Clark – Australia 2019

IND 17.8% vs ALP

Incumbent MP
Andrew Wilkie, since 2010.

Geography
Denison covers the suburbs of Hobart on the western shores of the Derwent River. The seat covers Hobart and Glenorchy LGAs as well as northern parts of Kingborough LGA. The seat includes the Hobart CBD and is by far the most compact seat in Tasmania.

Redistribution
Clark is a new name for the seat of Denison, which expanded slightly on its south-western edge, in a sparsely populated area on the fringe of Hobart.

History
Clark is a new name for Denison, which was first created for the 1903 election. The seat was first held by Sir Philip Fysh, a former Premier of Tasmania and minister under Edmund Barton and Alfred Deakin. His retirement in 1910 saw the seat fall to the ALP, with the ALP member William Laird Smith joining the new Nationalist party in 1916. He lost the seat to a Labor candidate in 1922, and for the next twelve years the seat changed hands every three years, with the Nationalists winning it back in 1925, the ALP winning it back in 1928 and retaining it in 1929 before the new United Australia Party won the seat in 1931.

In 1934, the ALP regained it yet again, and held it for two terms until the 1940 election. A new UAP member of Parliament won the seat in 1940, and again only held it for three years, before the ALP’s John Gaha won the seat at the 1943 election. For the next half-century, Denison was a bellwether seat, going to the party that won federal government at each election.

Gaha lost the seat in 1949 to the Liberal Party’s Athol Townley. Townley held the seat for the next fourteen years, which was the longest term of service in Denison up until Duncan Kerr’s time. Townley served as Minister for Defence under Robert Menzies, before dying in December 1963 shortly after being appointed as Ambassador to the United States.

He was succeeded by Adrian Gibson, who retired in 1969 to be replaced by Robert Solomon. Solomon was defeated after one term in 1972 by Labor’s John Coates, who himself was defeated by Michael Hodgman in 1975. Hodgman served in a variety of junior ministerial roles under Malcolm Fraser and held the seat until 1987. Indeed, his victories in 1983 and 1984 were the only times Denison had gone to an opposition candidate in decades.

Hodgman was defeated in 1987 by the ALP’s Duncan Kerr. Kerr held the seat from 1987 until 2010, by far the longest term in Denison in the seat’s 106-year history.

In 2010, Kerr was replaced as ALP candidate by Jonathan Jackson. He was challenged by independent candidate Andrew Wilkie. Wilkie was a former intelligence whistleblower, NSW Greens lower house candidate and Tasmanian Greens Senate candidate, before running a close campaign for a state seat in Denison at the 2010 state election. At the federal election, Wilkie came third on primary votes but overtook the Liberal Party on Socialist and Green preferences, and narrowly defeated the ALP on the two-party-preferred vote.

In 2013, Wilkie gained a 16.8% primary vote swing, easily outpolling the three main parties in Denison, and won after preferences with a 15.5% margin. He was re-elected again in 2016.

Candidates
No information.

Assessment
Andrew Wilkie should comfortably retain his seat at the next election.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Andrew WilkieIndependent29,37244.1+6.044.0
Jane Austin Labor 15,33523.0-1.723.0
Marcus Allan Liberal 13,26719.9-3.319.9
Jen Brown Greens 7,06810.6+2.710.6
Amanda ExcellChristian Democratic Party9801.5+1.51.5
Wayne WilliamsDemocratic Labour Party6320.9+0.10.9
Informal2,0022.9

2016 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Andrew WilkieIndependent45,17667.8+2.3
Jane Austin Labor 21,47832.2-2.3

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Jane Austin Labor 43,55065.3+6.465.3
Marcus Allan Liberal 23,10434.7-6.434.7

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four areas. Most of the population of Denison lie in Glenorchy and Hobart local government areas. Booths in Glenorchy have been split between Claremont (north) and Glenorchy (south). Booths in Hobart have been divided between Hobart and South. The handful of booths in Kingborough council have also been included in South.

There is a strong divide in the vote between the Glenorchy and Hobart council areas.

Andrew Wilkie’s two-candidate-preferred vote (against Labor) ranged from 59.8% in Claremont to 76.9% in the south.

The Liberal primary vote ranged from 14.1% in Glenorchy to 30% in the south, while the Greens vote ranged from 3.6% in Claremont to 16.4% in Hobart.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB prim %IND 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Hobart16.417.371.914,88922.3
Glenorchy6.714.160.312,36118.5
South12.530.076.911,39117.1
Claremont3.615.059.87,68911.5
Other votes8.722.367.29,55814.3
Pre-poll11.721.067.210,82216.2

Election results in Clark at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes (Wilkie vs Labor), Liberal primary votes and Greens primary votes.


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