Tasmania 2010 Archive

Tasmania 2010: the results are in

The final seat in the Tasmanian state election was decided this evening, with Greens candidate Paul O’Halloran winning the final seat in Braddon. This has produced a result of 2 Labor, 2 Liberal and one Green in all five districts, adding up to a 10-10-5 split in the House of Assembly. The state election saw the Greens win a seat in all five districts for the first time since 1992.

The result has produced a dilemma for all three parties in the Tasmanian parliament.

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Tasmania 2010: Preference count

Preference counts for the five electorates in the Tasmanian state election are currently being undertaken by the Tasmanian Electoral Commission, and progressive counts are being posted on the TEC website for Bass, Braddon, Denison, Franklin and Lyons.

Final update: The count has now concluded, with the Greens winning the fifth seat in Braddon and the Liberals winning the final seat in Denison, producing a result of 10 Labor, 10 Liberal and 5 Greens.

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A tale of two systems

Last Saturday we saw state elections in Australia’s two smallest states. Both states have been governed by the Labor Party for a number of terms and saw a resurgent Liberal Party threaten the ALP’s hold on power. In both states, we saw a swing away from the ALP. That’s where the comparisons end, because South Australia’s election was conducted using a single-member preferential voting system, while Tasmania uses the single transferable vote proportional representation system (known locally as Hare-Clark).

Last weekend stands as a perfect comparison between the two broad options in western democracy about how we organise our elections: do you go for a system of single-member electorates, or do you aim for a system that closely reflects each party’s vote in the seats in the Parliament?

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Tasmania 2010: the morning after

Sky News last night reported a local exit poll in Tasmania which predicted nine seats for the ALP, nine seats for the Liberal Party and four for the Greens, with three undecided. This morning the state of play exactly reflects that poll. The ALP has won nine seats, the Liberals nine, and the Greens four. The seats have split 2-2-1 in Bass and Lyons with undecided seats in Denison, Franklin and Braddon.

Detailed electorate analysis after the fold.

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South Australia and Tasmania election night liveblog

11:31pm – I’m signing off for the night. I’ll come back tomorrow to post wrap-ups of the results in South Australia and Tasmania tomorrow. You can read tonight’s commentary, as well as maps showing the result in South Australia, it’s available over the fold.

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Election day in South Australia and Tasmania

Voters go to the polls today in Australia’s two smallest states. In both states long-standing Labor governments are set to take a hit, although the situation is very different.

In South Australia, Mike Rann’s ALP is set to lose seats to Liberal leader Isobel Redmond. If Redmond can win power, she will become the first female Liberal premier in Australia, the first female Premier of South Australia and the first woman to win power from opposition in an Australian state. While Mike Rann’s majority is set to be slashed, the result will likely be either a slim Labor majority or a hung parliament, with Labor falling one seat short of a majority and relying on a crossbencher, such as ex-Labor independent Kris Hanna or Nationals MP (and Rann government minister) Karlene Maywald, to reach a majority. This would be a similar situation to the election results in 1989, 1997 and 2002. In the cases of 1989 and 1997, they saw the incumbent government retain power for one final term.

In Tasmania, the situation is very different. The Hare-Clark system, combined with the poor performance of the state Labor Party, have created a situation where no-one is predicting a majority for any party, and no-one even knows which party would have a better chance of doing so. We pretty know the result: Greens holding the balance of power in a hung parliament. What happens next is the interesting part. Even still, we don’t know what will happen in individual seats. The Liberals look set to gain second seats in Bass, Lyons and Franklin. In Braddon the Liberals and Greens are competing to take the third Labor seat. In Denison, all three parties are guaranteed only one seat, and will compete to win a second. The Greens are running a strong second candidate in Hobart Deputy Lord Mayor Helen Burnet. On the Labor side, polls have suggested Premier David Bartlett could even be in danger of losing his seat in Denison, where the ALP is running Scott Bacon, son of former Premier Jim Bacon, alongside Bartlett and two of his ministers.

While numbers vary, the Tasmanian polls are agreed on some key facts: the ALP has been hit hard, and the Greens are polling much higher than in the past. The ALP campaign was hurt hard this week when negative campaigning tactics backfired. The campaign, already gripped by panic, ran flyers and robocalls attacking the Greens policy on drug reform and on giving prisoners the right to vote, but the usually anti-Green media turned on the ALP over the tactics. While it is not yet clear who will win the key seats in Tasmania, the most interesting element of the process won’t begin until Sunday. The ALP and the Liberals have both insisted that they would not make a governing agreement with the Greens, and seem to be saying that they will let the party with the largest number of seats govern. This may be a short-term strategy to keep the Greens away from the levers of power, but sooner or later either the Greens need to reach some agreement with a major party to support its government, or the opposition major party will be forced to support the government to prevent the Greens bringing down the government. The process will be fascinating.

Consider this an open thread for election day. I will be liveblogging this evening as well as posting commentary on Twitter.

Tasmania 2010: predictions

I have previously made predictions of election results for a number of elections, including Queensland in 2009 and elections for the ACT, Canada and the United States in 2008. I thought it was about time to post predictions for this weekend’s elections in Tasmania and South Australia. I will post my prediction for South Australia tomorrow, along with maps showing how this would look. As for Tasmania, my overall prediction is:

  • Liberal – 10 (+3)
  • Labor – 9 (-5)
  • Greens – 6 (+2)

This would produce a hung parliament with the Greens determining which party forms government. This prediction would involve the Liberals and Labor winning two seats each in Bass, Braddon, Franklin and Lyons, with the Liberals and Greens winning two seats each in Denison.

Full predictions (including non-core predictions of individual winners) after the fold. I encourage readers to post their own predictions.

Elsewhere predictions have been made by Peter Tucker and Kevin Bonham.

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Tasmanian poll: Greens outpoll Labor

Another EMRS poll has been released over the weekend in Tasmania, which reinforces the trend seen in a February poll towards record levels of support for the Tasmanian Greens.

While it appears that the full breakdown of results has not been published online (only appearing in the Examiner), the topline figures are:

  • 29 – Liberal
  • 22 – Greens
  • 21 – Labor
  • 2 – Others
  • 26 – Undecided

All EMRS polls are published with high levels of undecided voters, meaning that these numbers would be much higher once those are taken into account, and undecided voters usually favour the major parties over the Greens, particularly that major party with the best shot of majority government, although on the current numbers that doesn’t seem likely at all.

The poll also broke down votes according to each electorate. Samples are usually too small to take them seriously, although much has been made of the Denison poll predicting that Scott Bacon, son of the former premier, would possibly take the only ALP seat, beating out Premier David Bartlett and ministers Lisa Singh and Graeme Sturges, showing the importance of name recognition in Tasmanian politics.

Since the last two polls were very similar, Tasmanian psephologist Kevin Bonham has combined the electorate breakdowns to produce a more solid sample. These figures suggest that the Greens are solidly on track to win 6 seats (one in every district and two in Denison) and even outpolling the ALP in Franklin, which could suggest Adam Burling would have an outside chance of winning a second Greens seat in Franklin, although he doesn’t have a high profile.

In other news, four former premiers (two Labor, two Liberal) have come out to warn Tasmanians against a minority government, although at this point it doesn’t seem clear how Tasmanians could vote to avoid a hung parliament. Peter Tucker has commented on this panic-stricken move at his Tasmanian Politics blog.

Update: William Bowe has managed to track down more information about this elusive poll over at Poll Bludger. After including “leaners” the figures come out as:

  • 30 – Liberal
  • 23 – Labor
  • 22 – Greens
  • “almost a quarter” undecided

Which he interprets as 39 Liberal, 30 Labor, 29 Greens. Compared to the February poll, this has the undecided vote up a large amount (from 13% to 23-4%), with Liberals down four, Labor down four, and the Greens down two.

Greens surge in Tasmanian poll

The Tasmanian campaign has kicked into gear today with a poll from pollsters EMRS showing a surge in support for the Tasmanian Greens. The poll has shown statewide results of 39% for the Liberal Party, 31% for the ALP and 27% for the Greens.

EMRS has also published breakdowns for the five districts, which shows the Greens polling 40% in Denison, although sample sizes of less than 200 per seat make these unreliable in measuring each seat’s vote. All the same, the statewide figures would suggest vote levels in each seat similar to those shown in the breakdown.

If these figures were translated at an election it would produce a result of 10 Liberals, 9 Labor and 6 Greens, with the Greens gaining a seat in Braddon and a second seat in Denison. A 2-2-1 split in favour of the ALP and Liberals would be produced in the four regional electorates, with the ALP losing two of their three seats to the other parties, producing a 2-2-1 split favouring the Liberals and Greens.

This is likely a high watermark for the Greens and it would be a surprise if they polled this strongly, but it suggests the Greens could be in with a shot in Denison, where they are running Deputy Lord Mayor of Hobart Helen Burnet alongside sitting MP Cassy O’Connor, although it seems unlikely that Burnet will make up for the loss of high-profile former MP and Greens leader Peg Putt, who retired in 2008.

Elsewhere: Pollbludger and Antony Green.

Guide to the Tasmanian election posted

I have now posted a guide to the Tasmanian state election, which will be held on March 20, 2010. This includes profiles of Tasmania’s five state electorates.

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