time MLC. Richardson should benefit from votes from those unhappy with the current state of the upper house.

If the three opponents to Wilkinson swap preferences, it is not inconceivable that one of them could win, but Wilkinson is still the favourite to win.

2007 result

CandidatePartyVotes%
Jim WilkinsonIND11,23261.60
Tim NilssonGRN7,00338.40
Polling places in Nelson at the 2007 election. Central in green, North in blue, South in orange. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Nelson at the 2007 election. Central in green, North in blue, South in orange. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths in Nelson have been divided into three areas. Booths closest to the Hobart city centre were grouped as “north”, while the others grouped as “central” and “south”.

The table and map does not take into account the redistribution – booths at the northern end of the seat have been redistributed into Hobart, while more voters will have been added at the southern end.

In 2007, Wilkinson won a 68% majority in the centre, a 60% in the south and only 54.3% in the north.

Voter groupGRN %IND %Total votes% of votes
South39.9660.045,69131.21
North45.6854.324,94727.13
Central31.6068.404,43324.31
Other votes33.7566.253,16417.35
Two-candidate-preferred votes in Nelson at the 2007 election. Wilkinson in blue, Nilsson in green.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in Nelson at the 2007 election. Wilkinson in blue, Nilsson in green.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the detail Ben; I sent my postal ballot off on the weekend! The areas that have been added south of Kingston have a lot of relatively-new built houses with younger families, evangelical-style Christian churches and a little public housing; while the bits that have been taken away from Nelson are the greenest suburbs of Hobart. While Nelson, along with Wellington to its north, is one of the likeliest seats for a Green upper house victory, this redistribution makes it tough. Wilkinson has been around for a while so there could be a ‘time for a change’ vibe, but moderated by the fact that he is an independent and people don’t pay a lot of attention to the upper house. From the upper house debates I’ve seen Wilkinson is a good performer and is more on top of his brief that many other members; although I think the same would be true if, for example, Baxter was the member as well. Wilkinson’s position in the recent gay marriage and forestry debates in the upper house could cost him some votes and his primary will be lower with a field of four. Tight preferences between the other three would be needed for one of them to prevail over Wilkinson. I’m not sure what is happening with preferences on the ground, but in any case there won’t be any how-to-vote material being handed out (doesn’t happen in state elections in Tas) so hard to enforce in any case. If Nelson was one of the seats held by Labor I could see it being lost, but not from being held by an independent. Another factor to watch is the success of the ‘MPs should have only one job’ thing. Wilkinson is basically a full-time lawyer as well as being in the upper house, I believe. Personally I don’t have a problem with that in principle – it’s about how effective you are at being an MP and in parliament – but it has led to upsets in past legislative council elections in some cases, and in other cases made no difference. Nelson is probably the wealthiest and most educated upper house seat, and so I imagine that demographic will be less concerned with the fact that Wilkinson does something else as well.

  2. Wilkinson easily. Best part of the electorate for the Greens has been removed.

    But watch out of Tom baxter as future member when Wilkinson retires, as a senate candidate or member for Denison.

  3. Would be nice if you provided map with enough resolution to actually see where the boundaries are. A Google map we can zoom into at street level.

  4. Sorry if you don’t like the maps – I have only used JPEGs because I have found Google Maps don’t let me show what I want to show. If you want to, you can download the boundary file from the Maps page and open it in Google Earth.

Comments are closed.