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Australia The winners and losers of the Tasmanian election

04:05  02 may  2021
04:05  02 may  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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With hundreds of thousands of votes tallied, Tasmania's election results are in, although some seats remain in doubt. The Liberals will form government — either minority or majority — and Labor has conceded.

With Tasmanian asked to head to the polls a year early, voters have returned a result that is pretty close to the status quo, something that may raise further questions about the timing of the poll.

Here is a breakdown of some of the victors — and victims — of the 2021 Tasmanian election.

Winner: Liberals

The Liberals have been returned to Government for a historical third term, after calling the election a year early.

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While many believed the Liberals were hoping to capitalise on their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, having seen four other incumbent Australian state and territory governments sweep back into power, that vote only flowed through for the Liberal leader himself.

It wasn't quite the landslide that had been talked about in the lead-up. The much-discussed gains in the north and north-west seats were nowhere to be seen and the Liberals have returned with exactly the same number of seats they had before Sue Hickey quit the party.

They have, however, been given another four years in government, with what looks like will be a slim majority.

Loser: Labor

From early in the night, it was clear Labor could not reach majority government, with the ABC's Antony Green making the call around 8:00pm, two hours into the count. Two hours later, leader Rebecca White conceded.

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Labor saw a swing of about 4.5 per cent against it, mostly due the strong field of independents in the inner-city electorate of Clark.

While it lost the election, Labor did not lose any seats, managing to keep hold of two seats in Bass, Braddon, Franklin and Lyons.

This election did see a change in Labor candidates, though. Rather than helping them win more seats, certain candidates cannibalised seats. Dean Winter will replace Alison Standen in Franklin. Janie Finlay is likely to take Jennifer Houston's seat.  It's unclear if incumbent Jen Butler or Janet Lambert will take the second Labor seat in Lyons.

In Clark, Labor was hoping to regain the seat it lost when Scott Bacon retired. Mr Bacon was replaced by Madeleine Ogilvie but she entered parliament an independent and ultimately switched to the Liberals days after the election was called. Labor's much-desired second seat looks set to fall with the battle for the final two seats between independent Kristie Johnston and the Liberals.

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Winner: Greens

This state election saw a 2.4 per cent swing to the Greens, although it did not result in any extra seats.

That swing was mostly due to the results in Clark and Franklin — the electorates of leader Cassy O'Connor and incumbent Rosalie Woodruff.

Ms O'Connor topped the poll in Clark, as is close to gaining a quota in her own right.

Meanwhile Ms Woodruff, came in second in Franklin with a strong swing towards her.

The Greens were also in the running for a seat in Bass, but narrowly lost out to Labor.

Winner: Peter Gutwein

Liberal leader Peter Gutwein not only won the election, but pulled in close to 50 per cent of the vote in his electorate of Bass.

Winning almost three quotas, he's out-polled his popular predecessor, former premier Will Hodgman.

This is Mr Gutwein's first election as Liberal leader. He took over the party in January 2020 and had only months to find his feet before the pandemic hit. The popularity he gained through his successful management of COVID-19 has clearly stuck.

Speaking on election night, he thanked Tasmanians for the trust they'd placed in him.

Tasmanian election winners and losers

  Tasmanian election winners and losers Tasmanians have returned an election result that is pretty close to the status quo. Here is a breakdown of some of the victors — and victims — of the 2021 Tasmanian election.The Liberals will form government — either minority or majority — and Labor has conceded.

"I know that today many people would've voted Liberal for the first time," he said.

"I will not forget the faith you've shown and I will not let you down. We will govern for all Tasmanians regardless of who you are, regardless of where you live, regardless of your circumstance or background."

Loser: Rebecca White

Labor leader Rebecca White was caught unaware when Peter Gutwein called an early election, hoping to capitalise on his post-pandemic popularity.

The first week of Ms White's campaign was anything but perfect with questions around factional in-fighting and a candidate that wasn't selected overshadowing any policy announcements. More candidate drama followed, with Ms White asking one candidate to step down, while another declared he disagreed with key policies.

After that, everything seemed to settle down and Ms White hit her stride, pushing key issues of health and housing.

As leader she lost the election, personally, she proved popular with the voters of Lyons. She topped the ticket and her seat was one of the first called in the election, along with Mr Gutwein's.

In her concession speech, Ms White said she hoped the campaign would be a "wake-up call for the Liberals".

"Just because we've fallen short of making government this election doesn't mean we'll stop fighting to make Tasmania a better and a fairer place," she said.

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As this is Ms White's second election loss, the question that will be asked in coming days is: will she remain leader?

Winner: Cassy O'Connor

Cassy O'Connor saw a huge vote in Clark, topping the ticket, despite competing with two independents.

This is Ms O'Connor's fifth term in parliament, having been elected on a count back in 2008.

"We're back. The Greens are back in town," she said.

"We will keep being your voice, a voice for your children, grandchildren for the wild place. We'll be your voice for a cleaner, greener Tasmania.

"Thank you. It is the honour and privilege of my life to be your representative in parliament. I will be so proud to continue that service."

Winner: Dean Winter

Kingborough Mayor Dean Winter's start to the campaign was rocky. In that he actually wasn't selected to run by the Labor party due to factional in-fighting. This is despite being backed by former premiers Paul Lennon and David Bartlett.

The first week of Labor's campaign was dominated by the fact that he hadn't been selected. A letter from the Australian Workers Union and intervention from Labor leader Rebecca White saw him installed as the sixth candidate in Franklin.

When asked if he needed to win the seat to repay the favour, Ms White said 'yes'. He's done that, but rather than help them gain a third, he's taken one at the expense of Alison Standen.

As predicted, he polled extremely well in Franklin and has potentially pulled in more votes than lead candidate David O'Byrne.

In Doubt: Kristie Johnston

Glenorchy Mayor Kristie Johnston looks likely to pick up the fourth seat in Clark, after Greens leader Cassy O'Connor, Liberals' Elise Archer and Labor's Ella Haddad.

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It's understood Ms Johnston had been courted by both of the major parties prior to the election, but she's chosen to remain unaffiliated.

Speaking last night, she said she has been "clear with the community that I won't be doing any deals with any particular party".

"I will take each situation on its merits," she said.

"The people of Clark deserve to [be heard], no dodgy deals done behind closed doors with health, housing, transport, whatever the issue, education and in particular poker machines. They deserve to have those issues dealt with on their merits without any deals being done."

In Doubt: Sue Hickey

Sue Hickey looks likely to lose her seat, despite pulling in more first preference votes than the Liberals' Madeleine Ogilive and Simon Behrakis.

Hare-Clark makes it hard to get two independents in, so it was always likely to be Ms Hickey or Kristie Johnston.

Ms Hickey was elected to Clark as a Liberal in 2018, but caused the party a lot of headaches along the way, including taking the speakership from then-Liberal Rene Hidding with the support of Labor and The Greens.

Her defection from the Liberal Party, after being told she wouldn't be preselected, was cited as one of the catalysts for the early election.

The slim majority, meant that her quitting put the Liberals in minority.

In Doubt: Madeleine Ogilvie

Madeleine Ogilvie is in a battle to retain her seat — one that she didn't actually win last election. That seat was won by Labor's Scott Bacon. When he resigned, she was brought in on a count back but entered parliament an independent.

Her voting record in parliament showed she regularly sided with the Liberals. In the days after the election was called she decided to join them.

Ms Ogilvie has been neck-and-neck with fellow Liberal Simon Behrakis. The question is will the Liberal preferences flow to a previously unelected, but staunchly Liberal candidate, or will Ms Ogilvie's popular personal vote slip her in?

In Doubt: Adam Brooks

Adam Brooks was back on the Liberals' ticket in Braddon after resigning in 2019, following an integrity commission investigation.

Mr Brooks, who was previously a big donor and vote puller for the Liberal party, ran a campaign .

While some of the allegations surrounding his behaviour came late in the election, his personal vote has seen a drop this time around. He's fighting it out with incumbent and senior minister Roger Janesch for the Liberals' third seat in Braddon.

In Doubt: Janie Finlay

Former Launceston Mayor Janie Finlay, who was running for Labor, looks set to join Labor's Michelle O'Byrne — but she hasn't helped them pick up a third seat, winning it at the expense of Jennifer Houston.

Ms Finlay narrowly missed out in the Upper House seat of Rosevears to the Liberals' Jo Palmer, when she ran as an independent in 2020.

She only joined the Labor Party just before this election.

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