Another hung parliament in Tasmania as voters deny Liberals a majority

Liberal Party leader Jeremy Rockliff has claimed what he says is a historic win.

Liberal Party leader Jeremy Rockliff has claimed what he says is a historic win. Photo:AAP

Tasmania has delivered a hung parliament, with Australia’s last governing Liberals getting more seats than Labor but not enough to form government.

Liberal Premier Jeremy Rockliff, who called an early election to restore stability after eight months of minority government, declared Saturday night’s count a “victory”.

The Liberals, who have been in power since 2014, have 12 seats – six short of the required 18 for majority.

Projections indicated they’ll hold 13 to 15 seats, with Labor getting about 12 in total.

The Greens, who have increased their vote, could hold up to six seats while the Jacqui Lambie Network and several independents are also in the mix for spots on the cross bench.

Counting will continue on Sunday but a final result may not be known until after Easter due to public holidays and a larger parliament.

Despite a hung parliament and looming discussions with others to form government, Mr Rockliff said it looked like a fourth consecutive victory for the Liberals.

“Let’s be clear … the Liberal team has clearly gained the most votes in this election and the most seats,” he said.

Labor leader Rebecca White has not conceded, keeping the door ajar for a Labor minority government if the numbers and sentiment allow.

“There are still votes to be counted but what is clear is that the Liberal Party will not be getting a majority,” she said.

“Tasmanians have humbled a premier who called an early election expecting to be returned in a majority.”

Labor leader Rebecca White said there were still votes to be counted, declining to concede. Photo: AAP

The Liberals suffered an 11 per cent swing against them, but Labor only picked up a one per cent boost and just 29 per cent of the first-preference vote.

Mr Rockliff and Ms White have said they’re open to governing in minority but previously ruled out doing deals or trading ministries.

Former senator Eric Abetz is set for a political comeback with the Liberals in the seat of Franklin.

Tasmania’s parliament is being restored from 25 to 35 lower house members – each of the five electorates will be represented by seven MPs.

Independent candidates John Tucker and Lara Alexander, whose decision to quit the Liberals plunged the government into minority, weren’t re-elected.

Former Labor leader David O’Byrne is in the mix as an independent in Franklin.


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