Duncan Kerr, since 1987.
Denison covers the suburbs of Hobart on the western shores of the Derwent River. The seat covers Hobart and Glenorchy LGAs as well as northern parts of Kingborough LGA. The seat includes the Hobart CBD and is by far the most compact seat in Tasmania.
The redistribution enlarged Denison by extending the southern border to the Huon Highway. This saw the margin reduced from 15.6% to 15.3%, however this is not a dramatic change in boundaries. About 1000 voters were transferred, and no polling booths sit in the area transferred from Franklin to Denison.
Denison was first created for the 1903 election. The seat was first held by Sir Philip Fysh, a former Premier of Tasmania and minister under Edmund Barton and Alfred Deakin. His retirement in 1910 saw the seat fall to the ALP, with the ALP member William Laird Smith joining the new Nationalist party in 1916. He lost the seat to a Labor candidate in 1922, and for the next twelve years the seat changed hands every three years, with the Nationalists winning it back in 1925, the ALP winning it back in 1928 and retaining it in 1929 before the new United Australia Party won the seat in 1931. In 1934, the ALP regained it yet again, and held it for two terms until the 1940 election. A new UAP member of Parliament won the seat in 1940, and again only held it for three years, before the ALP’s John Gaha won the seat at the 1943 election. For the next half-century, Denison was a bellwether seat, going to the party that won federal government at each election.
Gaha lost the seat in 1949 to the Liberal Party’s Athol Townley. Townley held the seat for the next fourteen years, which was the longest term of service in Denison up until Duncan Kerr’s time. Townley served as Minister for Defence under Robert Menzies, before dying in December 1963 shortly after being appointed as Ambassador to the United States.
He was succeeded by Adrian Gibson, who retired in 1969 to be replaced by Robert Solomon. Solomon was defeated after one term in 1972 by Labor’s John Coates, who himself was defeated by Michael Hodgman in 1975. Hodgman served in a variety of junior ministerial roles under Malcolm Fraser and held the seat until 1987. Indeed, his victories in 1983 and 1984 were the only times Denison had gone to an opposition candidate in decades.
Hodgman was defeated in 1987 by the ALP’s Duncan Kerr. Kerr has held the seat ever since, as the seat has become a safe Labor seat. He managed to maintain the seat during the entirety of the Howard government. Kerr has announced his retirement in 2010, which will mean he will have served 23 years in the seat, by far the longest term in Denison in the seat’s 106-year history.
- Andrew Wilkie (Independent)
- Jonathon Jackson (Labor)
- Melanie Barnes (Socialist Alliance)
- Cameron Simpkins (Liberal)
- Geoff Couser (Greens)
Denison is Labor’s safest seat in Tasmania. It is also the strongest seat in the state for the Greens.
2007 two-candidate-preferred result
These results do not take into consideration the effects of the redistribution.
Denison consists of Glenorchy LGA and Hobart LGA, along with a small part of Kingborough LGA. I have divided the seat into six areas based on the main suburban centres. I divided Hobart LGA into Hobart, Sandy Bay and New Town, with Sandy Bay also covering the two booths on the southern fringe of the seat. I also divided Glenorchy LGA into Glenorchy, Claremont and Moonah.
The ALP won a majority in all parts of Denison. This varied from Sandy Bay, where they won less than 55% of the two-party-preferred vote, to the centre of Hobart, where they won almost 72%. The only three booths won by the Liberal Party were in the Sandy Bay area. The Greens are much stronger in Hobart LGA than in Glenorchy LGA, polling over 14% in all southern booths and below that in all but one Glenorchy booth. The peak for the Greens is around the centre of Hobart, although the Greens polled 48% in the small Fern Tree booth.
|Voter group||GRN %||ALP 2CP %||Total votes||% of votes|
|Sandy Bay & South||24.32||54.73||11,636||18.19|
|New Town & Lenah Valley||18.90||65.49||6,419||10.03|