Braddon – Tasmania 2010

Incumbent MPs

  • Brenton Best (ALP), since 1996.
  • Bryan Green (ALP), since 1998.
  • Steve Kons (ALP), since 1998.
  • Jeremy Rockliff (LIB), since 2002. Deputy Leader of the Opposition.
  • Brett Whiteley (LIB), since 2002.

Geography
Braddon covers the West Coast and North-West of Tasmania, including the islands to Tasmania’s northwest. The seat covers West Coast, Burnie, Central Coast, Circular Head, Devonport and Waratah/Wynyard councils along with part of Latrobe council. The seat’s largest centres are the towns of Devonport and Burnie.

Redistribution
The redistribution saw Braddon from being a strictly northwestern seat to stretch down to cover the west coast. West Coast LGA was transferred from Lyons to Braddon, and in compensation part of Latrobe LGA (which had previously been entirely within Braddon) was transferred to Lyons. Urban Latrobe remained in Braddon while the rural parts of the LGA, including Port Sorell, moved to Lyons.

History
Braddon was first created for the 1956 election, sharing a name and boundaries with the federal electorate of Braddon. This replaced the seat of Darwin, which had previously covered northwestern Tasmania since the introduction of proportional representation in 1909.

The ALP won four seats and the Anti-Socialists two in Darwin at the 1909 election. The ALP and Liberals divided the seats equally 3-3 at the 1912 and 1913 elections. The Liberals lost one of their three seats in 1916 and 1919, and in 1922 the Liberals were reduced to one seat, with the Country Party winning two.

From 1925 to 1955 the ALP and the Nationalist/Liberal parties split the seats in Darwin 3-3 with two exceptions. The Nationalists won a 4-2 majority in 1931 and the ALP won a 4-2 majority in 1941. A 3-3 split was repeated in the new seat of Braddon in 1956.

The ALP won a 4-3 majority in 1959 and 1964 after Braddon gained a seventh seat. The Liberals lost one of their three seats to an independent in 1969, and that seat went to the ALP in 1972, giving them a 5-2 majority. The ALP again won 4-3 majorities in 1976 and 1979, and the Liberals gained 4-3 majorities in 1982 and 1986.

The ALP lost one of their three seats to Green independent Di Hollister in 1989, while the Liberals maintained their four seats. The Liberals gained a 5-1-1 majority in 1992., and reverted to a 4-2-1 majority in 1996.

The Liberal vote collapsed in 1998 when Braddon’s seats were cut to five, and the Liberals lost two of their seats, as did Greens MP Di Hollister. The ALP gained a third seat, for a 3-2 split. This has been maintained ever since. It was the only seat at the 2002 and 2006 elections where the Greens failed to elect an MP.

Party share of seats in Darwin/Braddon, 1909-2006.

Candidates

Political situation
In 2006 Greens candidate Paul O’Halloran came sixth, with the second Liberal the last to be elected. Any statewide swong to the Liberal Party should mean that the contest will be between Labor, Liberal and Greens for the third Labor seat being vacated by Steve Kons. Sitting MPs Best, Green, Rockliff and Whiteley shouldn’t have much trouble with re-election.

The Greens vote in 2002 and 2006 was well below what they would have needed to win a seat in Braddon, polling 0.72 quotas in 2002 and 0.62 in 2006. O’Halloran has a chance of winning, but will need a swing to the Greens and will need to avoid a situation where either major party comes close to three quotas in their own right.

2006 result

CandidateVotes%Quota
Leonie Batchelor1,2151.920.12
Brenton Best6,37810.070.60
Bryan Green15,46824.431.47
Peter Hollister2,1353.370.20
Steve Kons6,98811.040.66
Australian Labor Party32,18450.843.05
John Oldaker2,2803.600.22
Leon Perry2,9774.700.28
Jeremy Rockliff9,63015.210.91
Brett Whiteley5,5298.730.52
Heather Woodward3,1795.020.30
Liberal Party23,59537.272.24
John Coombes3940.620.04
Andrea Jackson6691.060.06
Scott Jordan5450.860.05
Paul O’Halloran4,2976.790.41
Dianne Ransley6240.990.06
Tasmanian Greens6,52910.310.62
Steve Martin1,0011.580.09
Group C1,0011.580.09

Booth breakdown
Braddon consists of seven complete local government areas as well as part of Latrobe LGA, which is split with Lyons. Two thirds of ordinary votes at the 2006 election were cast in three neighbouring LGAs in the northeastern corner of the electorate: Devonport, Central Coast and Burnie LGAs.

In most parts of the seat the ALP polled around 50%, including Devonpot, Central Coast, Waratah/Wynyard and Latrobe. The ALP polled almost 60% in Burnie and less in Circular Head and King Island. The Liberals polled a majority in Circular Head and King Island and around 30% roughly in most of the rest of the seat. The strongest areas for the Greens were Central Coast and Waratah/Wynyard.

Voter groupALP %LIB %GRN %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Devonport51.7736.528.6313,53624.83
Central Coast49.0237.0812.6512,28022.52
Burnie59.8930.149.1710,70619.64
Waratah/Wynyard52.6834.1112.417,65814.05
Circular Head40.6252.496.204,4718.20
Latrobe53.3835.927.852,5614.70
West Coast59.9926.3411.412,4374.47
King Island32.2356.699.948751.60
Other votes46.9739.4211.948,881
Polling booths in Braddon, showing the top-polling party at the 2006 election. Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Braddon, showing Labor votes at the 2006 election. Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Braddon, showing Liberal votes at the 2006 election. Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Braddon, showing Greens votes at the 2006 election. Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Braddon, showing the top-polling party at the 2006 election around Wynyard and Burnie.Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Braddon, showing Labor votes at the 2006 election around Wynyard and Burnie.Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Braddon, showing Liberal votes at the 2006 election around Wynyard and Burnie.Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Braddon, showing Greens votes at the 2006 election around Wynyard and Burnie. Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Braddon, showing the top-polling party at the 2006 election from Penguin to Latrobe.Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Braddon, showing Labor votes at the 2006 election from Penguin to Latrobe. Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Braddon, showing Liberal votes at the 2006 election from Penguin to Latrobe. Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Braddon, showing Greens votes at the 2006 election from Penguin to Latrobe. Click to enlarge.