Tasmanian Premier 'very concerned' about prospect of hung parliament



July 23, 2017 15:58:02

Tasmania’s Premier says he is “very concerned” about the “very real possibility” of voters delivering a hung parliament at the next state election.

Polling commissioned by NewsCorp shows Tasmania could again be heading towards a hung parliament, with the Liberals struggling to reach the 13 seats needed for majority.

Will Hodgman said he was “very concerned” by the prospect.

“If there’s anything of substance to be taken from these polls it is the very real possibility of another hung parliament,” he said.

The Liberals have made a commitment not to strike a deal with an independent or minor party.

Mr Hodgman was asked what his party would do if it was reduced to minority, having ruled out any power-sharing deal.

“I don’t even want to hypothesise about what may or may not happen at the next election,” he said.

The poll of 2,800 people also found Opposition Leader Rebecca White had a narrow lead over Mr Hodgman as preferred premier.

Mr Hodgman has been consistently popular and was well ahead of former opposition Leader Bryan Green, who retired in March.

Ms White was unavailable for interview, leaving her Deputy Michelle O’Byrne to talk.

“We are campaigning absolutely for government, we’ve made a very strong commitment that we won’t go into any kind of minority rule or partnership arrangement,” she said.

Ms O’Byrne said if there was not a clear majority, it could leave the party with the most seats to try and guide each piece of legislation through the house.

“The reality is that if you don’t have clarity on the floor, then you just have to take really good legislation to the floor of the house each day and see how it goes, you live and fall in the parliament each day,” she said.

Threat to business confidence: TCCI

Head of the Tasmania Chamber of Commerce and Industry Michael Bailey said the sector would lose confidence in the state if a minority government was delivered.

“Certainly from the business community a majority government of either persuasion is what we really need,” Mr Bailey said.

“I certainly suspect that if there was a minority government business would lose confidence in Tasmania.”

He said it was important to have a government that has the freedom to commit to a long-term plan.

“Having a party lays its platform beforehand and be able to stick to it is really important,” he said.

Polling experts are predicting the rural seat of Lyons will make or break the Liberals’ majority, and a recent poll shows the party was at risk of losing a seat to the Greens.

Political analyst Richard Eccleston said with the rise of micro-parties and independents, hung parliaments were going to become more common.

“It’s becoming much more difficult for one major party to control a parliamentary majority so I think we need to get used to that,” he said.

He said the next state election was on a knife-edge.

“Ultimately the outcome will be decided by a few hundred votes that really determine the final spot in some key electorates,” he said.

The election is due next March.






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