Derwent – Tasmania LC 2021

Incumbent MLC
Craig Farrell (Labor), since 2011.

Geography
Southern Tasmania. Derwent covers the Derwent Valley, including New Norfolk, along with the northern Hobart suburbs of Claremont, Bridgewater and Gagebrook.

Redistribution
Derwent shifted in the 2018 redistribution to become less urban and more rural. The suburbs of Brighton, Old Beach and Tea Tree in the northern suburbs of Hobart were transferred to Prosser and Rumney (Derwent had previously covered the entirety of the Brighton council area). At the other end, Derwent gained the remainder of the Central Highlands council area from Western Tiers.

History
Derwent has existed continuously since the first Legislative Council election in 1856. The seat has been won by Labor at all but two elections since 1961, holding the seat for 42 out of 54 years.

After one term held by Labor in the 1960s, and then two terms held by independent Joseph Dixon from 1967 to 1979, Labor’s Charles Batt won the seat in 1979. Labor has held the seat ever since.

Batt held the seat for three terms from 1979 to 1995, when he retired and was succeeded by Labor’s Michael Aird at the by-election. Aird had held a seat in the House of Assembly representing Franklin for all but one term from 1979 to 1995.

Aird retained Derwent at the regular elections in 1997, 2003 and 2009. Aird served in a variety of ministerial roles in both houses, including as Treasurer from 2006 to 2010.

Aird resigned in 2011, and the 2011 Derwent by-election was won by Labor’s Craig Farrell. Farrell was re-elected in 2015.

Candidates

  • Ivan Davis (Animal Justice)
  • Craig Farrell (Labor)
  • Ben Shaw (Liberal)

Assessment
Derwent is as close as you get to a heartland Labor seat in the Legislative Council, but if the House of Assembly election on the same day is a landslide victory for the Liberal government, it could see them sweep away Labor in Derwent.

2015 result

CandidatePartyVotes%
Craig Farrell Labor 12,49264.3
Alan BakerIndependent6,92335.7
Informal1,2836.2


Booth breakdown
Polling places in Derwent have been split into three parts. A majority of voters live in two local government areas in the Hobart area, and polling places in this area have been split into Brighton, to the east of the Derwent River, and Glenorchy to the west. The remainder of the booths, in the Central Highlands and Derwent Valley council areas, have been grouped as “West”.

Labor’s Craig Farrell won over 60% of the vote in all three areas, ranging from 61.6% in Glenorchy to 67.3% in the west.

These figures have not been adjusted to account for the redistribution.

Voter groupALP %Baker %Total votes% of votes
Brighton63.736.36,28032.3
West67.332.75,88530.3
Glenorchy61.638.44,41722.8
Other votes63.236.81,5558.0
Pre-poll65.035.01,2786.6

Election results in Derwent at the 2015 Legislative Council election
Toggle between primary votes for the two candidates.

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