Podcast #51: Tasmanian election preview


Ben is joined by Kate Crowley and Mike Lester to discuss the upcoming Tasmanian state election.

This podcast is supported by the Tally Room’s supporters on Patreon. If you find this podcast worthwhile please consider giving your support.

You can subscribe to this podcast using this RSS feed in your podcast app of choice, but should also be able to find this podcast by searching for “the Tally Room”. If you like the show please considering rating and reviewing us on iTunes.

Liked it? Take a second to support the Tally Room on Patreon!


  1. The propensity for a block of Tasmanian voters to vote for whichever of the major parties is more likely to form a majority is farcical to me. The rational political solution to a large subset of voters apparently not minding who of Labor or Liberal are controlling executive power, as long as the Greens aren’t involved, would be for those parties to enter a German style “grand coalition” in the event of a hung parliament.

    There’s literally no reason the Greens should be able to twist the arm of a minority government in Tasmania to do something they don’t want to, causing “chaos”, they can always try coming to a compromise with the other large party!

    I feel it’s more about posturing and saving face for the federal context rather than sensible governing Tasmania, so the Liberal and Labor parties in Tasmania won’t do it.

  2. The main issue with grand coalitions is that the junior partner is on a hiding to nothing – if the government succeeds the senior party gets the credit, if the government fails both parties get the blame. Meanwhile the Greens would get to crow massively about being the real opposition after all and their vote might well go up a lot. So I don’t think it will happen other than as a very temporary thing. Near the end of the Field Government there was briefly a grand coalition style arrangement in which the Liberals protected Labor from Green no-confidence motions while the parliament passed forestry legislation. And in the 1996 leadup there was talk about a major party moratorium on no-confidence motions for a year or so.

  3. To me the hiding to nothing is that the major party vote in Tasmania has declined enough that this “majority or bust” swing voter archtype is a basically the only way to win an election. It’s purely speculative voting based upon who it seems like they are in the lead, what kind of functioning democracy is that? What kind of mandate for a policy philosophy to govern the state can be claimed in the short, medium, or long term if every election is just about keeping the Greens out?

    You are right that in proportional parliaments around the world sometimes parties get punished for sensible behaviour in coalition governments, due to being the “enabler” for a larger party that their voters don’t like, or by just waning in relevance as loud voices on the opposition benches get attention. However, the actual governing is more important to me than the sustenance of a political parties. The people should come first, isn’t that the point of it all?

  4. Ben, I found a mistake on the main Tasmanian page. In your preview it says ”Lyons – Central Tasmania. Elected 3 Liberals and 2 Labor in 2014.” I believe this is a mistake since the rest of them say 2018

  5. Final Prediction for the election, I would love to hear others as well.
    The following changes are from the last election not the current composition of the house

    LIB 14 (Net Gain +1)
    LAB 7 (Net Loss -3)
    GRN 3 (Net Gain +1)
    IND 1 (Net Gain +1) (Sue Hickey)

    Liberal majority government, In the event Gutwein’s Liberals only win 12 seats then there could be a deal that makes Sue Hickey the speaker. This would be a chaotic and most interesting outcome because Gutwein stated that he would resign if his party does not win a majority.

    This could open up for a premier Ferguson who would have lost today’s election if he had been leader. Part of the reason the Liberals are doing well is because they have a moderate small L shapes liberal as their leader. Had it been a Dutton type conservative there is no doubt they would have lost.

    Here are some of the questions that will be answered or may not be answered (technically) tonight.

    Will the Liberal party win a majority and if they don’t and Hickey backs the Liberals will Gutwein resign as pledged?

    Will Rebecca White stand down as leader if her party loses as expected tonight?

    Will a strong Liberal party performance if at all translate to the legislative council elections?

    Will Sue Hickey become speaker again if she holds the balance of power?

    Will candidate controversies around Mr.Brooks deprive the Liberals of a a 4th seat or a lower vote than expected in the seat of Braddon?

Comments are closed.