Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 Tasmanian State Election Guide And Candidate List

POST-ELECTION NOTE: The election has been run and won by the Liberal Party. Check the sidebar for links to post-count threads for specific electorates (updated nightly.)


The time has come to put up some general Tasmanian State Election content on this site. This page will serve as the "hub" page for my state election coverage and will contain general big-picture stuff, lists of candidates and links to all the specialised articles.  It will be updated very frequently.  Most likely each poll will have its own article and there will be separate articles for detailed projections.  Links to articles will appear in the space below.

Before I start, this site is seeking money and offers of sponsorship.   The main reason for this is that work is in unusually short supply in my primary field right now, and sufficient extra funds (say, a few thousand) will ensure that I can cover this election campaign properly, rather than spending too much of it trying to find a usable free internet connection while posted on remote fieldwork to Bronte or worse.  The obligatory button has been added on the sidebar, and I've resisted the temptation to put "Give Money Or I Join The Liberal Party" - a threat which should terrify anyone, especially the Liberal Party. 

Also, this site will receive tens of thousands of visits between now and the election alone. This page itself will receive thousands of views (it's already over 7500 unique pageviews), many of them from people who will be influential in Tasmanian political circles before and after the election. If you're interested in providing significant financial support to make my coverage as good as it can possibly be (including a logo, ad or similar link), please contact me to discuss, in confidence.  As I am keen to avoid any temptation to play up the prospects of any side, this offer excludes parties, candidates, party operatives and bodies with strong vested interests in the outcome. 

Article links

Articles relevant to the election and written in the leadup will be added here as they are published.  They are in chronological order so the early polling ones will be less relevant than the later ones.

Libs' ReachTEL: Not Completely Over The Line
The Unusual World Of PUP's Mark Grewar
PUP's "Internal Polling" Claims Are Ludicrous 
EMRS: Divorce Tactic Falling Flat As Liberals Dominate 
ReachTEL: The PUP Surge Has Landed
Polling And The Pulp Mill
Not-A-Poll: How Many Seats Will The Liberals Win In The State Election?
ReachTEL:The Campaign Has Changed Nothing
Tas Labor Push-Polling? Not As Such, But ...
Newspoll To Deliver Final Nail
Do The Greens Display "Real Liberal Values"?
Newspoll: It's All Over

The Date

The election date has been named by the Premier as March 15. The Governor prorogued (shut down) Parliament from Feb 12, so that the Government is in caretaker mode and cannot make decisions without agreement of the Opposition. Writs were issued on Feb 19, with nominations closing Feb 27 and being released on Feb 28.

The election could in theory have been held up til Saturday 7 June (see When Is The Next State Election Due?)  However, Premier Lara Giddings had repeatedly stated that the election would be in March.  March 15 is, unfortunately for psephologists and election broadcasters, the same day as the South Australian state election.

The Backdrop

For the last four years Tasmania has had a Labor/Green coalition government as a result of the 2010 state election, which produced a parliament with 10 Labor, 10 Liberal and 5 Green MHAs.  All up Labor has been in power for fifteen and a half years, and the regime is now onto its fourth Premier.  The time in office alone would be a heavy weight for a recontesting government, but this one is also burdened by a struggling state economy and an unpopular deal with the Greens.  Any chance of it retaining office in a new minority government arrangement is likely to rest on the relative difficulty of winning a majority of seats in the Hare-Clark system and on any backlash against the Abbott federal government.

Previous Tasmanian minority governments supported by the Greens (the Field Labor government 1989-92 and the Rundle Liberal government 1996-98) have ended acrimoniously before term.  This one will have at least gone the distance (more or less) but it is an increasingly strained relationship in which both parties seem to be suffering.  For my detailed view on the impact of the coalition arrangement on the dynamics between the three parties and their voting behaviour see The Compliant Coalitionists (link is over a year old but nothing has changed).

The two Greens members of Cabinet (Nick McKim and Cassy O'Connor) have been dismissed as of 16 Jan (effective morning 17 Jan) as part of an orchestrated breakup of the coalition so that Labor can campaign separately, and Premier Giddings has stated Labor will not have the Greens in Cabinet again.  If the attacks on the Greens' performance by Labor backbenchers in the leadup to this are sincere then it seems that the presence of Greens in Cabinet was tolerated and even praised through the government's term only to protect the government from collapse. 

The System

The Tasmanian lower house is elected by the multi-member Hare-Clark system, a form of proportional representation with similarities to the Australian Senate system.  Five candidates are elected in each of the five electorates.  Voters must number at least five squares and can number as many as they wish.  There is no above-the-line voting and how-to-vote cards cannot be handed out near booths on polling day.

The system favours candidates with high profiles and hence high name recognition, because these are most effective in obtaining preferences both from their ticket-mates and from other candidates.  In cases where all a party's candidates have been elected or excluded, a high proportion of that party's vote will exhaust from the system because some voters just vote 1-5 for their chosen party and stop.

The system allows candidates to compete with and in cases displace others from their own party as well as from other parties.  Projecting results from opinion poll data and even from primary vote totals is a complex and difficult task, and this is the place where such projections will be found.

Tasmania formerly had seven-member electorates, but this was changed to five from the 1998 poll onwards as part of a process to attempt to reduce costs but also with an eye to increasing the chance of majority government.  See Tasmanian Lower House: 25 or 35 seats? if interested in detailed discussion of the impact of this change.

To win majority government, a party currently needs to win 13 seats.   Since the number of seats became odd in 1959, the lowest vote share to have won a majority was 44.79% (ALP in 1998) and the highest vote share to not have done so was 47.68% (ALP in 1969). 

The Issues

The standard Tasmanian mantras of jobs, the economy and majority government have dominated the campaign.  Relations with the federal government (especially concerning the state's share of GST) have also had a run, as well as Liberal Party development proposals such as a cable car on Mt Wellington, and Liberal Party campaigns to reduce bureaucratic obstacles described as "red and green" tape.  Labor's relationship with the Greens is likely to be a focus of negative campaigning.  The former Gunns pulp mill proposal will again be the subject of tensions between the Greens and the major parties.

Federal government plans to wind back the National Broadband Network (NBN) are now likely to be a significant issue following Will Hodgman's gaffe on the issue (see gaffes below.)

The Strategy

The Liberal Party's strategy at this election will be simple: to declare that the existing government has failed the state's economy and existed at the beck and call of the Greens and to insist that only the Liberals can deliver majority government.  For Labor, things are more difficult since the party needs to maintain a pro-development and pro-employment position acceptable to its traditional base, while at the same time being unable to escape its own willing entry into a minority government in this term of parliament.

In the leadup to the calling of the election, Labor has experienced internal divisions over how to deal with the Greens, with some members actively opposing working with them again and others either happy to do so should the need arise or else equivocal.  Labor will experience trouble defining and selling a clear message on this issue and convincing voters that it will keep commitments to not work with the Greens given the party's perceived backflip on this issue following the 2010 election.

Various strategic ploys and policy positions will continue to be flagged by some commentators as recipes for political death, especially for the Government.  It's most likely that the pattern of political opinion in Tasmania is so set in by now that none of the moves hailed as masterstrokes or disasters by pundits will have that much impact at all.  Labor claims internal polling says that close to half of traditional Labor supporters would flee if the Greens were not dumped, but even without examining whether the wording of the poll was likely to produce such a response, virtually all polls that canvass the impact of hypothetical events overestimate them.  People are just not good at predicting whether an event will actually affect their vote.  

The Greens will run on the record of the minority government they were part of and hope that conservation-movement diehards have forgiven them over forestry compromises and that not too much of their vote is poached by PUP and independents.  Nonetheless their vote is extremely likely to be down at least a few points on their record 21.6% in 2010. A suspicion I have is that running too hard on their claimed achievements could actually hurt their vote, since success on major issues deprives the party of the oxygen of protest.

The Greens attempted a motion of no-confidence against what they claimed to be a new "purple coalition" over Labor's pulp mill legislation.  The Liberals and Labor used their numbers to prevent it being brought on for direct debate, so that the Liberals could assist the motion to pass and be seen as supporting development.  This repeats events of late 1991 when the Liberal Party fleetingly provided the Field Government with support to permit it to pass resource security for the forest industry under similar circumstances.

The Palmer United Party has so far adopted a strategy of attacking Labor and the Greens on forest "lockups" but otherwise sending out what seem to be deliberately mixed messages on environmental issues.  The party is likely to run a similar populist/sensationalist style of politics as seen in the federal election, and attempt to take blue-collar votes from Labor and anti-political voters from the Greens.

The Prospects

Opinion polling conducted in the period 2011-13 and including twelve quarterly EMRS polls and five ReachTELs in all cases pointed to a Liberal majority government if an election was held at the time of the poll.  This applies even after allowance is made for the known tendency of EMRS polling to overstate the Green vote at the expense of Labor, and the tendency at the federal election for Tasmanian ReachTEL polling to overstate the Liberal vote at the expense of Labor.  The polls have shown some natural variation in the scale of the Liberal lead and the division of the punishment between Labor and the Greens, but the general picture has been utterly relentless.

Since the election date was announced, two Mercury ReachTEL polls, an EMRS poll and two Liberal-commissioned ReachTELs have all shown the party gaining a majority if an election was held at that time; other internal polls are believed to have shown the same result.  Both Mercury ReachTELs, unusually compared to prior polling, implied the Greens, while facing at least a modest swing against them, had some potential to escape seat losses. There is an emerging risk that the result could be not just a routinely bad defeat (say, seven seats for Labor) but a thumping to down to, say, five or six. Early Newspoll data supports this showing the Liberals on 53%.

My view is that a Liberal majority government is an overwhelmingly likely outcome.  The most likely pathway to a Liberal victory is winning at least three seats in each of Bass, Braddon and Lyons, although there is also a realistic chance of the party winning three seats in Franklin.  If the party should somehow fall one seat short, it may still be able to govern in minority with the assistance of the Palmer United Party (if any of its candidates are elected), independents (if any) or an ALP defector.

The most prominent dark horse possibility is a strong result by the cashed-up if politically chaotic Palmer United Party.  In the federal election it polled at a level close to that required to win state seats in some electorates.  The first Mercury ReachTEL was the first state poll to show it in a position to win one or two seats; prior polls that have named the party have not shown this; the second showed the party only really competitive in Braddon. However, in my view PUP is more of a threat to Labor and Green seats, unless it performs outstandingly strongly. 

Tasmania has been saturated in polling at this election (mostly internal) with at least fifteen different ReachTEL samples being taken since the start of 2014 and some voters being surveyed four or even five times.  At least one party is conducting ongoing tracking polling.  Because of the size of the polls, chances are if you have a phone and you're home often enough to answer it, you'd probably have been polled at least once.

For my most recent detailed projection of possible state results, see the aggregate section in ReachTEL: The Campaign Has Changed Nothing.

The Betting

Betting in Tasmanian elections has a poor predictive track record.  In 2006 Labor's odds of retaining majority government were as long as $9; not only did they do this, but they did so easily and nearly gained a seat.

In the final days of the 2014 campaign bookies have the Liberals as short as $1.01 as party to provide the next Premier while odds on Labor are now as high as $12 (and have never to my knowledge been under $4). Sportsbet has displayed markets on who will top the poll in each electorate, when I last checked at:

Denison: Groom 1.95 Bacon 2.50 O'Connor 3.50 Amos (!) 10 Archer 15 (Bacon in from $4, O'Connor from $6)
Franklin: Hodgman 1.001 McKim 19 Giddings 21 D O'Byrne 26 Petrusma 34 (Hodgman never longer than $1.05 and has mostly been at $1.03)
Lyons: White 1.85 Barnett 3.25 Hidding 5  Shelton 7 Morris 8 Llewellyn 15 (White in from $6)
Bass: Ferguson 1.18 Gutwein 5 M O'Byrne 13 Booth 19 Wightman 21 (Ferguson shortening)
Braddon: As documented by Dean Winter here bookies initially setting this market at Rockliff 1.50 Brooks 3.75 Morgan 10 Green 13 Best 15 O'Halloran 21 were clobbered by a massive run on Brooks who is now almost unbackable.  Current odds Brooks 1.10 (was 1.05) Rockliff 4 Morgan 19 Green 21 Best 26 O'Halloran 51

The Parties

Beyond the obvious Labor, Liberal and Greens, the following parties are registered:

Tasmanian Nationals: Registered and with a state campaign director appointed (ex-Labor MLC and recent independent Pembroke candidate Allison Ritchie). Registered as National Party of Australia - Tasmania.  The federal National Party, after initially accepting this group as a Tasmanian branch of the party, no longer supports their use of the name or their registration as a party in Tasmania but appears not to have any legal redress to reverse the registration.  Previous attempts to establish the National Party as a competitive force in Tasmania have failed. 

Socialist Alliance: Registered and fielding two candidates.  Historically candidates for this party poll not more than a few hundred votes each.

Palmer United Party: Registration was approved as of Jan 31, with a challenge by ex-member and now independent Marti Zucco dismissed.  Marti Zucco initially appealled the registration in the Supreme Court but when it came to the crunch his appeal was both withdrawn and dismissed.

Australian Christians: Just managed to get their registration under the door in time after no objections were lodged. 

Several independent candidates are contesting.  Three of these have their own ballot paper column, obtained by getting 100 signatures from voters in the electorate.

The Debates

Three debates are being held between Lara Giddings and Will Hodgman - two before paying audiences and one on Pay-TV.   The ABC attempted to organise a three-way debate with Nick McKim but neither major party was interested.  The ABC televised one debate on Thursday 27 Feb. The third debate was a People's Forum; a Sky panel of 100 "undecided voters" awarded the debate to Giddings by a large margin.

The Gaffes!

Every campaign has them!  Most are harmless but some can be damaging.  Here's some so far:

* Will Hodgman was caught on camera telling fellow Liberal Jacquie Petrusma "It could cost us the election.  Anyway, that's democracy" in relation to the Coalition's changes to the NBN rollout.  Also on that matter Hodgman was done no favours by Malcolm Turnbull accusing him of drinking the "fibre-to-the-premises Kool Aid".

* Palmer United state leader Kevin Morgan posted on Linkedin to object to not being included in what he thought was an upcoming leaders' debate.  The debate had actually been held last year.

* Morgan also made a remark that Premier Giddings "pays more attention to her hair than the needs of the Tasmanian people"; some opponents considered this to be sexist.

* Part of the Liberal backdrop signage drooped to one side during a Will Hodgman campaign speech.

* Palmer United advertising material has misspelled Bass Strait as "Bass Straight" not once but twice!

* Spelling has been a persistent sore point for PUP.   A Clive Palmer letter, in a further sign of the shambolic proofreading that has marred the PUP campaign all along, misspelled party leader Kevin Morgan's first name as "Keven".  (I feel the pain.  I used to get this spelling at least five times a year on Christmas cards in primary school.)  An ad in the Mercury misspelled Barbara Etter's surname "Etta".

* PUP robocalls attacking Will Hodgman attracted flak for hitting the 000 emergency switchboard.

And some possible nominees for the Australian's Cut and Paste section:

* After Will Hodgman fronted up for a charity PCYC boxing match against a much larger radio DJ (which he lost) Greens leader Nick McKim condemned Hodgman: "Effectively promoting violence in the way that he did I think risks sending a very unfortunate message around violence in our community".  Hodgman's judgement was also criticised by Premier Giddings, albeit less specifically.  But as spotted by Rick Pilkington on Twitter, the Greens were only too happy to congratulate Tasmanian boxer Daniel Geale less than one year ago.

* A Liberal attack website against Labor's supposed lack of a plan is a direct ripoff of  a US Democrats website attacking Mitt Romney, even down to direct copying of source code.  It is not known whether the copy was authorised.

The Electoral Act

In the final week of the campaign PUP struck apparent Electoral Act trouble, with an advertisement stated to be authorised by Senator-elect Jacqui Lambie depicting leader photos presumably without their consent, and then a letterboxed letter signed by Clive Palmer naming Will Hodgman and Lara Giddings presumably likewise.  However, it remains to be seen whether it is PUP or only the publisher who might be in trouble for the advertisement under S. 196 of the Act (which has a different wording to other such sections). In my view speculation that Lambie could lose her Senate seat over the issue is extremely overblown.

The Liberal attack on PUP backfired slightly when it was pointed out that the Liberals had named Kevin Morgan in an attack ad published on 2 March.

Anti-abortion pamphlets arguing that voters should put Michelle O'Byrne, Brian Wightman and Kim Booth last and authorised by Margaret Tighe (who else?) were distributed in Launceston.  These appear to also breach Section 196.

Oh and almost everyone on Tasmanian Twitter breached S. 191 at least 500 times, 'coz it is silly when applied to said format.

The Word

This site's award for the best word of the campaign is an easy win for Liberal MLC and freelance campaign headkicker Vanessa Goodwin, who in the intro to the final version of the Liberals' 50-chapter thesis on Palmer United wrote the following sentence:

"The acolytes who stand as PUP candidates are a tatterdemalion bunch of neophyte political fringe dwellers happy to hang their shingle under any banner."

"Tatterdemalion" can be used as a noun, referring to a person who wears ragged or tattered clothing, or an adjective, meaning ragged or tattered.  It is also (ta Pete Lawler for the tip) a Marvel Comics character who according to Wikipedia wears gloves coated with a solvent that destroys money, and is slippery and difficult to hold onto!

The Electorates And Candidates

Candidates listed below are expected candidates.   I have tried to keep these profiles reasonably neutral and in places amusing, but ... there are limits!

Notable non-starters include Labor's Michael Polley (Lyons) and Graeme Sturges (Denison) who are retiring.  Family First Senate candidate Peter Madden explored a possible run with PUP but is ineligible to be elected under residency rules.

Note to candidates: As the number of candidates is large, continually changing link and bio details could consume a lot of my time.  It's up to you to get your act together and have your candidacy advertised on a good website that I can find easily well ahead of the election.  On emailed request I may make one free website link change per candidate at my discretion; fees will be charged beyond that.  Bio descriptions and other text will not be changed on request except to remove any material that is indisputably false.  


Most of Launceston and north-eastern Tasmania.   Mixed urban/small-town/rural. Seat has been polling very strongly for the Liberals; Green and Labor each have a seat at risk.

The order of party names across the ballot paper is Aus Christians, Labor, PUP, Liberal, Green, Ungrouped.

Michelle O'Byrne, incumbent, Minister for Health, former federal MHR for seat
Brian Wightman, first-term incumbent, Attorney-General
Andrew Connor, Meander Valley Councillor
Senka Mujkic, Migrant Resource Centre case manager
Adam Gore, Army reservist and University tutor

Michael Ferguson, incumbent, former federal MHR for seat
Peter Gutwein, incumbent, Shadow Treasurer
Sarah Courtney, vineyard owner
Barry Jarvis, mayor of Dorset municipality
Leonie McNair, Launceston Preparatory School principle

Kim Booth, incumbent, sawmiller
Amy Tyler, listed on linkedin as Executive Assistant to the above since 2010
Andrea Dawkins, owner or former owner (clarification welcome) of Launceston cafe/restaurant Fresh on Charles
Anna Povey, environmental consultant
Ann Layton-Bennett, writer and anti-pulp mill campaigner

Chris Dobson, former RAAF airframe fitter, aircraft technician trainer, PUP candidate for seat at federal election
Mark Hines, former Army electrical engineer
Brian Gunst, " teacher and former producer and director in professional theatre and television"
Tim Parish, George Town Councillor whose run for Bass as an indie in 2010 included some unorthodox tactics to no avail

Australian Christians
Ray Kroeze, self-employed tourism and food businessman, contested same seat at federal election polling 1.5% (including the donkey vote).

Brett Lucas, apparently not a big fan of the Greens

Andrew Roberts, self-styled "True Green" who ran as an ungrouped indepedent in the Senate election.  Delivery of 38,000 Roberts fliers was blocked by Australia Post because they contained apparently illegal gay-hate material.


North-western Tasmania including Burnie, Ulverstone and Devonport, and west coast.  Regional/rural/remote electorate with persistently high unemployment.  Seat has been polling strongly for Liberals with Greens well short of quota.  PUP polled nearly 10% in this seat at the federal election and are capable of winning a seat, most likely from Labor or the Greens, if they maintain or improve upon this performance.

The order of party names across the ballot paper is Tasmanian Nationals, Labor, Liberal, Aus Christians, Greens, PUP, Ungrouped.

Bryan Green, incumbent, Deputy Premier
Brenton Best, (photo way outdated) incumbent, rebel backbencher dissatisfied with deal with Greens
Dr Shane Broad,  Central Coast councillor, agricultural scientist, ran for party in 2010 polling over 3000 votes
Justine Keay, Devonport councillor
Darryl Bessell, farmer, formerly in mining and manufacturing

Jeremy Rockliff, incumbent, Deputy Opposition leader
Adam Brooks, first-term incumbent, businessman
Kyron Howell, blues musician and language translator, described by party as "Japan expert"
Roger Jaensch, Cradle Coast Authority chairman
Joan Rylah, businesswoman

Paul O'Halloran, first-term incumbent, teacher
Chris Cornell, Community Corrections worker
Melissa Houghton, tourism operator, contested seat at federal election
Philip Nicholas, "musician with a science background and has lived on the North-West coast for 30 years."
Sally O'Wheel, primary school teacher teaching Japanese at Devonport Primary School

Kevin Morgan, "business adviser", former government adviser, PUP candidate for Braddon at federal election, independent candidate for LegCo seat of Montgomery 2013, state party leader and "candidate for Premier"  
Scott Alexander, of Burnie, " former engineering and maintenance manager, and part-time inventor"
Kevin Deakin, retired detective, Waratah-Wynyard councillor, PUP Senate candidate in 2013
Steve Green, Burnie councillor
Julian Brown, boilermaker with experience in engineering and construction

Tasmanian Nationals
Ken Dorsey, owner of childcare centre and training business, unsuccessfully contested Waratah-Wynyard council in 2011.
Emmanuel Benjamin, former state cricketer, church involvements, varied work background
Liz van der Linde-Keep, nurse and co-principal of horse-breeding business

Australian Christians
Kevin Swartz, former builder, now works in non-profit social media marketing and customer relations. Lead Senate candidate in Tasmania in 2013.

Mick Anderson, described by The Advocate as "Cradle Mountain Water- baiting plumber" during the Burnie City Council elections in which he finished 7th out of 10

Tony W. Brown, plumbing inspector, of West Ulverstone


Western shore Hobart.  Urban electorate with Glenorchy city area ALP-leaning and Hobart city area politically mixed. Traditionally strongly Green but Green vote increasingly lost to independent Andrew Wilkie at recent state and federal elections.  Unlikely to shift from current 2-2-1 balance although given the Wilkie factor and the likely availability of loose preferences, this is the seat where a successful independent (or Etter (PUP)) campaign could threaten Labor's second seat.

The order of party names across the ballot paper is Labor, Greens, PUP, Liberals, Tasmanian Nationals, Socialist Alliance, Foley, Zucco, Swanton, Ungrouped.

Scott Bacon, first-term incumbent, son of former Premier Jim Bacon
Julian Amos, former MHA 1976-86 and 1992-96, business consultant with hydro/forestry/fisheries board experience
Sharon Carnes, Glenorchy councillor, electorate officer, unionist, former prison officer
Alphonse Mulumba, African community and youth chair and public relations officer. Will Briggs (here) suggests Mululmba is socially conservative by ALP standards
Madeleine Ogilvie, lawyer, candidate in 2010 (polled second-lowest primary total in electorate), intriguingly self-marketing this time around as "New Labor"

Matthew Groom, first-term incumbent, son of former Premier Ray Groom, renewable energy developer
Elise Archer, first-term incumbent, lawyer
Rene Kling, training business owner-operator
Robert Mallett, Small Business Council executive officer
Deborah de Williams, ultramarathon runner, breast cancer campaigner/fundraiser

Cassy O'Connor, incumbent, former TV journalist, minister until January 2014
Bill Harvey, Hobart City councillor, polar bear impersonator
Philip Cocker, Hobart City councillor
Penelope Ann, heritage accommodation owner, serial Greens candidate
Alan Whykes, "lives in Moonah, heads a catering and cooking school"

Barbara Etter, former CEO of the Tasmanian Integrity Commission, deputy leader
Charles Forrest aka Peter Forrest, retired former owner of Barilla Bay Seafoods
Mark Grube, consultant industrial engineer. Here's his launch speech.
Rob Newitt,  former Derwent Entertainment Centre chef, football administrator
Justin Stringer, "conference and events supervisor in a major hotel"

Tasmanian Nationals
Vlad Gala, "former Southern real estate agent" (great name!)
Domenic Alloorca, electrician and TAFE teacher
Julian Edwards, hospital and aged care nurse


Independents marked * have their own group on the ballot paper in this electorate:

*Marti Zucco, veteran Hobart City councillor and former restaurateur, publicity hound, former Liberal preselection-seeker and PUP federal candidate who quit both parties

*Leo Foley, Hobart City councillor and land taxation reform advocate, elected at the fourth attempt in 2011.

*Michael Swanton,  environmental and industrial advocate and frequent Tasmanian Times poster, secretary of Association of Australian Workers.

Hans Willink, small-l liberal and Wilkie supporter, ex-Liberal whose campaign for the Legislative Council seat of Nelson triggered a bombastic response from his former party.
(NB: Willink has now been asked by Wilkie to cease imitating his colour scheme and dropping his name on the campaign trail (see pages 2-3 of link), but apparently has no intention of complying.)
Lucas Noyes, former Secular Party federal candidate, "Environmentalist. Rationalist. Humanist."

Freddy Hill aka Fast Freddy , spoof candidate satirising pro-development Tasmanian politics.

Socialist Alliance
Shaine Stephen, handyman

(NB A comment expressing branding-based puzzlement that Etter was running with PUP rather than as an indie that was here has been removed as a poll result has caused me to reconsider it. However I've kept a copy for anyone who needs to laugh at it.)


Eastern shore Hobart, much of Kingborough, Huon Valley and D'Entrecasteaux Channel.  Mixed urban/outer urban/rural electorate.  At this stage an exciting electorate with the Liberals gunning for a third seat and close in polling, but needing to take down an opposing leader or leadership aspirant to do it.

The order of party names across the ballot paper is Socialist Alliance, Labor, Liberals, Greens, Tasmanian Nationals, PUP.

Lara Giddings, incumbent, Premier and Treasurer, first female Premier of Tasmania
David O'Byrne, first-term incumbent, prominent unionist, leadership contender
Heather Chong, Clarence city councillor, small businesswoman
Russell Mitchell, unionist, security industry worker
Julie Dick, community liaison officer for Senator Carol Brown, who is also her sister

Will Hodgman, incumbent, Leader of the Opposition
Jacquie Petrusma, first-term incumbent, former Family First Senate candidate
Paul Harriss, long-term incumbent MLC for Huon, past Liberal candidate for this seat. See previous coverage here.
Nic Street, Kingborough councillor, supermarket operator
Sue Bastone, former candidate for seat described at time as B+B operator and former aid worker

Nick McKim, incumbent, Leader of the Tasmanian Greens, minister until January 2014
Rosalie Woodruff, epidemiologist, Huon Valley councillor, 2013 Greens federal candidate for seat
Richard Atkinson , qualified engineer, software development and telecommunications worker in public and private sector
Simon Burnett, postgrad teaching student and regional representative. Wrote commentary for ielect on 2010 election.
Zoe Kean, student, Young Greens co-president
More info on minor Greens candidates here.

Debra Thurley, PUP federal candidate for Denison, former retail business operator now running small human resources businesses, and LegCo electorate officer
John Peers, veteran Clarence alderman first elected 1988, polled 9.6% and topped one booth at Pembroke LegCo by-election 2009
Michael Figg, former police officer
Luke Rutherford, law student
Con Spiliopoulos, small business owner

Tasmanian Nationals
Matt Holloway, human services worker, co-founder of "Tasmanians for Transparency".  Former Socialist Alliance candidate (strange but true!) who has recently been active as an anti-sex-industry writer (also on Tasmanian Times)
Penny Lane, business manager of The Cottage School
Myrtle Wakeling, carer, cleaner etc at aged care home

Socialist Alliance
Jenny Forward, social worker and activist, last in this seat in 2010 with 281 votes.


Largest electorate in the state.  Mostly rural and outer-suburban electorate including many timber towns.  Another seat where Liberals are likely on recent polling to gain a seat, but whether at the expense of Labor or the Greens is unclear.

The order of party names across the ballot paper is Liberal, Greens, Labor, Tasmanian Nationals, PUP, Ungrouped.

Rebecca White, first-term incumbent, former electorate officer, backbencher for most of this term but replaced Cassy O'Connor as Human Services Minister as of mid-Jan 2014.
David Llewellyn, former MHA and minister, defeated at 2010 election but sneakily asking you to "re-elect" him as if he was an incumbent
Darren Clark, small business owner/operator, PCYC chairman
Jessey Dillon, 22-year-old former detention centre safety manager
Bob Gordon, former head of Forestry Tasmania

Rene Hidding, incumbent, former leader
Mark Shelton, first-term incumbent, former Meander Valley mayor
Guy Barnett, former Senator, government/corporate relations consultant, anti-gay political godbotherer
Bertrand Cadart, flamboyant mayor of Glamorgan-Spring Bay council
Martyn Evans, Derwent Valley mayor (not to be confused with the former SA Labor MHR of same name)

Tim Morris, incumbent, Deputy Speaker
Pip Brinklow, registered nurse, Morris's partner, candidate for this seat at federal election
Hannah Rubenach,  Break O'Day councillor since 2009 and Deputy Mayor since 2011, won both posts at first attempt
Stephanie Taylor, massage therapist and Pilates instructor
Glenn Millar, qualified motorcycle mechanic and president of the Southern Beaches Landcare group

Quintin von Stieglitz, businessman, sports coach, PUP candidate for Lyons at the federal election
Mark Grewar, driver trainer and bus driver, has criticised driver test failure rates.  See separate article.
Wayne Shoobridge, Derwent Valley councillor, bookkeeper

Tasmanian Nationals
Craig Davey, Sheffield, agricultural and retail businessman and party leader (announcement here)
Anne Salt, adult literacy support worker, involved with Friends of Willow Court
Brett Hall, farmer, farming administrator
Leo Perotti, forester

Paul Belcher, disability sector and hotel worker.  This guy is serious - lots of signs; even had a horse race named after his campaign!

Murray Stewart, unemployed boilermaker/welder of Elizabeth Town. 

Other Guides and Resources

Note that candidate lists on other sites are not necessarily up to date.
The Tally Room Guide has a long history of the Hare-Clark system in Tasmania, and includes electorate guides with detailed mapping and a history of results in each electorate.
Antony Green's Election Preview at ABC Elections
Antony Green's "hinge seat" analysis
Poll Bludger discussion thread
Poll Bludger ReachTEL (March) thread
Poll Bludger electorate guides:Bass, Braddon,
Wikipedia has a candidate list page (have fixed a few incorrect names on this one)
Tasmania Online has links to candidate pages.
Tasmanian Electoral Commission
My summary at New Matilda (headline and some minor edits theirs.)
Bass Votes and Braddon Votes Platforms for candidate info and interaction
Politas Not to be confused with the Twitter tag #politas, this site includes blogging (including some great ad reviews written by Dean Winter), "cleaned-up" and candidate Twitter feeds and crowdsourced election prediction attempt ielect. 


  1. A lot of work has gone into this, a great resource. Love the humour. I agree the photo of Best is way outdated

  2. What chance would you suggest the Greens have in replacing Labor as the second biggest party in the next parliament? And applying that low hypothetical chance, what would be the easiest way for the Greens to get there based on the chance of a total Labor collapse and the Greens at least holding or increasing their seat count? (For example, would it be Greens 5-Labor 4 seats, Greens 6-5, 7-6? ). Great blog.

    1. I see there as being virtually no chance of the Greens increasing their seat count, but I don't rule out the 5-4 scenario entirely, because of the possibility that the ALP vote might get really badly gouged by PUP. This would probably require some major, hitherto unknown, scandal affecting Labor's vote.

      The classic black-swan event of this kind is the 1993 Canadian federal election in which the incumbent government started the campaign polling 35% (much higher than Labor now) but six weeks later its election vote was 16%. Because PUP is an emergent party with massive resources (emergent parties being a factor in that Canadian election), it's really hard to rule a line on the top end of where its vote might end up by polling day and hence on the extent of damage to the Labor vote that might still yet occur. So I'll not rule these extreme events out altogether; I'll give it a 2% chance.

  3. Good summary, if it can be called that given its length.

    Brett Lucas, Independent standing in Bass to add to the list.

    Not entirely sure why, but I have seen zero Labor/Green advertisement in Launceston, while the Liberals have had billboards since November and yard signs are everywhere as of the announcement. Is this consistent down south as well?

    1. Yes practically all the sign activity here is Liberal though the amount of it is still modest at this stage. I did see a big Scott Bacon sign in Glenorchy (though it looked a bit like Christopher Pyne, seems it was an attempt at a less "serious" pose). Not sure if that was there before the election though. Greens especially don't seem to be on a campaign footing yet (very disorganised web presence for incumbents was obvious to me when compiling this article.)

    2. Heard through the grapevine that Liberals are paying $50 to put a sign in your yard, $100 if it's a business. Don't know what others are paying/not paying but that would certainly explain the lopsided Liberal signage.

    3. I have also heard this rumour but have not verified it. Something else I have heard is that there is a bit of a mushrooming effect. A Liberal sign is placed in a traditional Labor area and then sometime later, noticing the lack of backlash against the person putting it up, other locals nearby start offering sites.

      I live in Denison and have been through much of Lyons and Braddon this election, only some parts of the eastern shore in Franklin, and haven't been on the ground in Bass. In parts of Braddon the amount of blue is amazing. Upper Burnie is more Palmer than anything else.

    4. Down in the Huon Valley it feels like 10:1 at least. Only come across a couple each for Green and Labor. And one of the Labor was paired with a Liberal in the same yard. This gives an appearance very, very different from previous elections.

  4. What are the chances of SA election coverage? I understand that the majority of your time will go into the Tasmanian election as it's your home state, but some minor input (perhaps even a single page) would be amazing.

    Further, considering Tasmania has seemingly already taken out their frustrations on the Labor government in the federal election, what are the chances of Labor actually having a relatively good campaign and giving the Liberal party a run for its money? Personally I see the Tasmanian/SA elections being a lot stronger for Labor than many think simply because the people of Tasmania and SA have already "released the pressure valve" so to speak in the federal election.

    1. Yes I do hope to write something about SA though I will probably not be in a position to write any more than a few sentences on the night! Probably much closer to the election and with the benefit of more polling I will put a page up.

      At this stage I don't see the federal election as having been much of a pressure release in Tasmania, and if it was then I would have expected this to show in state polling late last year. The swing was as big as it was in the northern Tas seats because of state issues and the state issues are still there. Maybe the ditching of Greens from Cabinet will have helped Labor reunite with its traditional base but I'm sceptical. It is just too easy to make the case that another Labor government means more Green power - and indeed probably greater instability.

      SA is different. The government is old but not quite as old as Tasmania's and the obstacles to its survival seem from a distance to be less extreme (and the polling closer). There is a history of state governments performing well when the opposing party is in power in Canberra and I definitely don't rule out Labor finding some way to hang on. Especially given the erratic relationship between 2PP and outcomes in SA, which the redistribution process seems quite unsuccessful at fixing.

    2. That is actually quite the can of worms you've opened there. In SA, redistribution of electorates are meant to be conducted after every election to reassure the public that a uniform swing resulting in a 2PP vote of 50+ the will result in 50%+ seats. Further, this is meant to be done in a "fair" fashion.

      They didn't redistribute after the last election. The very same election in which the Liberal Party won 50%+ of the 2PP vote and yet lost the majority of seats.

      Yes, there is a case to argue that Labor sandbaged seats very, very effectively. That said, the fact there was no redistribution was very odd especially considering the result.

      Now, from experience, do you believe that the expiration date of a government is more important in the win/loss of an election? Or state specific issues? When push comes to shove, SA and Tasmania are similar in terms of economy (ranked 5 and 6 respectfully) and there have been state specific blunders recently by both Labor governments and both governments are very old.

      After seeing the elections in NSW and QLD I can't help but think it's mostly due to political age, and I that is the case then Labor in SA and Tasmania are doomed.

      Lastly, I've been wondering whether the affect of "star" candidates is rather diminished in multiple member seats?

    3. I expect to discuss this at length when I get around to writing a post re SA but I believe the whole redistribution idea has a lot of theoretical problems with it, to the point that it shouldn't be expected to work very well. That's all even before we get into the issue of this phase's non-redistribution and the arguments about it.

      I believe government age is just another drag factor and not as significant as the big state issues. But the Tasmanian Labor govt faces special hurdles not just from the economy. Probably their biggest problem is having been in coalition with the Greens. About 20-25% of the Tasmanian voter base seem to be majoritarians at state level: they will swing between major parties so long as they can get a majority government. Labor in SA hasn't had that handicap.

      The size of the NSW and Qld drubbings was increased by federal factors but those governments would have lost anyway.

      The impact of "star" candidates is possibly muted in Hare-Clark in terms of the overall party primary vote as compared to single-seat systems - though Labor's very low vote in Franklin 2010 with two low-profile incumbents is one possible example otherwise. In any case, high profile matters on preferences. There have been many examples of this (the Bass 2002 and 2006 and Franklin 2006 cutups are some of them) - if a party is seemingly in a narrowly winning position but trying to get a low-profile candidate over the line against a well-known one then the better-known candidate tends to catch up.

    4. Thanks so much for offering your opinion on the above issues. I do very much respect your views, opinions and writings here. Whilst this is my first time actively participating in conversation here, I've been lurking and reading for some time now. Fantastic site.

      I wish I could donate to you and this site, unfortunately being on benefits whilst studying my double degree at university means I have essentially nothing left to give. That said, I'll see what I can do as I fully believe this site deserves every donation it gets and more.


    5. Thanks for the very kind comments! I fully understand what it is like to be on very limited support while studying (been there done that, a long time ago), and I would suggest from that experience that anyone in that position not donate any money they think they might later need and regret having donated. It's especially difficult in that position to avoid the risk of unforseen expenses that can be really hard to deal with when you have a limited ability to build up savings. Good luck with your degree(s).

  5. Just like Opine I have read quite a bit of your views, and I tend to find to them very insightful and well researched. Thank you very much for doing such a wonderful job of maintaining your blog Kev. You do us all a great service with the impartial and objective coverage.

    Regarding the election, over-all aside from the obvious swing toward the Liberal Party, this election is going to be hard to predict with accuracy the outcome. We have a lot of candidates standing this election from all over the show politically. Tasmanian's have been increasingly resentful toward all three of the major parties however. The PUP vote will be the most interesting to watch. The addition of the National Party may also shake up the conservative vote a little too.

  6. Do you have any knowledge of when and how many debates there will be between the leaders during the campaign? Is any of this formalised well in advance? I would also be interested to know whether Nick Mckim is included in the mix this time because I think I am correct in saying that no Greens leader has ever been a participator . This naturally always causes a bit of a hoo-ha

    1. The leaders may know but I don't yet and there is no established formality to it. There was one debate between Giddings and Hodgman at the Property Council way back in March 2013. I don't recall whether the Greens were ever allowed into any of these things back in the 1990s but they certainly weren't in 2006 (ABC cancelled because Lennon would not allow inclusion of Greens) or 2010 (different broadcaster and Greens not invited).

  7. I used to work with Mark Grube; he is quite brilliant in the intellectual sense. He certainly wasn't overtly political at that stage. Good luck to him if he is running.

    Going simply by poster count, I wouldn't be surprised if Sarah Courtney gets the third Liberal seat in Bass. However, Barry Jarvis will have his base up in Dorset and that won't be visible here in town. That third seat could be interesting, as will be the two that get split between Labor and the Greens. Previous numbers and name recognition would suggest Michelle O'Byrne may get up; Brian Wightman I don't think has built up enough recognition locally to pick up first slot for the left. Then again, I have never gotten the impression that Michelle is well liked, so who knows.

    In Lyons, it's going to be all over the shop. Rene Hidding should get back in; David Llewellyn is the first Labor candidate to have posters going up; Guy Barnett is also doing well in the poster stakes. Bob Gordon is an interesting option for Labor to put up, and could do well. But yeah.. real scatter shot this one. Beyond that, I'll wait till the count on the night.

  8. Thanks Kevin. This is my first election as a resident of Tasmania. High unemployment, government obstruction to enterprise and need for a thorough reworking of the Transport Equalisation arrangements certainly point to my home electorate of Braddon being a "big mover."

    What hasn't been discussed, and I think worthy of a look is the prospect of a minority Lib government supported by the PUP.

    But at the end of the day, coming from WA, I find even the idea of a separate State Election in Tasmania much like a "storm in a teacup." A state with a population and economy half the size of the City of Brisbane; and comparable in scale to some "local" Municipalities up there on the North Island; barely warrants the cost of all the duplicated bureaucracy of government. So, who's going to bite the constitutional bullet and put reshaping Australia geopolitically on the agenda?

    1. The mainland states are too big, not Tasmania too small.

      I had a look at this a while back - I'm not exactly in a position to 'bite the constitutional bullet' though.

      When looking at boundaries, you are inherently dealing with geopolitical differences. You set boundaries at points that allow areas with distinct characteristics the possibility to 'go their own way' to the benefit of all. Generally, my thoughts have been that the best first move would be to separate each capital city and its surrounding extra-urban areas out from the rest of the state into its own 'city state'. You would probably give them the same senate representation as a territory gets currently. Even just doing that would have significant benefits for the country.
      Beyond that you have to start looking at the current state boundaries and questioning whether they actually match regional groupings. There are any number of ways it can be handled.

      If you want to see a suggested map you can look here:

  9. another Franklin Greens candidate -

  10. "The Tasmanian Greens' Franklin election contingent, Rosalie Wood, left, Nick McKim, Richard Atkinson, Simon Burnett and Zoe Kean"

    1. Ta. Confirming my suspicion that the mystery individuals in Atkinson's Facebook banner were fellow candidates.

  11. The following story mentions some more Nationals candidates: It also confirms Craig Davey as party leader.

    1. Thankyou, not sure how I missed that lot. If it's the same Matt Holloway he is an interesting choice.

  12. i sincerely thank you for this. Informative, interesting, and above all, CLEAR!

    i do have one rather pressing question though.. I do not understand your comment about Bill Harvey. Having reviewed his facebook, he seems well-groomed and not at all capable of taking down a seal.

    1. :) This pic here shows him with the bear:

      But there are times in the past when he has been the bear!

  13. Do you think the Greens are fielding low profile candidates as running mates to run alongside their elected MPs in order to protect those MPs from a possible challenge from disgruntled traditional Green voters? I notice they have two students running alongside Mckim in Franklin and in Lyons Tim Morris running partner is actually his partner in the traditional sense of the word aswell. Others in other electorates are candidates that seem to run at every single election.

    Is it a tactic to protect the MPs...or is it a case that the number of people putting themselves forward as candidates is so few, especially at this election. Or is there a certain in-house 'clique' going on. Obviously it is impossible to know what is going on for sure, but thoughts?

    Back in 2002 and 2006 the party had some reasonably well known names that ran in each electorate or who expressed interest ( even Will Hodgman's sister I believe ).

    I am disappointed and surprised.

    Seems to me the party is more 'mainstream' than ever and would therefore attract more potential high profile candidates...especially from the business community.

    1. I think the chances of an established Greens MP being unseated by a running-mate (however high profile) are low; nothing close to it has happened in any previous election. In 2010 Helen Burnet got about 30% of Cassy O'Connor's vote though O'Connor was a new MHA and Burnet was very high-profile; probably also some strategic voting going on there. The Greens' habit of issuing an endorsed 1-5 ticket order also works against intra-party upsets. At local council level it is more of an issue - Philip Cocker was almost unseated by non-incumbent Madeleine Charles in Hobart in 2011.

      I think a problem with attracting high-profile candidates is that, barring a mid-term resignation and countback, they are on a hiding to nothing in this election given that the chances of the Greens winning more than one seat in any electorate are so low. There is a slight tactical dimension in boosting the profile of the leader in Braddon, Bass and Lyons, whereas in Denison it actually pays to push the #2 as well.

      The Greens were reported as attempting to convince Tori Hodgman to run for them in the 2010 election but without success.

      At times in the past few years the Greens have had trouble finding quality candidates even among those who might run within their own ranks. Morale has at times been very low because of divisions over the forestry IGA and over the deal with Labor.

  14. Hi Kevin, thank you for providing links to the candidates (for Denison in my case). I notice you have a link to provide donations, but it is locked in at set amounts? For example, I would like to throw in $2. I know it might seem small, but you might have more people willing to part with a smaller amount and end up with more.

    Cheers :)

    1. The Buy Now button is limited to ten options and the options are as chosen by me. As an alternative there is the Donate button, which is option-nonspecific but which I became scared off using by reading too many horror stories in which bloggers who used it without being registered non-profits had their accounts frozen. Probably unnecessary caution on my part but I'm a play by the rules sort of type.

      I do also provide a link to my email so I can provide bank account details for anyone who wants to transfer a different amount but realise that for small amounts this may be too much effort. A problem with accepting smaller donations is that the Paypal rake goes up as a %age as the amount reduces, so that for a $2 donation I see only $1.65. Still better than nothing but maybe all concerned (except Paypal) are better off if the donor waits til I've been 2.5 times as useful and then throws me a fiver. :) Or runs into me randomly and buys me two-thirds of a coffee. (etc)

      I will be reviewing the button options soonish and will probably add an option for people who want to contribute small amounts on a monthly basis. Probably someone could do this for one month and then cancel it.