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Divisive stadium hits Tasmanian Liberals in the polls

Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff and his Liberal government have taken a hit in the latest poll.

Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff and his Liberal government have taken a hit in the latest poll. Photos: Getty/AFL

Support for Australia’s only Liberal government and premier has nosedived amid plans for a controversial $715 million Hobart stadium and the departure of two MPs.

The Tasmanian government was plunged into minority on May 12 when John Tucker and Lara Alexander moved to the crossbench, citing concerns about transparency of the stadium plan.

The stadium, a condition of the AFL granting the island state a team, is backed by the government but opposed by state Labor and the Greens.

Polling released on Wednesday showed support for the Liberals had dropped from 42 per cent in February to 36 per cent in May.

Over the same period, Premier Jeremy Rockliff’s popularity fell from 44 per cent to 38 per cent.

The polling of 1000 voters by EMRS was taken from May 15-19, after funding for the stadium was locked in and the government’s descent into minority.

EMRS managing director Paul Jamrozik said it was the government’s first decisive fall since December 2021.

“Our polling indicates that the proposed AFL stadium is currently a key issue of concern for Tasmanians,” he said.

” …the political ramifications of this will continue to be played out over the coming months.”

Labor Opposition Leader Rebecca White has overtaken Mr Rockliff in the individual popularity stakes, rising from 36 per cent to 40 per cent.

However, Labor’s support went up just one per cent to 31 per cent.

The Greens shifted from 13 per cent to 15 per cent, while backing of other candidates such as independents increased from 15 per cent to 18 per cent.

The Liberals had 52 per cent support in the lead-up to the most recent election in May 2021. The next state poll is due by mid-2025.

Tasmania was granted an AFL licence on May 3 after a decades-long fight. The AFL says the team cannot exist without the new stadium.

The state government has pledged $375m towards the stadium, with the federal government chipping in $240m for it and broader infrastructure at the site.

Thousands of people attended an anti-stadium protest earlier this month, arguing the money could be better spent on essential services.

Mr Tucker and Ms Alexander flexed their muscle in parliament on Wednesday, voting with opposition parties in a bid to improve government transparency.

The pair voted through a Labor motion requiring the government to answer questions on notice during budget estimates within 10 days.

Mr Tucker and Ms Alexander have pledged to vote with the government, which holds 11 of 25 lower house seats, on matters of confidence and supply.

– AAP

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