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Lambie looming large over Tasmanian election, as Liberals, Labor neck and neck

Dec 06, 2017
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Posted December 07, 2017 06:19:38

The Hodgman Liberal Government is facing a disaster at next year’s Tasmanian election and Jacqui Lambie is partly to blame, according to political analysts.

The Liberals and Labor are neck and neck for the first time in seven years, with both parties polling at 34 per cent, the latest EMRS poll reveals.

The Greens’ vote is up one point to 17 per cent, while support for the Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN) is up three points to 8 per cent.

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Premier Will Hodgman’s support has dropped by two points to 35 per cent, while Labor leader Rebecca White’s popularity as preferred leader has remained steady at 48 per cent.

Polling analyst Kevin Bonham said Ms White’s popularity was bad news for the Hodgman Liberal Government.

“Typically in Australian polling history when an Opposition leader is this far ahead, a government is in very serious trouble,” Mr Bonham said.

Mr Bonham said the numbers showed both parties were unlikely to pick up more than 11 seats each in the 25-seat parliament.

“On these numbers, they [the Liberals] wouldn’t be near winning a majority, it would probably be a hung parliament in which one would expect Labor to form government.”

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He is predicting 10 seats for Labor, 10 for the Liberals, four for the Greens and one for JLN.

Mr Bonham said the latest poll was good news for the JLN.

“There is a chance on these numbers might pick up a seat in Braddon.”

Mr Bonham said the Liberals could be at risk of losing two seats in Braddon, and a seat in Franklin and Lyons.

Hodgman team battling to ‘sell the message’

Political analyst Richard Herr said the poll showed the Liberals popularity was on the slide.

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“It’s more bad news for the Government, largely because of the Jacqui Lambie Network taking up that vote.”

Mr Herr said the Hodgman team needed to change tack if it wanted to win majority government.

“The Government has an economy that seems to be solid, and yet they can’t sell the message,” he said.

“And that may well be for the fights they’ve been picking with local government and elsewhere that have worked against them.”

Mr Herr said the Government’s failed bid to takeover TasWater was an example of a vote-loser.

“People won’t vote for that issue, they’ll vote against it.”

Topics: political-parties, government-and-politics, tas

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