Huon – Tasmania LC 2020

Incumbent MLC
Robert Armstrong, since 2014.

Geography
Southern Tasmania. Huon covers the entirety of the Huon Valley local government area, as well as most of the Kingborough local government area, including Bruny Island.

Redistribution
Huon contracted slightly, losing part of Blackmans Bay to Nelson.

History
The electorate of Huon has existed continuously since the first election in 1856.

The seat has always been held by independent MPs, apart from one term in Labor hands in the 1940s. Despite officially being an independent seat since 1948, three of the last four MLCs to hold Huon went on to run as a Liberal Party candidate for another public office.

In 1966, the seat was won by Michael Hodgman. He held Huon for eight years, resigning in 1974 to run for the federal seat of Denison. Hodgman lost that first attempt, but was elected in 1975. He held Denison until 1987, serving as a minister from 1980 to 1983.

Michael Hodgman returned to state politics in 1992, serving as a member of the House of Assembly for Denison from 1992 to 1998, and again from 2001 to 2010.

Michael Hodgman was replaced in Huon in 1974 by his brother, Peter Hodgman. The younger Hodgman held Huon until he resigned in 1986 to run for the lower house seat of Franklin as a Liberal. He served in the House of Assembly, including as a minister, until he resigned in 2001 in an unsuccessful attempt to win the federal seat of Franklin.

Michael and Peter Hodgman’s father Bill had served as a member of both houses of the Tasmanian Parliament from the 1950s to the 1980s. Michael’s son Will now serves as Liberal leader and Member for Franklin.

Athol Meyer won Huon in 1986, and held the seat until 1996.

Huon has been held since 1996 by Paul Harriss, who had previously run unsuccessfully for the state seat of Franklin as a Liberal at the 1996 election.

Harriss stepped down from Huon in 2014 to run for the lower house seat of Franklin at the March election. Harriss was elected, and served as a minister in the new Liberal government until he resigned from parliament in 2016.

Huon was won in 2014 by Robert Armstrong, who defeated Liberal candidate Peter Hodgman, the former Huon MLC. Armstrong has generally voted as one of the more right-wing members of the upper house.

Candidates

  • Debbie Armstrong
  • Robert Armstrong
  • Garrick Cameron (Shooters, Fishers, Farmers)
  • Pat Caruana (Greens)
  • Dean Harriss
  • Bastian Seidel (Labor)

Assessment
Armstrong is a first-term incumbent so is likely the favourite, but this seat does have hotspots of strong Greens support, and is contained in a seat which has tended to trend towards Labor federally. Either Labor or Greens could challenge here if there is a swing against the conservatives.

2014 result

CandidatePartyVotes%
Peter HodgmanLiberal5,38726.1
Robert ArmstrongIndependent4,20520.4
Liz SmithIndependent3,97419.3
Jimmy BellIndependent3,17715.4
Rodney DillonIndependent1,6908.2
Pavel RuzickaIndependent1,3126.4
Helen LaneIndependent8714.2
Informal9124.2

2014 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%
Robert ArmstrongIndependent10,70356.9
Peter HodgmanLiberal8,11343.1

Booth breakdown

Booths in Huon have been divided into four areas. The electorate covers two local government areas. The Huon Valley was split into east and west, with Kingborough split into north and south.

Armstrong polled most strongly in the west of Huon Valley, doing less well as you move east. The Liberal vote was strongest in northern Kingborough.

Voter groupArmstrong %Liberal %Total votes% of votes
Kingborough North17.532.38,08839.2
Huon Valley East21.517.24,94824.0
Huon Valley West29.421.12,63112.8
Other votes24.728.42,57612.5
Kingborough South12.322.71,5397.5
Pre-poll14.934.48344.0

Election results in Huon at the 2014 Legislative Council election
Toggle between primary votes for independent candidate Robert Armstrong and Liberal candidate Peter Hodgman.

1 COMMENT

  1. I think Armstrong will win this one. Leg Co independents rarely get defeated, and only if they’ve been weird or inattentive to the electorate and there’s a particularly strong campaign against them. I think Labor tried to do the latter but it was derailed by the pandemic, and Armstrong is therefore in the box seat.

    Unfortunately for Pat, I don’t think the Greens are a chance here – there are areas where they get a lot of support, but also parts of this seat are old forestry country where they won’t be supported in a million years.

    Fun fact – Debbie Armstrong is the incumbent’s great-niece and Dean Harriss is his predecessor’s son, continuing the Tasmanian tradition of political heredity.

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