Tas Libs leader begins butter-up of tough customers

Jeremy Rockliff and Rebecca White campaign in Tas

Source: AAP

Tasmania is in political limbo as Liberal leader Jeremy Rockliff begins negotiations with a mixed-bag cross bench to try to form minority government.

Rockliff’s party, the last Liberal government in Australia, was unable to secure the 18 seats required for majority at Saturday’s election.

It will finish with 13-15 seats, ahead of Labor which will get 10 or 11 and on Sunday declared it was highly unlikely to find a path to government.

Rockliff has contacted the Jacqui Lambie Network, which has at least two seats, and independents Kristie Johnston and David O’Byrne.

Lambie has been hugely critical of the Liberals, particularly their commitment to a new $715 million stadium in Hobart.

The project, a condition of Tasmania’s AFL licence, must be voted through a parliament that could now have more MPs opposed than in favour.

Johnston is a left-leaning independent who has previously butted heads with the Liberals on animal welfare issues, while O’Byrne is a former Labor leader.

“I look forward to discussions over the coming week,” Rockliff said.

Several seats remain in doubt. The state’s electoral commission expects counting to continue until April 6 with a final declaration on April 10.

The Liberals suffered a 12 per cent swing against them but Labor only picked up a 1 per cent boost and just 29 per cent of the first-preference vote.

Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White has been accused of “gifting” the Liberals government. Photo: AAP

Rockliff conceded the Tasmanian people had given his party a “bit of a kick” and sent a message they expected more from government.

Labor leader Rebecca White has refused to comment on reports she has been dumped from the role after a third unsuccessful tilt at becoming premier.

The Greens, who have at least four seats, labelled Labor’s decision to effectively concede as “gifting” the Liberals government.

Tasmania went to the polls more than a year early after the Liberals failed to resolve a minority government stand-off with two crossbench former-party independents.

The state electoral commission is not expected to add any additional first-preference votes to the tally until Thursday, when certain pre-polls are counted.

Electoral commission staff will take Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday off.


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.