The next election – Tasmanian Legislative Council guide launched


At this point, we are largely finished with the NSW state election, although I have a few more blog posts to come later this week.

The next election coming up, and the only remaining state election for 2015, is the Legislative Council election in Tasmania.

Tasmania’s Legislative Council holds elections every year for two or three of its fifteen electorates, with MLCs serving overlapping six-year terms.

Read the Legislative Council guide.

This year, there are three seats up for election.

Labor MLC Craig Farrell (the only Labor member of the upper house) is likely to win re-election in the southern seat of Derwent, while left-wing independent Mike Gaffney is tipped to win re-election in the north-western seat of Mersey.

The most interesting race is in Windermere, which covers north-eastern Launceston and George Town, and has been held by conservative independent Ivan Dean for the last twelve years. At the last two elections, Dean has defeated Labor-turned-independent rivals in close races, and this time is facing formally-endorsed Labor and Greens candidates in one of the most marginal seats in the Tasmanian upper house.

You can join the conversation by commenting on any of the three seat guides, and I’ll be covering the results on election night, May 2nd.

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  1. what has he done to deserve re-election??? ….. Labor MLC Craig Farrell (the only Labor member of the upper house) is likely to win re-election in the southern seat of Derwent,

  2. That’s one of the common complaints of the LC, Rainey.
    Firstly, it is mainly a house of independents, so political party representatives only occasionally run. This causes difficulty for those people who don’t pay attention and simply go with the “I voted all my life and always will” mentality.
    Secondly, a lot of ex-mayors run – these are familiar names, so people tend to go with them.
    Third, there are limits on advertising spends, so the sitting candidate has the benefit of the past six years of “free” advertising.
    As a result, you rarely see new faces in the LC – one election analyst (not sure if it was Ben here at Tallyroom, or Kevin Bonham) said that only ONE sitting member had been defeated in the past decade?)

  3. Yes the only defeat of a sitting MLC in the last decade was Lin Thorp in 2011. But that’s a bit unrepresentative since five of them lost from 1997 to 2003 including two on the same day in 2003. Also four lost between 1981 and 1986, one in 1990, one in 1994. The long-term success rate for incumbents seeking re-election is 82%.

    However you do get new faces reasonably often through retirements and resignations. Only six of the current 15 have been there longer than six years. Wilkinson is the only one on his fourth term, Hall and Finch are on their third, and Dean is seeking number 3.

    The ad spend thing is a real bugbear. Especially candidates can recycle signs from previous elections to get around it, and I’ve said that sign expenditure should be exempt.

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