Tasmanian Legislative Council live


9:31 – I’m going to wrap up my coverage of this race here.

At the moment it looks likely that the result will see Labor and Liberal retaining the one seat they had going in, and the Greens winning a seat previously held by the most progressive independent.

So the mid-point of the chamber remains where it is, with Labor able to form a left majority in alliance with those to their left. Although this would be weakened if Bec Thomas wins in Elwick.

It’s a bad night for independents. It’s only the second year in recent decades (after 2020) to not produce a single independent win. It reduces the number of independents back down to six, the lowest level ever.

It’s a good result for the Greens, who have now added their first ever MLC and first ever single-member win on top of their five seats at the recent lower house election. It also means that O’Connor inserts the Greens into the dynamics of the upper house for the next six years.

It also increases the Greens becoming an urbanised party. They now hold three seats in the Clark area. If you include Rosalie Woodruff, two thirds of their seats are in the Hobart area. It’s very different to their even spread in previous strong eras like 1989-1996 and 2010.

I probably won’t be doing any more writing on the Tasmanian upper house, but stay tuned for new stuff soon.

9:23 – We’ve now got the final results in all three seats.

In Hobart, Cassy O’Connor has been elected. She is currently leading with 37.2% to John Kelly on 22.1%, Labor’s John Kamara on 18.2% and Charlie Burton on 13.9%.

Burton is too far behind to catch up, and his preferences should push O’Connor close enough to a majority to win on preferences from one of the other two.

In Prosser, Liberal candidate Kerry Vincent is looking very likely to win. I won’t go any further than that, but I think he’s probably there. He is on 38.7% with Labor’s Bryan Green on 28.5%.

In Elwick, independent candidate Bec Thomas is leading on 34%, with Labor’s Tessa McLaughlin trailing on 29%. The impression I get from those on the ground is that preferences from the Greens and ex-Labor independent Cangelosi will both favour McLaughlin, which makes her the likely winner, but this seat remains in play.

7:51 – I’ve had some clarification from locals that Bec Thomas is more identified as a centrist than centre-left, which might make preferences hard for her.

Meanwhile in Hobart, O’Connor’s vote has fallen back to 37.8%, but right-wing independent John Kelly is increasing his margin over Labor, and that would be good news for O’Connor.

At the moment O’Connor looks very strong in Hobart, Vincent looks likely in Prosser, and Elwick is very much up in the air.

7:30 – We’ve now got all the ordinary booths in Elwick, along with mobile votes and at least some postal votes, and Thomas has a lead of less than 2% over Labor. Definitely will be a question of where preferences flow.

7:23 – O’Connor’s primary vote has softened slightly in Hobart, down to 39%, but interestingly progressive independent Charlie Burton has fallen clearly into fourth place, on 14.7%, while right-leaning independent John Kelly is second on 20%. Kelly won’t be in a good position to attract preferences against O’Connor.

7:16 – As might have been expected, the last few booths have narrowed the gap between Liberal and Labor in Prosser. With just two ordinary booths yet to report, Vincent’s lead over Labor candidate Bryan Green is 35-29. The Liberal still seems like the favourite, but that’s getting close enough where a variation in preference flows could bring the race into play.

7:07 – Vincent is looking strong in Prosser and O’Connor in Hobart, but Elwick looks genuinely hard to pick. The big question is where Greens and Cangelosi preferences will flow. Both are of the centre-left, but so are the leading contenders. Thomas has a small lead.

7:05 – O’Connor’s lead has widened with five booths reporting, now on 41%. She’s looking hard to beat.

6:58 – We have the first two booths from Hobart and the Greens candidate Cassy O’Connor has a big lead with 39.5%, ahead of Labor on 18.3% and independent Charlie Burton on 16.8%. Good start for her.

6:57 – We now have six booths reporting in Elwick, and independent mayor Bec Thomas is leading with 30.5%, with Labor’s Tessa McLaughlin on 28.2%. Definitely still too close to call.

6:56 – There’s now 16 booths reporting in Prosser, too many to keep up with the swings, but generally the Liberal Party is doing better than last time, with 35.4% compared to 24.6% for Labor. Last time around the Liberal candidate had a primary vote lead of about 5% and ended up winning narrowly, although the pool of preferences may have changed. Still, looking good for Kerry Vincent.

6:31 – The Liberal is definitely up in Coles Bay, from 37.3% to 44%. Labor is down from 25% to 17%.

6:26 – A second booth has reported from Prosser, and it’s Carlton. I don’t have a swing here as it wasn’t a booth in 2018, although it was generally a good area for independent Steve Mav. Liberal candidate Vincent is leading with 32.8% to Labor’s 26.4%.

6:24 – We now have the first booth in from Prosser, and it’s Broadmarsh in the south-western corner of the electorate. Howlett polled 35% there for the Liberal Party in 2018, and her successor Kerry Vincent managed 33% today. The Labor vote is up significantly, from 14% to 30%.

6:00 – Polls have just closed in three seats in the Tasmanian Legislative Council.

Voters in Hobart and Prosser will be electing their members for the next six years, while in the Hobart-area seat of Elwick a member will be chosen for the next four years.

All three seats are currently vacant without an incumbent contesting the race. This is the first time that there have been three open Council seats since 1909.

Elwick MLC Josh Willie and Prosser MLC Jane Howlett stepped down to successfully contest lower house seats for the ALP and Liberal Party respectively, while progressive independent Hobart MLC Rob Valentine is retiring after two terms.

While you wait for the first results to be reported, you can read my election guide, or check out my blog post from earlier this week on the spread of party contestation in the Tasmanian upper house.

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  1. Quick clarification – Franklin is split between the Eastern Shore of Hobart, and the Huon. And while Rosalie is a member for the entire seat, she is based down in the Huon, which is very much not Hobart.

  2. I’d confidently call Hobart for the Greens and Prosser for the Liberals. Elwick is still in play but if Labor lose then the Liberal Party will become the largest party (independents are not a party) in the Legislative Council, since it was previously equal. The Greens have also won their first ever Legislative Council seat.

  3. Update for 8 May, it appears independent Bec Thomas will win Elwick as she received more favourable preferences than expected. The Liberals’ Kerry Vincent and Greens’ Cassy O Connor are still projected to win their seats of Prosser and Hobart respectively.


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