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.

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  1. Would these numbers suggest an outside chance of the Greens winning Denison at the federal election too? Very small sample size though, I wouldn’t get too excited at this stage.

  2. I think you have to be cautious since there is a history of polls over-estimating support for the Greens, and the major parties have the power and resources to claw lost ground back during the hectic period of election campaigns. This is one poll which would definitely appear to over-estimate Greens’ support to some extent.

  3. No, the Greens were 11% below the Liberal primary vote in 2007, and Labor was over 48% of the primary.

    They’d have to make a significant inroad into both Labor and Liberal vote to be even a theoretical chance in Denison.

  4. Keep in mind that the greens probably have a shot at a couple more Labor seats on Liberal/Independent preferences. On those numbers, the six green seats are much safer than nine Labor. Franklin could slip to two green easily, and one of Bass or Braddon suddenly makes the Greens take the majority of non-Labor seats.

  5. re the Greens in Denison come the federal election. Don’t forget that Labor have maintained the strong support in Denison due to the now retiring Duncan Kerr. On these figures and with Labor likely to preselect son of former (and not so popular) minister Jackson who knows what could happen.

  6. It’s not a Federal poll. Discontent about the State Gov, which to be fair is a pretty old Gov, is far higher than with the Fed Gov. A good result for the Greens though. Also worth noting that Wilkie polled 6% as an Indi which would boost the chance of his preferences electing a second Green or a second Green’s preferences electing Wilkie.

  7. Little chance in Denison federally, as the 2007 results would suggest. Libs ~30%, Labs ~48%, Greens ~19%. Too much ground to catch, and lots of Libs would go to Labor over Green, especially in Tasmania.

  8. A question that is entirely unrelated to Tassie, so I apologise.

    I went diving on the weekend and was discussing with my local dive operator the NSW LibNat plan to place a 10 year moratorium on new marine parks in NSW (incidentally, why I will always preference Labor ahead of the Tories). She asked whether that would have to be passed through parliament or if it could just be enacted. I would assume the former, but any confirmation would be great.

    If a Green/Labor Legislative Council could reach 22 members they would be able to block this kind of legislation, which would be a great relief.


  9. Hamish,

    I don’t understand why a moratorium would need to be legislated. Basically they are promising to not do something. As long as they don’t take action to create new marine parks, they fulfill their promise.

  10. Well, yes, but it also ensures that no marine parks could be declared under another Government if the Libs lose in 2015, which is why I thought it would probably need to be legislated.

  11. If they want to bind a future government, yes it would presumably require legislation – though that legislation could of course be repealed by that subsequent government if they get the numbers to do so.

    As we’ve previously discussed, it’s quite likely the Greens will gain the BoP in the LC in their own right after the next election, so presuming Labor opposed any such legislation, it would be blocked.

    Incidentally there is already a bill from the Shooters Party on the LC notice paper for a 5 year moratorium.

  12. Good to hear. Labor has said that they would be opposed to such legislation and, assuming they’re in opposition after the next election, they wouldn’t have to be friendly to Shooter types (though, as Ben noted, there would still be no new parks under O’Farell – lets hope that Keneally does a Clinton and announced a whole lot just before the end of this term.)

    Damn Shooters.

  13. And would you believe I turned on the tv to watch Catalyst and they had a story on mapping the range and habitat of the Blue Groper…at the Bronte-Coogee Aquatic Reserve! One for you Hamish!

  14. Interesting discussion by Peter Tucker on the behaviour of the undecided vote in EMRS polls that suggest the undecideds may be breaking differently and in a way more favourable to the Greens this election.

  15. Well, yes, you are of course right Stewart. Sadly that position seems to be the norm in major party politics and one has to look to the edges to find differences.

    And I did see the blue groper show thanks. A beautiful fish, the aquatic emblem of NSW if I’m not mistaken.

  16. But getting back on topic, does anyone know of any Tassie issues that would be responsible for the jump in the Green vote? I would be surprised if the Green vote was that high, especially in Braddon, but a hung parliament looks at least 75% likely at this point.

    It’s a shame that Bartlett came in at the tail end of the Government as he seems decent enough, certainly compared to Bacon/Lennon and all the Libs. In fact this may be the first election where no matter the result, Tasmanians are sure to wake up with a Premier that doesn’t look like a lumberjack!

  17. I know I asked this a long time ago, but it might be a good time to bring it up again. What happened with Wilkie and the Greens. It seems a shame that he is an independent, since he has no hope now of getting into parliament.

  18. I should disclose that I know Wilkie fairly well and if I lived in Hobart would be campaigning for him.

    Basically, as I understand it, he felt that there was a small clique of Tassie Greens who controlled the operation and were working more for their self-interest than for the good of the state/nation/party – that they would make decisions based on political gain rather than what was best for the state (which, to be fair, all parties do, but I think he hoped the Greens would be different). He felt that he could do a lot more as an independent. Wilkie is a man of great integrity so, as I suspect he would have taken over Senator Brown’s job mid next term, this isn’t a decision that he took lightly. Personally I think he is one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met and wish him all the best.

  19. Only one of Australia’s political parties certainly does not “make decisions based on political gain”.

    Alas, as a result, that Party is no longer represented in Parliament !

  20. Hamish, Paul & IN – it rather depends on what you define as “political gain”. It may in seats, votes, prestige, credibility, ideological etc. Parties by their nature make these decisions all the time – to deny it is to misunderstand the nature fo parties. However, parties also aggregate policy demands in a way that individuals/Independents do not. There are internal mechanisms that usual hold a party to particular a line or policy, which does not exist for individuals. So oddly, an Independent can appear to have integrity, while quixoticly pursuing bad or failed policy, simply because they are doing so. Parties can also do this, but the greater bulk of individuals (aka members!!) involved can act both as a brake and a correcting device on such decisions.

    And Michels had quite to say about oligarchies forming in parties…”the iron law of oligarchy”, now downgraded to bronze, but still with great import.

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