Lyons – Australia 2019

ALP 3.8%

Incumbent MP
Brian Mitchell, since 2016.

Geography
Tasmania’s largest seat by area, Lyons includes parts of every region of the state. The seat stretches from the outskirts of Devonport and Launceston in the north to the outskirts of Hobart in the south, as well as the central highlands and the east coast of Tasmania.

Redistribution
Lyons retracted in the north, losing the remainder of the Latrobe and West Tamar council areas to Braddon and Bass respectively, while gaining the remainder of Meander Valley on the southern edge of Launceston (including Hadspen and Blackstone Heights) from Bass. Lyons expanded in the south, taking in the remainder of Brighton council (including Old Beach) and parts of Clarence council (including Richmond) from Franklin. These changes increased the Labor margin from 2.3% to 3.8%.

History
Lyons was originally named Wilmot, which was created as a central Tasmanian electorate in 1903. The seat was held by a variety of non-Labor parties up to 1929, when the seat was won by former Premier of Tasmania Joseph Lyons. He left the ALP during his first term in federal Parliament and was elected Prime Minister in 1931 at the head of the new United Australia Party. The ALP won the seat in a 1939 by-election following Lyons’ death, but lost the seat at the 1940 election. The ALP’s Gil Duthie won the seat at the 1946 election, and held the seat until the 1975 election, when he was defeated by the Liberal Party’s Max Burr.

In 1984, the seat was renamed Lyons in honour of the former Prime Minister and his wife Enid, who was the first female member of the House of Representatives. Burr held the renamed seat until 1993, when he retired and the ALP’s Dick Adams won the seat.

Dick Adams held Lyons for the ALP for the next twenty years. At the 2004 election, a 4.5% swing against the ALP made the seat marginal, but in 2007 Adams recovered most of his margin, partly due to conflict in the Liberal Party, with the original Liberal candidate, Ben Quin, resigning and running as an independent after Minister for the Environment Malcolm Turnbull approved the Gunns pulp mill.

Adams gained a further swing of almost 4% at the 2010 election, but in 2013 he was defeated by Liberal candidate Eric Hutchinson, after a 13.5% swing. Hutchinson lost in 2016 to Labor’s Brian Mitchell.

Candidates
No information.

Assessment
Lyons is a marginal seat which has a history of erratic swings. It’s more likely that Labor will win, but an upset would not be too surprising.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Eric Hutchinson Liberal 28,69741.9-2.540.6
Brian Mitchell Labor 26,42638.6+1.840.4
Hannah Rubenach-Quinn Greens 6,4189.4+1.19.2
Shelley ShayRecreational Fishers4,3226.3+6.36.0
Duncan LivingstonRenewable Energy Party1,5782.3+2.32.1
Gene MawerChristian Democratic Party1,0741.6+1.61.6
Others0.1
Informal3,1744.4

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Brian Mitchell Labor 35,83852.3+3.553.8
Eric Hutchinson Liberal 32,67747.7-3.546.2

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three areas: north, central and south. Lyons covers all or part of twelve council areas, and these council boundaries have been used to divide booths into three areas.

  • Central – Break O’Day, Central Highlands, Glamorgan/Spring Bay, Northern Midlands, Southern Midlands.
  • North – Kentish, Meander Valley.
  • South – Brighton, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Sorell, Tasman.

The ALP won a large 62.5% majority of the two-party-preferred vote in the south, while suffering narrow losses in the centre (50.7% Liberal vote) and the north (52.3% Liberal vote).

The Greens vote ranged from 7.8% in the centre to 9.7% in the north.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
South8.562.522,30433.2
Central7.849.315,54323.1
North9.747.712,23818.2
Other votes10.153.010,92716.2
Pre-poll12.547.76,2679.3

Election results in Lyons at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room.If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.