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Seat of the week: Denison

With a state election looming on the horizon, Seat of the Week turns its gaze to Tasmania.

Held since the 2010 election by independent Andrew Wilkie, Denison encompasses Hobart along the western shore of the Derwent River and the hinterland beyond, with the eastern shore Hobart suburbs and southern outskirts township of Kingston accommodated by Franklin. Like all of Tasmania’s electorates, Denison has been little changed since Tasmania was divided into single-member electorates in 1903, with the state’s representation consistently set at the constitutional minimum of five electorates per state.

Grey and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Andrew Wilkie and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Prior to 2010 the seat was presumed to be safe for Labor, notwithstanding the local strength of the Greens. Labor’s first win in Denison came with their first parliamentary majority at the 1910 election, but the seat was lost to the 1917 split when incumbent William Laird Smith joined Billy Hughes in the Nationalist Party. Over subsequent decades it was fiercely contested, changing hands in 1922, 1925, 1928, 1931, 1934, 1940 and 1943. It thereafter went with the winning party until 1983, changing hands in 1949, 1972 and 1975.

Denison was held through the Fraser years by former state MP Michael Hodgman, who joined his four Tasmanian Liberal colleagues in picking up a swing against the trend of the 1983 election due to local anger over the Franklin dam issue. However, Hodgman’s margin wore away over the next two elections, and he was defeated in 1987 by Labor’s Duncan Kerr. Hodgman returned as a state member for Denison in 1992 before eventually bowing out due to poor health in 2010 (he died in June 2013). His son, Will Hodgman, is the state’s current Liberal Opposition Leader.

The drift to Labor evident in 1984 and 1987 was maintained during Kerr’s tenure, giving him consistent double-digit margins starting from 1993. In this he was substantially assisted by preferences from the emerging Greens. The preselection which followed Kerr’s retirement in 2010 kept the endorsement in the Left faction with the nomination of Jonathan Jackson, a chartered accountant and the son of former state Attorney-General Judy Jackson.

What was presumed to be a safe passage to parliament for Jackson was instead thwarted by Andrew Wilkie, who had come to national attention in 2003 when he resigned as an intelligence officer with the Office of National Assessments officer in protest over the Iraq war. Wilkie ran against John Howard as the Greens candidate for Bennelong in 2004, and as the second candidate on the Greens’ Tasmanian Senate ticket in 2007. He then broke ranks with the party to run as an independent candidate for Denison at the state election in 2010, falling narrowly short of winning one of the five seats with 9.0% of the vote.

Wilkie acheived his win in 2010 with just 21.2% of the primary vote, crucially giving him a lead over the Greens candidate who polled 19.0%. The distribution of Greens preferences put Wilkie well clear of the Liberal candidate, who polled 22.6% of the primary vote, and Liberal preferences in turn favoured Wilkie over Labor by a factor of nearly four to one. Wilkie emerged at the final count 1.2% ahead of Labor, which had lost the personal vote of its long-term sitting member Duncan Kerr. This left Wilkie among a cross bench of five members in the first hung parliament since World War II.

Wilkie declared himself open to negotiation with both parties as they sought to piece together a majority, which the Liberals took seriously enough to offer $1 billion for the rebuilding of Royal Hobart Hospital. In becoming the first of the independents to declare his hand for Labor, Wilkie criticised the promise as “almost reckless”, prompting suggestions from the Liberals that his approach was insincere.

The deal Wilkie reached with Labor included $340 million for the hospital and what proved to be a politically troublesome promise to legislate for mandatory pre-commitment for poker machines. When the government’s numbers improved slightly after Peter Slipper took the Speaker’s chair, the government retreated from the commitment. Wilkie responded by withdrawing his formal support for the government, although it never appeared likely that he would use his vote to bring it down.

Wilkie was comfortably re-elected at the 2013 election with 38.1% of the primary vote, despite an aggressive Labor campaign that included putting him behind the Liberals on how-to-vote cards. Both Labor (down from 35.8% to 24.8%) and the Greens (down from 19.0% to 7.9%) recorded double-digit drops, and most of the northern suburbs booths which had stayed with Labor in 2010 were won by Wilkie. His final margin over Labor after preferences was up from 1.2% to 15.5%, while the Labor-versus-Liberal two-party preferred count recorded a 6.9% swing to the Liberals and a Labor margin of 8.9%.

775
  • 51
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Ah, I love this stuff.

    Firstly, I note that ‘Bianca is political correspondent’.

    I isn’t.

    In recent months, living within one's means - and deliberately not making a fuss about it - has been de rigueur for MPs from the new government

    Young Bianca backs this up with examples -

    Foreign Minister Julie Bishop made headlines ...

    Actually, sorry, I assumed that there was going to be more than one. So, no, it doesn’t appear to be de rigeur — unless they really are all keeping totally mum about it.

    Bianca does use a couple of examples of public servants having their travel arrangements downsized, which is not quite the same thing.

    And she’s all over the place over whether Abbott spending money on furnishings for Kirribilli and staying with the ADF is a good thing or not.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/abbott-finds-a-new-way-to-fly-20140111-30nr1.html#ixzz2q8bDXybJ

  • 52
    leone
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Abbott leading by example –
    By turning his nose up at a $3000+ a week home in Canberra, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill while he pretends to stay in an AFP hostel, claiming it is less of a burden on the taxpayer to do that.

    Like refusing to move to Kirribilli House for months after becoming PM, preferring to stay in the family home and costing us heaven knows how much in extra security.

    Like ordering a $13,000 rug when a cheaper one from Spotlight or Ikea or wherever would have been a wiser choice.

    And of course, there are the examples set by all that rorting of entitlements claims so us mugs paid for Abbott to indulge himself by competing in sporting events, indulge his jet-set tastes by taking his family on trips to the races and indulge intraipsing off to weddings. I bet we even paid for the wedding presents.

    If Abbott is leading by example the only ones who can afford to play follow that leader are Gina, Twiggy, Rupert and Clive.

  • 53
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    And there was the story about the charter plane for Lib MP’s from WA, they were wasting a fortune by being too precious to use regular commercial flights. Do these journos believe whatever they are told. They are stupid.

  • 54
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    zoomster@42

    Well, having won all their matches up until the Final, my son’s team lost (to a team they’d previously beaten by 100 runs).

    However, he came out of it very well, being named as one of the ‘Dream Team’ – made up from players of all u 14 and u 17 teams who had taken part in the tournament from across NE Victoria.

    So, State selection next? :D

    Good effort by the lad, congratulations to him and his number one fan.

  • 55
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Morning all

    Zoomster

    Well done by your son!

  • 56
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    bemused

    actually, I’m a fairly lousy fan, cricket not being a game I’ve ever really been able to get into.

    I was a fantastic soccer mum, however!

  • 57
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Sean Tisme

    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    The media and inept Abbott and his equally inept government would like us all to forget all the events prior o September 7 2013

    LOL, dumbest post of yours for a while.

    I think they’ll be reminding us all endlessly what happened prior to September 7th 2013 for the next 3 years.
    =======================================

    Couple of things wrong with your post.

    1. My comment states ‘they would like us to forget’ which they obviously would.

    Just need to look at Operation Boat Secrecy and the reasoning that press releases are an information source for smugglers. Yet for all the years prior to the election Abbott and Morrison screamed from a-top their soap boxes about boat arrivals.
    The conclusion is that while in Opposition they were happy and willing to aid and abet the smugglers. And now in government they want to hide.

    2. You commenced a sentence with “I think”.

  • 58
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    zoomster@56

    bemused

    actually, I’m a fairly lousy fan, cricket not being a game I’ve ever really been able to get into.

    I was a fantastic soccer mum, however!

    Well that’s not how you come across. ;)

  • 59
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    According to Milton Black Astrologer, the coalition will be the saviours of this country this year

    The last time this aspect occurred was in 1762, when Australia was in its infancy. This is why we are called a lucky country, so look forward, not backward as Australia is ready for recovery and seeks a new dimension in history. 2014 will be one of the most significant astrological years in Australia’s destiny and the Abbott coalition government will be congratulated for their bold decision making and professional management in the years ahead. The Liberal coalition is predicted to be re-elected by the Australian electorate in 2016 due to a steady building of the economy through new infrastructure, alternative employment opportunities, greater savings and debt control. Australia’s standard

    http://www.miltonblack.com.au/thismonth.htm

    And basically Shorten is doomed to failure

  • 60
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    From memory Milton Black always predicts coalition success and labor failure.

  • 61
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    This pretty much sums up the Abbott agenda

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bdu7ZqPCQAAbvML.jpg

  • 62
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    victoria:

    Astrologists making political predictions? Now I’ve seen everything.

  • 63
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    And this pretty much sums the IPA, Business Council, Abbott, Gina, corporate Australia, rusted on right wing and tea party thinking

    oh yeah, and the pre-written recommendations/outcomes of the Commission of Audit

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BdvPTrtCUAA92YU.jpg

  • 64
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    WWP

    From recollection, it does seem to be the case

  • 65
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    victoria@59

    According to Milton Black Astrologer, the coalition will be the saviours of this country this year


    The last time this aspect occurred was in 1762, when Australia was in its infancy. This is why we are called a lucky country, so look forward, not backward as Australia is ready for recovery and seeks a new dimension in history. 2014 will be one of the most significant astrological years in Australia’s destiny and the Abbott coalition government will be congratulated for their bold decision making and professional management in the years ahead. The Liberal coalition is predicted to be re-elected by the Australian electorate in 2016 due to a steady building of the economy through new infrastructure, alternative employment opportunities, greater savings and debt control. Australia’s standard


    http://www.miltonblack.com.au/thismonth.htm

    And basically Shorten is doomed to failure

    Wrong in the first sentence and goes downhill from there.
    In 1762 there was not even a British colony established on the Australian land mass and ‘Australia’ as a nation did not exist until 1901.

  • 66
    frednk
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    “Milton Black Astrologer”

    As this is a government without a science minister it seems very appropriate that these clowns turn to astrology to try and work out what is going on.

  • 67
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Luxury renovations for Abbott at Kirribilli House…

    Abbott knows all about waste

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BdvOL-_CYAAjj87.jpg

  • 68
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Two potential cyclones forming to the north. One could impact Darwin this week, and the other north Qld. Early days though.

  • 69
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Luxury renovations for Abbott at Kirribilli House…

    Abbott knows all about waste

    there had to be something he knows about

  • 70
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    The area of land needed to power the world with solar…

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bbhsy3eIcAAul9c.jpg

  • 71
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    victoria

    That reads like Coalition spin and a Liberal manifesto. Should come with a helpful brochure.

  • 72
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    2014 will be one of the most significant astrological years in Australia’s destiny

    This is likely to come true for all the wrong reasons. :(

  • 73
    leone
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Milton Black is still alive? He must be eleventy-hundred by now. I used to read his ‘predictions’ years and years ago when he wrote for some womens magazine. His stuff was always good for a laugh in the staff room as nothing he ‘predicted’ ever happened.

    As for ’1762′ – I think it’s time Milton retired to a home for the aged and confused.

  • 74
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    lizzie

    That is why i posted it.

  • 75
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    AussieAchmed@70

    The area of land needed to power the world with solar…

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bbhsy3eIcAAul9c.jpg

    What is the source for that and the basis of the calculations?

    There is a simply amazing amount of solar energy impacting on Earth each day. But to be useful it needs to be captured. What technology at what efficiency is assumed in that article?

  • 76
    outside left
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Zoomster, a well done to your son. Did you drive him to the tournament in your fabulous 20 year old Puegot?

  • 77
    Player One
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    http://www.miltonblack.com.au/thismonth.htm

    What a dingbat. He obviously sees nothing wrong with having both these contradictory statements in his “predictions”:

    The reason for this prediction is the planets Uranus (sudden and unexpected) and Pluto (breakdown and rebuild) have been influencing the global economy since 2008 in an adverse aspect.

    … and …

    The Abbott coalition government throughout 2014 will be working hard to rectify past mistakes of the Rudd/Gillard Labor government. The previous government can be blamed for debt, disappointing corporate results and the numerous negative restructurings of corporations since 2008.

    So, in the rest of the world it is Uranus/Pluto to blame for the GFC, but in Australia it is all Rudd/Gillards fault that we emerged with an economy that is the envy of all other developed nations.

    Or something.

  • 78
    Player One
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    In 1762 there was not even a British colony established on the Australian land mass and ‘Australia’ as a nation did not exist until 1901.

    You forget that for conservatives, “life” begins whenever they say so, not when the entity concerned actually achieves a physically separate existence.

  • 79
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    the government will be on track to initiate a small surplus in the budget forecast by 2016.

    Wow, Milton. Even Joe isn’t predicting that!

  • 80
    frednk
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I once thought we had a nicely balanced system. Labor moved the countries’ social well-being forward, the Liberals the economy. I became a Labor supporter when I realised Labor were moving the social agenda and economic agenda forward. The Liberals value was reduced to bedding down Labor’s reforms and forcing Labor to renew for the next round.

    This government is hell bent on undoing the good work done by Labor over the last 6 years. The Liberals have moved from having some small value to being downright dangerous.

    I will be seriously disappointed if the polls don’t show that most of the country isn’t waking up to the fact that these clowns can’t even be trusted to bed down Labor’s reforms. The last round of polls would indicate the realisation is happening.

    Going forward this country is going to have a problem. It’s been obvious for a while that the Liberals are not capable of an original though, but if your suffering from reform fatigue that is not a problem; to have them that incompetent that they can’t even be trusted to bed down Labor’s reform is a very serious issue; what do you do when it is time to give Labor a rest on the back bench.

    Having Labor in power for decades will not be good for the country.

  • 81
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Milton Black is still alive? He must be eleventy-hundred by now.

    I’d never even heard of him before. But then I don’t get into all that star sign crap.

  • 82
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Player one

    What about this on Shorten. Notice how Milton spells Labor

    The Leader of the opposition Bill Shorten (Taurus) will be cutting his teeth in parliament very severely throughout 2014. The opposition pressure from government members that he will encounter will be gruesome as Uranus opposes his natal Mars. He will be in a fighting mood towards anyone who opposes him. Bill Shorten will have a tendency to become more emotionally impulsive and erratic in his parliamentary behaviour and this is where he will make mistakes. He will not like to be challenged either by the government or members of his own party. His most difficult months are February, March, July and October. Bill Shortens popularity with the Australian electorate will decline from now until the 2016 federal election. Unfortunately, Bill Shorten needs to learn the meaning of the word “compromise” he does find it difficult to let go of the past and defeat can cause him to become paranoid. He will not win the 2016 election as leader of the labour party.

  • 83
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    frednk:

    I used to think that as well about the Liberals, but now I just take predictions of their demise with very large grains of salt.

  • 84
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    He will not like to be challenged either by the government or members of his own party.

    Honestly, you could say that about every LOTO in the country, regardless of what month of the year they were born in.

    What a crock!

  • 85
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    outside left

    no, I erred on the side of caution and deposited him on the side of the road for others to collect…

  • 86
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    confessions

    And obviously milton did not predict the breakdown in relationships with Indonesia…..

  • 87
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    victoria:

    Nor did he foresee the stunning ineptitude with which they’ve handled everything so far.

  • 88
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    confessions

    ... but now I just take predictions of their demise ...

    I didn’t read what fred said as a prediction of their demise.

  • 89
    Player One
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Notice how Milton spells Labor

    Indeed.

    I also like the bit about Shorten becoming “more emotionally impulsive and erratic. Milt is obviously a very perceptive man – these character traits were not something I had previously noticed about Shorten.

    And fancy Shorten adopting “a fighting mood towards anyone who opposes him”? Hasn’t Shorten learned the lesson of Abbott’s last three years, whereby being conciliatory and willing to compromise as opposition leader is a sure road to success at the next election?

    Milton has obviously joined Abbott in Wonderland.

  • 90
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Those astrological influences on Shorten could just as easily have been translated as a stubborn character (Taurus) who resists those who fight against him (Mars) with radical ideas and inspiration (Uranus). Too easy ;)

  • 91
    Bugler
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Uranus opposes his natal Mars

    Oh my.

  • 92
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    lizzie

    I think you will find Uranus influences Abbott a lot not Shorten

  • 93
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    DN:

    An assumption of Labor being in power for decades when the coalition govt is in its first term is as close to a prediction of the Liberals’ demise as you can get for mine.

  • 94
    Kirky
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Just on the Abbott in economy thing – very difficult to get upgrades from Economy to Business when you have Premium Economy flyers as well (have flown Premium to Europe a couple of times, never got an upgrade – flights are generally full) they get priority first before Economy. Therefore OTT was probably expecting it to occur because he was the PM. Some words for OTT, don’t piss on someone you want a favour for a couple of weeks later!

    Secondly, I now expect him to fly economy when on official business otherwise the media should point the obvious out – happy to fly cattle when you pay, happy to screw the taxpayer when in your official capacity – simple narrative I would have thought.

  • 95
    outside left
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Venus and Mars are alright,tonight. Must be so, Paul McCartney and Wings said so

  • 96
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    around 40c with 90% humidity in Karratha

  • 97
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I thought Bernardi was the one concerned about Uranuses?

  • 98
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    zoomster

    Careful he may sue.

  • 99
    Player One
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    simple narrative I would have thought

    Not for our illustrious “journalists”.

    I can almost see this note stapled to the wall in each Murdoch and ABC news room:

    LNP flies economy = “leading by example”
    LNP flies first class = “busy schedule”
    LNP uses air force jet = *crickets*

    ALP flies economy = STUNT!
    ALP flies first class = WASTE!
    ALP uses air force jet = THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY!

  • 100
    Ratsars
    Posted Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    This quote from Isaac Asimov describes Abbott and his cronies (including Sean Tisme) to a T. Just replace “United States” with Australia

    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

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