Tasmania holds a unique election every year. The fifteen members of the Legislative Council serve a six-year term, with each member representing a single-member electorate. Two or three seats are up for election each year in May.
I’ve now published my guides to each of these seats. I’ve decided to just open these up for public access.
The seat of Hobart covers the inner city of the state capital, and is probably the most left-leaning electorate. Progressive independent Rob Valentine is retiring after two terms in the seat. Former Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor is contesting the seat after retiring from the lower house. If she wins, it would be the Greens’ first seat in the upper house. The seat is also being contested by independent Charlie Burton, who has been endorsed by the local federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie.
The seat of Prosser covers the east coast of Tasmania, and is held by Liberal MLC Jane Howlett, who will be running for a second term. The seat was contested by both major parties in 2018, and Howlett eventually won by a 2.7% margin over Labor.
The upper house has traditionally been dominated by independents, but the number of Liberal and Labor seats has been increasing over the last decade. From a peak of 13 out of 15 seats in 2012, the number of independents dropped to just six, and has now rebounded slightly to seven.
It should be interesting to track these contests during an otherwise quiet part of the year when it comes to elections, so please join me in following along.