Denison – Tasmania 2014

Incumbent MPs

  • Elise Archer (LIB), since 2010.
  • Scott Bacon (ALP), since 2010.
  • Matthew Groom (LIB), since 2010.
  • Cassy O’Connor (GRN), since 2008.
  • Graeme Sturges (ALP), since 2011*. Previously Member for Denison 2002-2010.

*Sturges filled a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of former Premier David Bartlett, Member for Denison 2004-2011.

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.

Denison was first created as a state electorate in 1909, when Tasmania moved to a system of proportional representation with each district electing six members. Denison has always had the same boundaries as the federal electorate of the same name.

The seat first elected four Anti-Socialists and two Labor MPs in 1909. The 1912 election produced an even split of 3 Labor and 3 Liberals, which was maintained at the next four elections. At the 1925 election, the ALP won four out of six seats, as part of ALP’s first majority government in Tasmania, led by Premier Joseph Lyons.

Denison reverted to a 3-3 split in 1928, before the Nationalists won a 4-2 split as part of their landslide win in 1931. The 1934 election saw the ALP recover and they won 3 seats in Denison, alongside two Nationalists and one independent, George Carruthers, who supported an ALP minority government.

The ALP won a more decisive victory in 1937, which saw 4 Labor MPs elected in Denison. This was maintained in 1941, and an independent won a seat off the ALP in 1946, producing a 3-2-1 split. The 1948 election saw three Labor, one Liberal and two independents win seats in Denison.

One of those independent seats was won back by the Liberal Party in 1950, and the 1955 and 1956 elections saw a result of 3 Labor and 3 Liberal MPs in Denison. These two elections produced identical results where the two parties won three seats each in all five districts. This took place despite the ALP winning approximately 7% more than the Liberals at both elections. This ended with the House of Assembly being increased to thirty-five seats at the 1959, when an independent won the seventh seat in Denison.

The Liberal Party won a 4-3 majority in 1964 and 1969, which helped end the Labor government which ruled Tasmania from 1934 to 1969. Denison’s seventh seat went back to the ALP in 1972, when Labor won a majority in Tasmania, but the ALP government managed to win a majority in 1976 despite the Liberals winning the seventh seat in Denison.

The 1979 election gave the Labor government of Doug Lowe a 20-15 majority, including four seats in Denison. The result, however, was invalidated later in 1979 due to violations of campaign spending laws, and a by-election was held in early 1980, which saw two key events that shaped Tasmanian politics. Along with three Labor and three Liberal MPs, the seventh seat was won by Norm Sanders of the Democrats. In addition, internal conflict in the ALP saw the party’s Left hand out how-to-vote cards putting Deputy Premier Neil Batt fourth on their ticket, which led to the introduction of Robson Rotation.

The 1982 election was a landslide for the Liberal Party, who won a 19-14-2 majority in the House of Assembly. Sole Democrats MP Norm Sanders was re-elected in Denison along with four Liberals and two Labor MPs. This was the only time during the period of Denison electing seven MPs that either major party failed to elect at least three MPs in Denison. Director of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society Dr Bob Brown also won 8% of the vote as an independent.

Sanders resigned from Parliament in late 1982 at the height of the Franklin Dam campaign, and Brown won Sanders’ seat on a countback of votes from the previous election.

At the 1986 election Brown was reelected as a “Green Independent”, alongside three from each of the major parties. This pattern of 3 Labor, 3 Liberal and 1 Green was maintained until the reduction in the size of the House of Assembly in 1998, with Brown being succeeded by Peg Putt in 1993.

After two periods of minority governments with the balance of power being held by the Greens, the Labor and Liberal parties agreed to cut the number of seats at the 1998 election from 35 to 25, with each district electing five MPs. The 1998 election saw the ALP and Liberal Party lose a seat in Denison, with Peg Putt surviving as the only Tasmanian Greens MP.

The 2002 election saw the reelection of the Labor government led by Denison MP Jim Bacon, and it saw the Liberal Party reduced to a sole seat in Denison, alongside one Green and three Labor MPs. This result was maintained at the 2006 election.

In 2010, the ALP lost their third seat, with the Liberal Party regaining a second seat. Labor Premier David Bartlett was re-elected, but his Labor colleagues Lisa Singh and Graeme Sturges both lost their seats, with Scott Bacon winning Labor’s second seat. The Liberal Party’s Michael Hodgman retired, and Elise Archer and Matthew Groom were elected as Liberal MPs.


  • Australian Labor Party – Group A
    • Julian Amos
    • Scott Bacon*
    • Sharon Carnes
    • Alphonse Mulumba
    • Madeleine Ogilvie
  • Tasmanian Greens – Group B
    • Penelope Ann
    • Philip Cocker
    • Bill Harvey
    • Cassy O’Connor*
    • Alan Whykes
  • Palmer United Party – Group C
    • Barbara Etter
    • Charles Forrest
    • Mark Grube
    • Rob Newitt
    • Justin Stringer
  • Liberal Party – Group D
    • Elise Archer*
    • Deborah De Williams
    • Matthew Groom*
    • René Kling
    • Robert Mallett
  • National Party – Group E
    • Domenic Allocca
    • Julian Edwards
    • Vlad Gala
  • Socialist Alliance – Group F
    • Shaine Stephen
  • Group G
    • Leo Foley
  • Group H
    • Marti Zucco
  • Group I
    • Michael Swanton
  • Ungrouped independents
    • Freddy Hill
    • Lucas Noyes
    • Hans Willink

Sitting Labor MP Graeme Sturges is not running for re-election.

Denison has always been a relatively weak electorate for the Liberal Party, and the strongest electorate for the Tasmanian Greens. Current trends suggest that the Liberal Party should gain ground, but having polled only 1.8 quotas in 2010, they are a long way away from winning a third seat.

The Greens have ambitions to win a second seat in Denison, but at this election will likely go backwards. It is difficult to see either Labor or the Greens losing a seat to the Liberal Party, but it could happen.

2006 result

Candidate Votes % Quota
Andrew Wilkie 5,382 8.44 0.51
Independent Group 5,382 8.44 0.51
Scott Bacon 7,356 11.53 0.69
David Bartlett 10,169 15.94 0.96
Madeleine Ogilvie 608 0.95 0.06
Lisa Singh 3,833 6.01 0.36
Graeme Sturges 1,185 1.86 0.11
Australian Labor Party 23,151 36.30 2.18
Elise Archer 2,999 4.70 0.28
Jenny Branch 1,428 2.24 0.13
Matthew Groom 9,602 15.06 0.90
Richard Lowrie 3,138 4.92 0.30
Matt Stevenson 1,834 2.88 0.17
Liberal Party 19,001 29.79 1.79
Penelope Ann 811 1.27 0.08
Helen Burnet 3,142 4.93 0.30
Peter Cover 875 1.37 0.08
Kartika Franks 713 1.12 0.07
Cassy O’Connor 10,336 16.21 0.97
Tasmanian Greens 15,877 24.89 1.49
Melanie Barnes 365 0.57 0.03
Socialist Alliance 365 0.57 0.03
Polling places in Denison at the 2010 state election. Claremont in blue, Glenorchy in yellow, Hobart in green, South in red. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Denison at the 2010 state election. Claremont in blue, Glenorchy in yellow, Hobart in green, South in red. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas. Most of the population of Denison lie in Glenorchy and Hobart local government areas. Booths in Glenorchy have been split between Claremont (north) and Glenorchy (south). Booths in Hobart have been divided between Hobart and South. The handful of booths in Kingborough council have also been included in South.

The ALP polled much better in the northern areas, polling over 50% in Glenorchy and Claremont. The ALP polled much lower in the south, polling 27% in Hobart and 18% at the southern end of the seat.

The Liberal Party topped the poll at the southern end, with 37.9%, with their lowest vote at 24.7% in Hobart.

The Greens topped the poll at 36.5% in Hobart, and also outpolled the ALP in the south of the seat, with the Greens vote bottoming out at 11.8% in Claremont.

Independent candidate Andrew Wilkie’s vote ranged from 5.4% in Glenorchy to 12.6% in the south of the seat.

Voter group ALP % LIB % GRN % IND % Total votes % of votes
Hobart 27.11 24.71 36.50 10.98 15,394 24.14
Glenorchy 51.24 27.67 15.19 5.43 14,433 22.63
South 18.09 37.92 30.67 12.63 11,922 18.69
Claremont 56.09 27.86 11.80 3.87 7,882 12.36
Other votes 35.38 31.71 24.59 7.72 14,145 22.18
Labor primary votes in Denison at the 2010 state election.
Labor primary votes in Denison at the 2010 state election.
Liberal primary votes in Denison at the 2010 state election.
Liberal primary votes in Denison at the 2010 state election.
Greens primary votes in Denison at the 2010 state election.
Greens primary votes in Denison at the 2010 state election.
Primary votes for independent candidate Andrew Wilkie in Denison at the 2010 state election.
Primary votes for independent candidate Andrew Wilkie in Denison at the 2010 state election.


  1. Marti Zucco has been a member of both the Libs and PUP (quitting both of them angrily and publicly), and has run for a bunch of upper house seats over the years. He ran for PUP in Franklin at the federal election last September (got 6.1%), but recently fell out with them and their new senator Jacqui Lambie. Seems to be quite the loose cannon.

    Hans Willink ran as a Liberal-ish independent in Nelson (upper house) last year. He got 8.1%. Lucas Noyes ran for the Secular Party in Lyons in the 2010 federal election – 1.7% with the donkey vote. He’s since quit that party, too.

    This thread needs more Kevin Bonham in it.

  2. Zucco is a serial self-publicist whose MO consists of getting in endless colourful scrapes that raise his profile thereby securing his city council seat. It seems that with PUP he has mined an especially productive vein. Actually this is quite a problem for PUP as even if the TEC rejects Zucco’s objection, the registration is still delayed by eight days for a possible court appeal, and then if there is a court appeal it is delayed until the appeal is heard. PUP could end up running as grouped independents.

  3. HCC Greens alderman Philip Cocker has announced he is running for Denison. Cocker was heavily outpolled by Harvey at the last HCC election (Harvey is junior to him in terms of tenure but a much busier self-promoter) and almost lost his council seat to another Green. Usually the Greens endorse an ordered ticket (1-5) so will be interested to see if this happens again this time; if so Harvey #2 seems logical.

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