Geoff Lyons, since 2010.
Bass covers the north-eastern corner of Tasmania. It covers the LGAs of Launceston, George Town and Dorset, along with small parts of West Tamar and Meander Valley LGAs to the west of Launceston. Bass also covers Tasmania’s north-eastern islands, including Flinders Island.
Bass was created for the 1903 election, after Tasmania’s MPs were elected at large for the 1901 election. Bass has always been centred on Launceston, and has long been a marginal electorate. Indeed, the seat has changed hands from one MP to another fourteen times in its history, and only twice has an MP been succeeded by a member of the same party.
The seat was dominated by the Barnard family in the middle part of the twentieth century, with Claude Barnard holding the seat from 1934 to 1949, which included a period as Minister for Repatriation in the Chifley government. He was defeated by Liberal candidate Bruce Kekwick in 1949, who himself was defeated by Claude’s son Lance Barnard in 1954. The younger Barnard went on to serve as Deputy Prime Minister under Gough Whitlam from 1972 to 1974, and his resignation triggered the June 1975 Bass by-election, which saw a 14% swing to the Liberal Party, a major blow to the Whitlam government.
Kevin Newman (father of Queensland Premier, Campbell) held the seat from 1975 to 1984, during which time he served as a minister in the Fraser government. He was succeeded by Warwick Smith in 1984. Smith served up to the 1993 election, when he too was defeated by Labor candidate Silvia Smith.
Warwick Smith won seat back in 1996, and he served as a minister in the first Howard government. He was defeated again in 1998 by Michelle O’Byrne, who held the seat for two terms as a Labor MP before losing in 2004 as part of a backlash against Mark Latham’s forestry policies. She too went on to become a state MP for Bass at the 2006 state election.
At the 2007 election, the sitting Liberal MP Michael Ferguson was defeated himself by Launceston alderman Jodie Campbell. Campbell stepped down in 2010 after one term, and Labor candidate Geoff Lyons won the seat.
- Ray Kroeze (Australian Christians)
- Andrew Nikolic (Liberal)
- Chris Dobson (Palmer United Party)
- Christine Bergman (Family First)
- Geoff Lyons (Labor)
- Lucy Landon-Lane (Greens)
- Jin-oh Choi (Secular Party)
Bass is held by a 6.7% margin, which is significant, but Bass has a history of swinging strongly, and in current circumstances this seat will be difficult for the ALP to hold.
2010 two-candidate-preferred result
Booths have been divided into five areas. Three of the areas cover the entirety of their local government area: Dorset, George Town and Flinders Island. The remaining areas, which include all of Launceston City Council and small parts of two neighbouring council areas near Launceston. This area was split between Launceston Urban and Launceston Rural.
The vast majority of ordinary votes were cast in the Launceston urban area. The ALP won a 58% majority in that area. The vote in the remainder of the seat varied from 57.1% for the Liberal Party on Flinders Island to 61.2% for the ALP in George Town.
The Greens vote varies from 9.9% in Dorset to 22.6% in Launceston Rural.
|Voter group||GRN %||ALP 2PP %||Total votes||% of votes|