News State Tasmania News Liberals secure majority government in Tasmania

Liberals secure majority government in Tasmania

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein will govern in majority. Photo: Getty
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Tasmania has a majority Liberal government after the party secured a crucial 13th seat in the state’s lower house.

Former Labor MP and independent Madeleine Ogilvie was re-elected as a Liberal in the Hobart-based electorate of Clark on Wednesday night.

Premier Peter Gutwein, who declared victory on election night on May 1, had pledged to resign if the party couldn’t get the numbers for a majority.

It is the first time the Liberals have won three straight terms in Tasmania.

Mr Gutwein called the election a year ahead of schedule after Speaker Sue Hickey quit the Liberals to run as an independent, plunging the government into minority.

The final election outcome was closer than initially tipped, with Mr Gutwein and his party riding a wave of support into the campaign on the back of their coronavirus management.

“The election result has confirmed Tasmanians have voted for the stability and certainty that only a majority Liberal government can provide,” Mr Gutwein said.

Labor has nine seats and the Greens retained their two, making the composition of the parliament almost the same as when the election was called.

Speaker loses to Mayor

Ms Hickey was in the running for a seat in Clark but lost out to popular mayor and independent candidate Kristie Johnston.

Under Tasmania’s Hare-Clark voting system, five MPs are elected in each of the state’s five electorates.

The final make-up of the lower house is yet to be finalised, with counting continuing in other electorates.

Under-fire Liberal candidate Adam Brooks is one of three from his party in the mix for two spots in the northwest electorate of Braddon.

Mr Brooks has been accused of catfishing two women using a false alias on online dating platforms, something he strongly denies.

Ms Ogilvie was defeated as an incumbent Labor MP at the 2018 poll but returned to parliament the next year as an independent after a resignation.

A few days after the election was called in March, she announced she was joining the Liberals.

“I have always sought to place the people of Clark first, and this will not change moving forward,” Ms Ogilvie said.