Mersey – Tasmania LC 2021

Incumbent MLC
Mike Gaffney, since 2009.

Geography
Northern Tasmania. Mersey covers the entirety of the Devonport and Latrobe council areas.

Redistribution
Mersey shifted to the east, gaining the remainder of the Latrobe council area, including Port Sorell, from Western Tiers, and losing Forth and Kindred to Montgomery on the western edge of the electorate.

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. Gaffney was re-elected with ease in 2015.

Candidates
Independent MLC Mike Gaffney has been re-elected unopposed.

2015 result

CandidatePartyVotes%
Mike GaffneyIndependent14,69075.3
Vivienne GaleIndependent4,81824.7
Informal7373.6


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 have been split into East and West.

Mike Gaffney polled over 70% in all four areas, with his vote ranging from 71.5% in the west to 76.6% in the east, which is convenient for him since the west has mostly been removed from the electorate since 2015.

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

Voter groupGaffney %Gale %Total votes% of votes
Devonport North74.525.56,65834.1
Devonport South76.423.65,16326.5
East76.623.42,13410.9
West71.528.51,7198.8
Other votes77.622.41,6458.4
Pre-poll75.124.92,18911.2

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

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t like unopposed elections.

    I wish every single member district had a “elect nobody, recall election” box on the ballot to vote for. I don’t expect such a box would regularly win, but then at least voters can express their displeasure with the victorious candidate.

    I mean what happens if the bloke has a scandal between now and election day? He nevertheless is affirmed as the winner of the election.

  2. Daniel, it is absolutely over! He was elected unopposed.

    Bennee, I also don’t like unopposed elections either, it’s one of the downsides of single-member electorates when the elections have a lower profile (also see when single-member wards are used for local councils), but your last point is not really relevant. What if any politician has a scandal after election day? It’s a problem with all representative democracy, it’s just that the election day has been moved forward in the case of this seat.

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