Lyons – Australia 2022

ALP 5.2%

Incumbent MP
Brian Mitchell, since 2016.

Geography
Tasmania’s largest seat by area, Lyons includes parts of every region of the state. The seat stretches from the outskirts of Devonport and Launceston in the north to the outskirts of Hobart in the south, as well as the central highlands and the east coast of Tasmania.

History
Lyons was originally named Wilmot, which was created as a central Tasmanian electorate in 1903. The seat was held by a variety of non-Labor parties up to 1929, when the seat was won by former Premier of Tasmania Joseph Lyons. He left the ALP during his first term in federal Parliament and was elected Prime Minister in 1931 at the head of the new United Australia Party. The ALP won the seat in a 1939 by-election following Lyons’ death, but lost the seat at the 1940 election. The ALP’s Gil Duthie won the seat at the 1946 election, and held the seat until the 1975 election, when he was defeated by the Liberal Party’s Max Burr.

In 1984, the seat was renamed Lyons in honour of the former Prime Minister and his wife Enid, who was the first female member of the House of Representatives. Burr held the renamed seat until 1993, when he retired and the ALP’s Dick Adams won the seat.

Dick Adams held Lyons for the ALP for the next twenty years. At the 2004 election, a 4.5% swing against the ALP made the seat marginal, but in 2007 Adams recovered most of his margin, partly due to conflict in the Liberal Party, with the original Liberal candidate, Ben Quin, resigning and running as an independent after Minister for the Environment Malcolm Turnbull approved the Gunns pulp mill.

Adams gained a further swing of almost 4% at the 2010 election, but in 2013 he was defeated by Liberal candidate Eric Hutchinson, after a 13.5% swing. Hutchinson lost in 2016 to Labor’s Brian Mitchell, who was re-elected in 2019.

Candidates

  • Susie Bower (Liberal)
  • Rhys Griffiths (Liberal Democrats)
  • Brian Mitchell (Labor)
  • Anna Gralton (Animal Justice)
  • Jason Evans (United Australia)
  • Troy Pfitzner (Jacqui Lambie Network)
  • Emma Goyne (One Nation)
  • Liz Johnstone (Greens)
  • Assessment
    Lyons has been a more solid Labor seat and less volatile than its neighbours to the north, with Labor only losing the seat once in the last thirty years. Yet it should be acknowledged that the seat is much more marginal than it was for most of this era, and that the circumstances in 2019 were unusual, with the Liberal candidate being disendorsed and a lot of conservative support swinging behind the Nationals, who made a surprising appearance in the seat due to the temporary presence of a Nationals senator in the state. A more capable Liberal campaign could well win here.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Brian Mitchell Labor 26,09136.5-3.9
    Jessica Whelan Liberal 17,30124.2-16.4
    Deanna Hutchinson Nationals 11,22215.7+15.7
    Gary Whisson Greens 6,7659.5+0.3
    Tennille MurtaghOne Nation5,8208.1+8.1
    Michael WarneUnited Australia Party4,3656.1+6.1
    Informal3,4274.6+0.1

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Brian Mitchell Labor 39,49155.2+1.4
    Jessica Whelan Liberal 32,07344.8-1.4

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three areas: north, central and south. Lyons covers all or part of twelve council areas, and these council boundaries have been used to divide booths into three areas.

    • Central – Break O’Day, Central Highlands, Glamorgan/Spring Bay, Northern Midlands, Southern Midlands.
    • North – Kentish, Meander Valley.
    • South – Brighton, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Sorell, Tasman.

    The Labor vote tends to be highest at the southern end of the electorate and gradually decline as you move north. The Labor two-party-preferred vote was a slim 51.3% majority in the centre and a solid 63.9% in the south. The Liberal Party polled 54.1% in the north.

    The Nationals polled around 22% in the centre and north and just 11.7% in the more urban south.

    The Greens did best in the south and north and less well in the centre.

    Voter groupGRN primNAT primALP 2PPTotal votes% of votes
    South10.111.763.921,24529.7
    Central7.722.051.315,16421.2
    North9.021.745.911,77216.4
    Pre-poll10.912.554.412,45217.4
    Other votes9.411.954.610,93115.3

    Election results in Lyons at the 2019 federal election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party and the Greens.

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    29 COMMENTS

    1. Susie Bower, a Meander Valley councillor who ran as a Liberal candidate at the state election, is the endorsed Liberal candidate for Lyons and is resigning her council seat.

      It will be interesting to see how this one goes. I think that without the Whelan fiasco Mitchell might have still just survived in 2019 but by less than 1% if so.

    2. Kevin Bonham
      Interesting that you see the Whelan fiasco has having this much impact, & Lyons having been that close without it.
      Lyons, while still a toss up needs quite a lot to happen to swap sides. Instinctively it feels like too much, & this will end up being anti climactic.

    3. If it wasn’t for the poor liberal candidate in 2019 this seat would have been won by them. This seat could fall if Labor has a bad night.

    4. Agree, this was a missed opportunity last time for the Liberals. This one of the best chances for a Liberal gain in 2022. Tasmania has not been affected as much by Covid. Interestingly, i think this is the least ethnically diverse electorate in the nation.

    5. To be fair, at the state election, it was virtually unmoved politically. The Liberals’ primary vote will increase, mainly because the Nationals probably won’t run again. The Shooters will probably run a candidate and get 5-10% pretty easily, which might shoot the Libs in the foot.

    6. Lyons tended to be very local to its sitting mps since joseph Lyons……in recent times Burr, Duthie, and Adams all had relatively long terms as Mps……. maybe this is in part that Lyons has no big Tasmanian cities such as Burnie or Launceston. If I were the liberals I would not be counting this as a win.

    7. Good pun about the Liberals being shot in the foot by the shooters party. It will likely be a labor retain as it held out against other Coalition wins in Tasmania last time.

    8. Last time the Liberal candidate was disendorsed so it can’t really be said to be a ‘hold out’. A better candidate might have tipped them over the line.

    9. I think Lyons will likely see a moderate swing to the Liberal Party, due to the likelihood that Tasmania doesn’t swing against the government as much as other states and the Liberal candidate being disendorsed last time. Don’t think it will be enough for a Liberal gain, would expect a result around 54-46 or 53-47 to the Labor Party.

    10. If miracle#2 is going to occur libs winning Lyons will be a very good start. Seat to watch on election night when every that may be….

      Also thought the Nats would have run again. I know their vote was inflated due to the liberal candidate being disendorsed at the last moment but by running again the Nats could have started to build a brand…..

    11. Cashless debit card is a big issue here. Wouldn’t be surprised if the JLN candidate picks up a decent vote at the expense of coalition primary.

    12. Moderate swing to the liberal party with a popular state government no nationals candidate splitting the vote and a candidate free from controversy. Cashless debit card voters most likely Labor and greens voters. JLN might throw a wrench in it. Definitely in play.

    13. I’m still perplexed as to how the Liberals got swings to them in Tasmania and almost won Lyons.
      Was it Scott Morrison’s effective campaigning? Local issues? Popular state government?

    14. There was an issue with the Liberal candidate for Lyons in 2019 that saw labor win easily. This year was a correction
      Not sure about the other 2 seats

    15. Something to do with Lambie maybe? Where was she directing preferences, and how well resourced was she with volunteers to hand out HTVs etc?

    16. Correct as i mentioned earlier, in 2019 Liberal Candidate was disendorsed for making anti-muslim comments. Jacqui Lambie preferenced Labor in Braddon and Lyons but Libs in Bass. Will Hodgman said that the Libs should have won Lyons in 2019 makes me wonder what would have happened if they chose a better candidate. My prediction about Lyons being one of the best chances for Libs turned out to be correct considering how the rest of the nation voted. I think in 2025 the Libs would try again. I feel they have a better chance here than winning Lingari or Gilmore

    17. Gilmore has been trending against the Libs for quite some time. If Andrew Constance couldn’t win it this time, I doubt he or anyone else would be able to win it again in the future unless the Labor vote collapses. The ALP supporting the Uluru Statement of the Heart would help them in Lingiari. Lyons on the other hand would be receptive to someone like Dutton as leader so I’d say this seat would be the number one target for the Libs in 2025.

    18. Tasmania wouldn’t be receptive to a more conservative leader, that’s a load of rubbish. The 3 right-faction aligned mp’s were punished in 2016 for backing Abbott over Turnbull.

    19. Sometimes I imagine that Tasmanians collectively roll dice to decide how they will vote.

      This only reflects on my own ignorance, but I find myself completely perplexed by the machinations of the Tasmanian political psyche.

    20. Gilmore, is a good example where an incumbent MP can entrench themselves. Joanna Gash was able to do this and in 2013 when she retired it had a swing to Labor against the state and national trend. It was one of the few potential pick ups for Labor in 2013 along with Solomon. The swing in Lingiari can be explained the loss of Warren Snowdon’s personal vote in parts of the seat something if Marion works hard she can rebuild for Labor.
      i agree with Dan M, Lyons and maybe Blair is where Dutton’s appeal to the Battlers can pick up Labor seats. I dont really see any other Labor-held seats where this appeal would work.
      @Nicholas, agree Tasmania can be unpredictable and often not reflective of the national mood. My thinking is that Tasmania was less affected this term of government by bushfires, covid and flooding that Scomo brand was not affected to the same degree as on the Mainland. The state Liberal government also kept the state safe from Covid and was not attacked by Scomo unlike Mark McGowan. One more point people IMHO some people foolishly claim that Tasmania is “Red state” but IMV all 5 seats are winnable for both parties and have been held by both parties in the past. It depends very much on the quality of candidates and the local mood at the time.

    21. Lyons has a relatively older, largely rural yet relatively blue-collar population. Dutton’s appeal to battlers as well as a softer approach on climate change could work in the LNP’s favour here.

      Tasmania is due for redistribution in 2024. The huge growth in Hobart’s population over the past 5 years could make Lyons grow geographically and gain Hobart’s northern suburbs and satellite towns, most of them lean to Labor, Greens and Andrew Wilkie. This could be Labor’s saving gace.

    22. @Votanate If anything it could be the other way around looking at current enrollment trends. Clark is becoming more under quota and Lyons less.

      As of April 30 Lyons is 5.96% over quota and Clark is 7.09% under quota, whereas at February 28 Clark was 6.90% under and Lyons 5.59% over.

    23. The next Tasmanian redistribution falls due in November 2024. Given that falls inside the last 12 months of this term of parliament, it will be deferred until the next term.

    24. @Nimalan, Lyons, Blair and maybe Hunter are the only seats that the Libs could gain where Dutton would be appealing. Unfortunately for the Libs, basically every single seat that they lost this time as well as a bunch of seats that they’ve just held by tiny margins like Deakin, Menzies, Sturt etc. will not appreciate a Dutton leadership.

    25. Laine, those figures show Hobart/Tasmania is pretty much like Sydney and Melbourne where the established inner parts of the city are experiencing relative decline and all the growth is focussed on the outermost/fringe suburbs.

    26. @ Dan M, agreed those seats that they have just held like are more vulnerable due to Dutton leadership. Also seats like Aston are becoming more ethnically diverse for example the Chinese community in Wantirna South so there is an outside chance of a loss there. The Hunter region is interesting i do believe Dutton would try and appeal to working class communities but there is hope for Labor as well especially along the Coast ( think Shortland is more safe for Labor due the potential for a sea change demographic). It could become an extension of the Central coast. See how urban Newcastle is becoming more progressive as well. The Geelong thread shows how a city did not become a rust belt. A policy objective for Albanese should be prevent the Hunter region becoming a rust belt. https://www.tallyroom.com.au/vic2022/geelong2022/comment-page-1

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