Tasmanian election called, likely for March 23


It has been looking more and more likely that Tasmania would be going to an election in recent weeks, with the premier, Jeremy Rockliff, demanding new assurances from two ex-Liberal independents and threatening to go to an election if those demands weren’t met.

Those two independents didn’t show much interest in agreeing with the premier’s demands, and today this has led to the premier calling an election. It appears likely that the election will be held on the 23rd of March, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

I have now unlocked my guide to the Tasmanian election, which features results maps and tables, history and geography of each electorate. There is a comment section and a list of candidates which will be a work in progress until nominations close.

You can read the guide here, or use this map to click through to each of the five electorates:

The Tasmanian House of Assembly will be expanding from 25 to 35 seats at this election, with the five electorates each electing seven members, up from the five members each elected from 1998 until 2021.

Political science suggests we should expect an increased variety of parties receiving votes, and getting elected, and that seems to fit with the current circumstances. While Tasmania’s lower house was almost monopolised by Labor, the Liberal Party and the Greens for most of the last forty years, we saw a number of strong independents in 2021, and this time there will possibly be more. The lower quota might also open the door for the Jacqui Lambie Network.

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  1. With an increase to 35 seats as well as an extra party in town ( the Jacquie Lambie Network which is polling well ) plus additional Independents such as David Obyrne ( ex Labor ) majority Government has finished down here in Tassie. We will go from unworkable to minor chaos. Very much like many European countries where Government still happens !

  2. @pm they wouldn’t be calling an election if they didn’t think they could win. There are 10 extra seats. They should be able to get a workable majority with jln. A Labor greens jln govt will not function

  3. It’s mathematically impossible to get a majority now. Much harder than previously. Tasmania is very different to other states with the Hare-Clark system. Plus with an extra party, extra Independents, more Greens it’s very European in Nature. No party will ever get 18/35 with 4 parties plus independents.

  4. Jeremy Rockliff needs to hold on here. If the Liberals lose this election then then every head of government in Australia would be Labor. Assuming that Adrian Schrinner (LNP) remains Lord Mayor of Brisbane, if the Liberals lost Tassie then Schrinner would be the most powerful Coalition figure in the country.

    He should be able to hold on but I think it will be hard. The Liberals could work with JLN and I’d say JLN will gain a few Liberal voters but mostly Labor voters. That’s what happened at the last federal election: the Liberal TPP increased in Tassie despite decreasing in every mainland state and in the two territories, and the Liberals’ primary vote was up 2.5% while Labor’s primary vote was down more than 6%, mostly because JLN ran in every seat except Clark after previously having been just a Senate party.

  5. Majority is 18/35 seats..no
    Party would get that. Quota 12.5%.. 25% gives 2 seats
    most likely alp and libs will
    Win 10 seats. At least any thing extra a bonus. There could be 2 pro Labor independents. Up to 5 to 6 jln and up to 5 greens. If all went bad then 15 on the cross benches. Pr is ready made for a fractured vote. The liberals are going to an election asap as they are desperate. The longer they wait the more kaos

  6. @Sam yeah probably. The City of Gold Coast is the second-most populated LGA in Australia after the City of Brisbane. Tom Tate and his independent LNP team get re-elected in landslides every time.

    @John true since he’s calling an early election.

  7. “@np I doubt he would go to an election 2 years early if he didn’t think he’d still be premier”

    This makes sense as long as you remain completely ignorant as to why they’re going to an election. Rockliff is not going to an early election from a position of strength and confidence.

  8. I guess it wouldn’t be too surprising to see 3 Lib 2 Lab 1 Greens 1 JLN as the “default result” in each seat if JLN put up a solid campaign performance.

    That “default result” is plausible, based on 2022 Senate 4PP.

    But if we look at divisions, in Clark and Franklin you’d expect the left to get four seats, and in Braddon only two. Basically, in the north Labor or Greens come in at eighth, and in the south the Libs do. If I were Labor and my 4PP was looking anything equal or worse than the federal election, I’d be trying to avoid getting Ginninderra’d in the north and keeping to two lead candidates.

    You might also see JLN snag two in Braddon or Lyons if they get very lucky, or the Liberals snag four in Braddon. Consequently that becomes something like 13-16 Liberal, 10-12 ALP, 4-6 Greens, 3-6 JLN.

    All of which generally implies a Liberal government relying on JLN for support.

  9. The two pro Labor independents in Franklin
    And Clark also have a good
    Chance. So balance could be held by greens & independents and Lambie network. Default would be
    2 alp 2 lib 1 jln 1 grn 1?

  10. @Ben, Rockliff didn’t seem to be that much ‘weaker’ in minority than the previous LNP government dealing with Hickey.

    It really does seem like he went out of his way to engineer a confrontation with the independents as an excuse to generate an early election.

  11. I don’t understand why people are predicting the Lambies will end up supporting a Liberal government. The main issues they’re campaigning on are healthcare funding, housing, transparency in politics and local manufacturing. These certainly aren’t incompatible with the platform of the Labor Party, or the Greens for that matter. In at least two of them, Labor are arguably stronger than the Liberals. And on top of that, Lambie herself is adamantly opposed to the Liberals’ signature policy, the new stadium, even creating a petition against the stadium through her website.

    I predict the anti-stadium parties will form government together post election, or at least the Greens and Lambie will give outside support to Labor, in order to defeat the stadium. Who knows how long the arrangement will last, but there’s enough common ground there to start with.

  12. I am not sure why anybody thinks the JLN will get a substantial number of seats. Braddon and possibly Lyons are possibilities. However, how much profile do these candidates have? And is it possible that they may just cannibalise each other due to Robson rotation. There is also the danger with a party such as this – and we saw it in One Nation, the UAP and the Derryn Hinch Group – that they turn into a rabble and splinter off. Interesting to see that the candidates in Braddon are all Devonport based – will the lack of geographical spread hurt them?

  13. In December they were polling about 20%. It’s the Hare Clark system that will benefit them. At the same poll Labor was polling not much higher.

  14. I’m tipping Liberal minority or Liberals getting the most seats. The expanded House of Assembly will favour the Greens and JLN. This gives both more motivation to contest in seats that are now more winnable.

    I mentioned in the Braddon (State) thread that JLN are on a roll. Polling shows that JLN have double digit primaries. Both JLN Senators are from NW Tasmania. In Braddon at the 2022 fed election, JLN came third on primaries. Their homefield advantage would help them in Braddon and they may just clinch a second seat, though I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Both major parties will try to court JLN and independents, including ex-Liberals, before the Greens. Federal Labor may be traumatised from their experiences in going too Green. For example, in 2013, federal Labor lost Braddon, Bass and Lyons following a Labor/Greens minority government. Labor would avoid the Greens if they could. Add to that, federal and state Labor are trying to rebuild its support base in regional Tasmania, especially amongst blue-collar workers.

  15. Liberal’s won’t win. They have never won a 4th term. And they won’t be in power for 14 years in total. That is a long time and even longer than all of the current state and territory governments with the exception of the ACT.

    Tasmania is much more progressive than states like WA and QLD and yet they have elected Labor more often in the last 15 years.

    They have had 3 premiers from the Liberals in this term. People want change. Labor won’t win a majority due to the high minor party vote and JLN is the big unknown in this election. She isn’t backing the Liberals and I expect at least 1 of Lara Alexander or John Tucker to be re-elected. They won’t back Rockliff if he doesn’t change his position.

    Rockliff should make a promise that he will only govern in a majority. Much like the leaders said in 1996, Ray Groom resigned after failing to win a majority. Rockliff should do the same if he is unwilling to compromise with the crossbench. He sounds like another Scott Morrison.

    Labor will win a minority with the Greens. Both combined I predict will come up 1 or 2 short, and they will get the support of the Independent in Clark and either Tucker Or Alexander. Or JLN. Labor would prefer JLN but the Greens is also an option if they can’t reach a deal. And independents are easier to deal with than minor parties.

    I don’t see any argument about the Liberals winning other than the “Federal factor” Labor will have full control over state and territory governments until October when QLD turns blue, so it will be a short lived win for Labor.

    Rebecca White will be 3rd time lucky.

  16. If Braddon were to mirror the Federal Election results, it would be 3 Liberal, 2 Labor, 1 JLN & maybe an Independent (Garland)

  17. Caleb that’s sounds very likely to me. I can’t see Labor getting more than 2 in any of the 5 electorates. Liberals will get the most seats but not a majority.

  18. Why are people predicting a Liberal minority? I can’t see them retaining government because of the factors I mentioned. They are only a couple of points ahead of the primary vote rather than the double digit leads they had in the previous 3 elections over Labor. It’s not a winning formula in Tasmania.

  19. @Daniel T because if Jeremy Rockliff thought it would be a hard election he wouldn’t have called it early.

  20. Nether, He called it to avoid facing an embarrassing defeat on the floor of the assembly which would have made his government look even worse. I can blame plenty of times where a government in other countries called an early election to avoid humiliation in the house.

    And the election is winnable for the Liberals as much as it was winnable for the coalition in 2019. They need an upset/miracle like they got in 2019 federally. But can they do it? It’s possible. But I’d give Labor a 3/4 chance of forming gov. So this is Labor’s election to lose.

    It’s also possible Rockliff called it to avoid further erosion in public support. The Libs would rather face a narrow defeat than a significant one if things got worse by 2025.

  21. On a seperate note, the TAS election timing now probably firmly places the already more likely than less, default Federal election timing for May 2025.

    Only other options being the now distanter March 2025 or very late 2024.

  22. The folly of Senator Harradine not establishing some form of succession… Lambie’s political organisation looks like brilliance in comparison!

  23. I’m tipping the Liberals will get more seats. I expect a huge swing following their heyday of their past 3 elections. Labor, Greens and JLN as well as AJP, SFF and independents can potentially split the anti-Liberal vote. Opinion polling has shown that Labor’s primary has barely improved since 2021 whilst JLN’s primary is 20%, according to Yougov

    Labor does have a path to minority government. They’ll just need more crossbenchers on side. The thought of the Greens and JLN on the same page for confidence and supply is quite unusual but then again, it might just happen.

    The wildcard is JLN’s performance and where their voters’ preferences go. Also, history shows that voters don’t like snap elections though it worked well in 2021 for the Liberals.

  24. Tasmania has had proportional representation for ages. The voters understand it well.. now with a fractured vote the voting system allows representation in accordance with the votes received. The quota for one seat is 12.5% 2.. .25% and 3…..37.5%.. I would be surprised if any one gets more than 3 in any electorate.. the min for any main party would be 2. Ind 0 to 3(give Garland a chance) jln…1 to 5 and greens 2 to 5. That is a Max of 13 cross bench. It is
    Possible that the libs stay on 13 seats even though the parliament increases in size by 10.

  25. The YouGov poll should definitely taken with a very big grain of salt. It was taken between 21 December and 4 January. Who in their right mind would even poll in that period?

  26. Yes I agree careful with you gov.. when are other polls due? The poll was taken before the stand
    Off between the 2 liberal inclined independents and the premier
    It could be argued that the vote is even more fractured than ugov suggested

  27. Sportsbet odds now out for Tasmania (note that these aren’t always reliable for predictions).

    According to Sportsbet, here are the odds for some upcoming elections (again, these aren’t always reliable and I’m not endorsing gambling, just using these as stats for their predictions):

    Here in Australia:

    * Labor has a 64.52% chance of winning the next federal election (with a 71.43% chance that it will be in 2025)
    * The LNP have a 74.07% chance of winning the Queensland state election
    * Labor has a 66.67% chance of winning the WA state election
    * The Liberals have a 60.61% chance of winning the Tasmanian state election
    * Labor has a 60.61% chance of winning the NT general election (despite this I think the CLP have a good chance of winning, and the only poll so far has the CLP well ahead of Labor)

    And overseas:

    * Donald Trump has a 47.62% chance of winning the US presidential election (with 55.56% chance that any Republican wins)
    * Labour has an 87.72% chance of winning the most seats at the UK general election (76.62% chance of a Labour majority government)
    * The Conservatives have a 59.88% chance of winning the Canadian federal election

  28. The stadium is unpopular. Voters won’t forgive the Liberals for putting their priorities wrong. There is a housing shortage and crisis in Tasmania and they waste tax money on a stadium only young lads and players care about. Way to go Tasmania.

  29. Any politician, party, or government who splurges hundreds of millions of dollars on a stadium ought to eschew labels like “fiscal conservative” and “economic liberal”, and may derive some inspiration from the economic policies of the Soviet Union.

    Seriously. If you consider all the things that government could be involved in, how far down the line are stadia?

  30. Undoubtly, the stadium is controversial and pivotal. It’s a big reason why two Liberal MPs quit. I think the most people in Hobart oppose it and if so, I’d bet the average person in Lyons, Braddon and Bass are even more opposed since they are further away. It’s the issue of funneling of taxpayers’ money to support an elite sports team and the top end of town. Add to that, it could be a white elephant with cost overruns.

  31. The stadium is Rockliff’s pet project, a bit like the SRL for Dan Andrews and Jacinta Allan. The main difference between the two is that the SRL is provides much needed public transport for the general population in particular those in Melbourne’s middle ring suburbs so is quite popular in those areas even if divisive in Melbourne’s inner, outer and western suburbs where there is little direct benefit to them while the stadium solely exists just to satisfy the AFL and is pretty much going to be unpopular across the board especially outside Hobart apart from a select few diehard AFL fans.

  32. There is no way the AFL would have even proposed a Tassie team if they didn’t believe it was popular. In fact, the AFL has long been criticised for dragging its feet and ignoring the support from Tasmanians for their own team.

    I think people are seriously under-estimating the support for an AFL team, and how annoyed some people will be if it doesn’t happen due to political BS.

  33. Mark Mulcair, I doubt all people who support an AFL team want it at any cost. I’m sure some of them are more annoyed at the AFL and Rockliff for making a bad deal for Tasmania, than they are at the anti-stadium movement.

  34. One way to look at this is
    To try and find where Labor
    Or the greens win.and extra seat.and where the liberals fail to win a fourth seat.federal figures 2020 show what is possible.

  35. I think it possible that the major parties get very few if any of the extra 10 seats. I am counting the liberals as 13 and Labor as 9. The results of the 2021 election

  36. Daniel T, it wouldn’t be a rugby stadium, it would be an oval stadium for AFL, which is very popular in Tasmania, regardless of levels of support for the stadium.

  37. Agree Adam, also stadiums like these can be multipurpose and used for other sports, even events like live music can be held in those venues.

  38. Why would a live music act bother shipping all their instruments and equipment to Tasmania and organising a whole new set of logistics, when they could simply play an extra show in Melbourne and get more people attending? At least in Adelaide and Perth there are sizeable facilities and a large population that makes it worthwhile.

  39. Stadiums are popular because people like sport and Australia is a successful sporting nation. Outside of the Tally Room most of my hobbies are sport and gaming. For example, just recently I went to Sydney to see my favourite soccer club (Sydney FC) play.

    Also, @Daniel T, it’s an AFL stadium not a rugby stadium. Wrong footy. Aussie rules is extremely popular in Tassie, more popular than anywhere else in the world (I say the world because it is played overseas to a lesser extent, in fact it’s actually the national sport of Nauru).

  40. @PM regardless of who wins the election, the Liberals win a plurality of the vote and a plurality (if not a majority) of seats in Braddon.


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