Tasmanian preference distribution update – day one


The process of counting primary votes for the Tasmanian state election concluded yesterday, and we started to see preferences distributed in three of five electorates.

Tasmania doesn’t data-enter ballot papers like for most PR counts in Australia. Instead, each round of preference distributions is conducted and then reported successively.

This will likely mean that some seats that are not yet clear will become clear as the preferences distributions proceed.

So I thought I would do blog post updates at the end of each day’s count.

At the start of the preference distribution, 32 seats have been called for a party (although in a few cases it’s not clear which individual will win). Those 32 seats break down as 13 Liberals, 10 Labor, 5 Greens, 2 JLN and 2 independents.

The three outstanding seats are:

  • In Braddon, the fourth Liberal candidate is likely to win, but there’s an outside chance for the Greens or independent Craig Garland.
  • In Franklin, the third Liberal candidate is likely to win, but there’s a small chance for a second Greens candidate.
  • In Lyons, the JLN candidate is leading the third Labor candidate.


Every seat has been won by a party – the only doubt is about which Liberal candidate will win the third seat: Simon Wood or Julie Sladden. It’s also probably worth mentioning the contest for the JLN seat – Rebekah Pentland has been called by the ABC, but it’s worth watching.

On Tuesday we saw Michael Ferguson’s surplus distributed, with 7.4% of his surplus leaking from the Liberal ticket.

Simon Wood received more than twice as many preferences as Sladden, solidifying his position for that seat. Indeed Sladden received less preferences than Chris Gatenby, who could well overtake her as the fourth-ranked Liberal.

Pentland’s lead over Angela Armstrong was untouched – they each received 13 votes from Ferguson.

The next stage tomorrow will be to start knocking out the lowest-polling candidates, starting with ex-Greens independent Jack Davenport. The most interesting exclusions will be when third-placed JLN candidate Ludwig Johnson and the lower-ranked Liberal candidates are excluded, but quite a few others will be knocked out first, including the six lower-ranked Greens candidates, at least three minor Labor candidates and a number of other non-major party candidates.


The Liberal Party has won three seats, Labor two and JLN one. The Liberal Party looked to be the leading contender for the final seat, although there is now some conjecture that the Greens or Craig Garland could potentially catch up and win.

There is also a race between the JLN’s Miriam Beswick and James Redgrave for their party’s seat.

Jeremy Rockliff’s enormous surplus was distributed on Tuesday. The strongest flows went to fellow Liberal incumbents Felix Ellis and Roger Jaensch. This was enough to elect Ellis (with a tiny surplus) and give Jaensch about 0.65 quotas and well and truly on track to win the third Liberal seat.

But about 6.5% of the Liberal surplus leaked. The total Liberal vote is now just 3.57 quotas, compared to 0.54 quotas for the Greens.

The Rockliff surplus made no difference to the JLN contest, with all three JLN candidates gaining 46-49 votes.


All seven seats in Clark have been called for parties: two Labor, two Liberal, two Greens and independent Kristie Johnston. The only point of doubt is which Liberal will win the second seat: Madeleine Ogilvie or Marcus Vermey.

No candidates reached a quota on primary votes, so the count started by excluding low-profile candidates. On Tuesday they distributed preferences from two of four Local Network candidates and two ungrouped candidates.

These were small in number and made no difference to the Ogilvie-Vermey contest. Another eight candidates will need to be excluded before we see any Liberals excluded.


Six seats have been called for parties in Franklin: two Liberal, two Labor, one Greens and independent David O’Byrne. The Liberal Party is leading for the seventh seat, with an outside chance for a second Greens member. There’s also a contest between Meg Brown and Toby Thorpe for the second Labor seat.

The primary vote was finalised on Tuesday, but no preferences were distributed.

It seems likely that Liberal MP Nic Street and Meg Brown will win those two seats, but we’ll need to wait for a bunch of minor candidates to be excluded.


Six seats have been called for parties in Lyons: three Liberal, two Labor and one Greens. The final seat is a contest between the Jacqui Lambie Network and Labor, with JLN leading. There’s also no clarity about which individual JLN candidate will win.

The primary vote was finalised on Tuesday, but no preferences were distributed.

The next stage will be distributing Rebecca White’s surplus, which will undoubtedly result in some Labor preferences leaking from the party ticket, but how many will be relevant to how the campaign proceeds.

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  1. My predictions for the seventh seat in each electorate:

    Bass: already called
    Braddon: Liberal
    Clark: already called
    Franklin: Liberal
    Lyons: JLN

    Likely composition of Parliament:
    Liberals: 15 seats
    Labor: 10 seats
    Greens: 5 seats
    JLN: 3 seats
    Independents: 2 seats

  2. The last Braddon seems to be in some doubt – could go to Green or Independent. If either gets the seat the Liberals are back to 14 seats and putting together a stable governing arrangement will be even or interesting


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