Tasmania 2018

Welcome to the Tally Room guide to the 2018 Tasmanian state election. This guide includes comprehensive coverage of each electorate’s history, geography, political situation and results of the 2014 election, as well as maps and tables showing those results.

Table of contents:

  1. Tasmania’s electorates
  2. Electoral system
  3. Contact

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Tasmania’s electorates

Five electorates are used to elect Tasmania’s House of Assembly. Tasmania’s five electorates follow the same boundaries and have the same names as Tasmania’s five federal electorates. Click through to read detailed profiles of each electorate.

  • Bass – North-eastern Tasmania, including Launceston. Elected 3 Liberals, 1 Labor and 1 Green in 2014.
  • Braddon – North-western Tasmania, including Devonport and Burnie, as well as the West Coast of Tasmania. Elected 4 Liberals and 1 Labor in 2014.
  • Denison – Hobart. Elected 2 Labor, 2 Liberals and 1 Green in 2014.
  • Franklin – Southern Tasmania, including Clarence, and Huon Valley. Elected 3 Liberals, 1 Labor and 1 Green in 2014.
  • Lyons – Central Tasmania. Elected 3 Liberals and 2 Labor in 2014.

Electoral system

Tasmania uses a system of preferential proportional representation known as Hare-Clark. Each electorate elects five MPs. The quota is 16.7% of the vote in each electorate.

In addition to using proportional representation, Tasmania uses the system of Robson Rotation. Under this system, party’s nominate a slate of candidates (usually five, occasionally as many as seven), but they are not listed on the ballot paper in a set party order. Instead, different ballot papers have candidates listed within their party column in different orders. This removes the power of the party machine to direct their supporters to vote for particular candidate. Individual candidates from each party will compete against each other and it is possible for MPs from one party to be defeated by another member of their own party. This also means that personal votes for candidates matter a great deal. Prominent MPs such as party leaders often top the polls in their electorate, and their surplus can carry across other members of their party.

Tasmania also uses a system of ‘countback’ to fill vacancies in the House of Assembly. By-elections would not work in a multi-member electorate system, since all voters would get to have a say in electing a replacement for an MP who had only been elected by one portion of the electorate. Instead of using the Senate system of allowing parties to appoint replacements, countback involves re-examining the ballot papers to determine which candidate wins an election with the resigning MP removed. This system has resulted in the election of a candidate from the same party as the former MP in all but one case. The only exception took place in 1982, when Democrats MP Norm Sanders was replaced by independent candidate Bob Brown. Sanders had been elected partly on the basis of his environmentalist credentials, and many of these voters preferenced Brown above other Democrats candidates.

Tasmania’s Legislative Council is not elected at the same time as the House of Assembly. The Council is elected by fifteen single-member electorates using different boundaries to those used for the House of Assembly. MLCs serve six-year-terms, with two or three electorates going to the polls in May every year. Most MLCs are independents, although the major parties hold a handful of seats.

In 2018, two Legislative Council electorates will face the polls on 5 May. Read the profiles for the 2017 election.


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