Welcome to the Tally Room guide to the next Tasmanian state election. This guide includes comprehensive coverage of each electorate’s history, geography, political situation and results of the 2021 election, as well as maps and tables showing those results.
The next election is due to be held on or before 25 June 2025, but the current state of the House of Assembly raises the possibility of the election being held substantially sooner.
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Table of contents:
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 and 2 Labor in 2021.
- Braddon – North-western Tasmania, including Devonport and Burnie, as well as the West Coast of Tasmania. Elected 3 Liberals and 2 Labor in 2021.
- Clark – Hobart. Elected 2 Liberals, 1 Labor, 1 Green and 1 independent in 2021.
- Franklin – Southern Tasmania, including Clarence, and Huon Valley. Elected 2 Liberals, 2 Labor and 1 Green in 2021.
- Lyons – Central Tasmania. Elected 3 Liberals and 2 Labor in 2021.
Tasmania uses a system of preferential proportional representation known as Hare-Clark to elect the lower house, also called the House of Assembly.
Each electorate will elect seven MPs. The quota is 12.5% of the vote in each electorate. This is a change compared to the previous election. Each electorate was represented five members each from 1998 until 2021, but the parliament will be expanded from the next election.
In addition to using proportional representation, Tasmania uses the system of Robson Rotation. Under this system, party’s nominate a slate of candidates, 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 exceptions took place in 1961 and 1982. In both cases, the retiring MP was from outside the main parties – independent MP Reg Turnbull in 1961 was replaced by a Labor candidate, and Democrats MP Norm Sanders in 1982 was replaced by independent Greens candidate Bob Brown.
Tasmania’s Legislative Council is not usually 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. Almost half of MLCs are independents, although the major parties now hold a majority of seats between them. Legislative Council elections are held annually in the first week of May.
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