Mersey – Tasmania LC 2015

Incumbent MLC
Mike Gaffney, since 2009.

Geography
Northern Tasmania. Mersey covers the entirety of the city of Devonport, and small parts of the neighbouring Central Coast and Latrobe council areas.

History
The electorate of Mersey has existed continuously since 1871, and has always been held by independents.

For most of the twentieth century, Mersey’s local MLCs have held the seat for long terms. From 1902 to 1990, four out of five MLCs held the seat for 22 years, 30 years, 18 years and 18 years respectively. The fifth MLC, Mervyn Lakin, died within months of winning the seat in 1954.

Geoff Squibb won Mersey in 1990, and held the seat for thirteen years. In 2003, he was defeated by another independent, Norma Jamieson. She held the seat for one term, and retired in 2009.

In 2009, the seat was won by left-leaning independent Mike Gaffney, winning 60% of the vote after preferences. Gaffney was a former Labor candidate, but had left the ALP before running for Mersey.

Candidates

  • Mike Gaffney
  • Vivienne Gale

Assessment
Gaffney is the centre-left candidate, and Vivienne Gale is the centre-right candidate.

Gaffney is the favourite to hold on, both as the incumbent and someone with stronger community connections.

2009 result

CandidateVotes%
Mike Gaffney8,46042.93
Steve Martin5,44727.64
Lynn Laycock3,18316.15
Carolynn Jamieson2,61713.28

2009 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidateVotes%
Mike Gaffney11,83660.06
Steve Martin7,87139.94
Polling places in Mersey at the 2009 Legislative Council election. Devonport North in blue, Devonport South in green, East in yellow, West in red. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Mersey at the 2009 Legislative Council election. Devonport North in blue, Devonport South in green, East in yellow, West in red. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Polling places in Mersey have been split into four parts. Most of the seat’s population lies in the Devonport area, and those polling places in the town of Devonport have been split into north and south. This area covers most of the seat’s population. The five remaining booths (including one in the Devonport council area) have been split into East and West.

Successful candidate Mike Gaffney topped the poll in all four areas, with a vote ranging from 40.9% in Devonport North to 53.4% in the east. Steve Martin came second in all four areas, ranging from 22.3% in the west to 28.5% in Devonport South.

Voter groupGaffneyMartinLaycockJamiesonTotal votes% of votes
Devonport North40.8727.9317.6713.537,18636.46
Devonport South42.7628.5415.9612.735,22426.51
East53.3527.518.1510.992,14810.90
West45.5722.2816.9215.231,6028.13
Other votes39.8428.2217.8514.103,54718.00
Primary votes for independent candidate Mike Gaffney in Mersey at the 2009 Legislative Council election.
Primary votes for independent candidate Mike Gaffney in Mersey at the 2009 Legislative Council election.
Primary votes for independent candidate Steve Martin in Mersey at the 2009 Legislative Council election.
Primary votes for independent candidate Steve Martin in Mersey at the 2009 Legislative Council election.
Primary votes for independent candidate Lynn Laycock in Mersey at the 2009 Legislative Council election.
Primary votes for independent candidate Lynn Laycock in Mersey at the 2009 Legislative Council election.
Primary votes for independent candidate Carolynn Jamieson in Mersey at the 2009 Legislative Council election.
Primary votes for independent candidate Carolynn Jamieson in Mersey at the 2009 Legislative Council election.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Your North/South split for Devonport doesn’t work, Ben as you’ve included East Devonport in the North and Ambleside in the South. East Devonport and the rest of South Devonport are the poorest parts of the electorate while Ambleside and North Devonport are the wealthiest parts of the electorate.

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