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Federal Election 2016

May 7, 2014

Seat of the week: Franklin

With Saturday's election in the corresponding state upper house seat of Huon fresh in the mind, Seat of the Week takes a visit to the Tasmanian seat of Franklin.

Red and blue numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Labor and Liberal. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

The only seat left standing for Labor in Tasmania after a 9.4% statewide swing at the last election, Franklin covers the Hobart suburbs on the eastern bank of the Derwent River together with Kingston on the city’s southern fringe, small towns further to the south, and the unpopulated southern part of the World Heritage area in Tasmania’s south-west. The remainder of Hobart, including the city centre and the suburbs on the river’s western bank, constitutes the electorate of Denison. As one of Tasmania’s constitutionally mandated five House of Representatives seats, Franklin has an enrolment of roughly three-quarters the national average and an uninterrupted history going back to the state’s division into single-member electorates in 1903.

Labor first won Franklin at a by-election held two months after the election of Jim Scullin’s government in 1929, then lost it again amid the party’s debacle of 1931. The seat subsequently changed hands in 1934, 1946, 1969 and 1975, before remaining in Liberal hands throughout the Fraser years and the first 10 years of the Hawke-Keating government. Labor finally won the seat when colourful Liberal member Bruce Goodluck retired at the 1993 election, which together a strong statewide result for Labor delivered a decisive 9.5% swing to Harry Quick. Quick maintained the seat with only mild swings either way at subsequent elections, although there were occasional suggestions he might be brought undone by internal party machinations. When his preselection appeared threatened ahead of the 2004 election, Quick was able to secure his position partly by indicating that he might run as an independent.

After choosing his own time of departure at the 2007 election, Quick sought to keep the seat out of factional hands by promoting his staffer Roger Joseph as his successor. This was thwarted when a deal assigned Franklin to Kevin Harkins, state secretary of the Left faction Electrical Trades Union, and Bass to the Right-backed Steve Reissig. Objecting that Harkins was a “right thuggish bastard” who would lose the seat, Quick declared that he planned to vote for the Greens. His attacks drew blood as newly anointed Labor leader Kevin Rudd sought to distance the party from unsavoury union associations, with Harkins carrying baggage from the 2003 Cole royal commission into the building and construction industry. Harkins’ position ultimately became untenable in July 2007 when the Australian Building and Construction Commission brought charges against him over an illegal strike. When he won preselection for the Senate ahead of the 2010 election, he was again rolled by the intervention of Kevin Rudd.

With Harkins out of the picture and the election looming, the preselection was referred to the party’s national executive, which maintained the factional balance by choosing the Left’s Julie Collins, the state party secretary and a strongly performing though unsuccessful candidate at the March 2006 state election. The loss of Quick’s personal vote combined with the manner of his departure resulted in Collins suffering a 3.1% swing, one of only four swings to the Coalition at that election. Coming off a suppressed base, she went on to enjoy a 6.8% swing at the 2010 election, the highest recorded by a Labor candidate anywhere in the country. She then emerged Labor’s only lower house survivor in the face of a swing that unseated sitting members in Bass, Braddon and Lyons, her margin reduced to 5.1% by a 5.7% swing to the Liberals that was 3.7% below the statewide result.

Collins was made a parliamentary secretary after the election, and progressed to the outer ministry as Community Services Minister in December 2011. After backing Kevin Rudd’s successful leadership bid in late June she was promoted to cabinet, adding housing and homelessness, the status of women and indigenous employment to her existing area of responsibility. Since the election defeat she has held the shadow portfolios of regional development, local government and employment services.

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904 comments

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caf
Guest

Bugler:
[We dress like we’re the non-fictional home of House Stark. Long, dark coats are very popular if heading to or if you live around the city. We dress darker than other capitals, I think, especially now Winter is Coming. Just my impression, I do think there is a “Melbourne look”, but whether my impression of it and confessions’ are the same, I’m not sure.]

In Canberra the all-black-clothing look is called “the Melbourne uniform”.

Yesiree Bob
Guest

deblonay@858

Nick of Melbourne but are glasses “uniquely Melbourne”

short sight is commin in Perth.Cairns and wherever in OZ surely

Melbournians wear black

WeWantPaul
Guest

[But that’s only the money. In every other sense, WA stands on its own two feet as well. The idea that we are “remote” simply attests to your own parochialism and Vic-centric obsessions.]

Yeah we’d probably be unhappy with them even if they were paying their fair share.

briefly
Guest
[876 deblonay WA attitude really crass . I recall when they and Qland were called “mendicant states” and had the seat out of their pants WA is by far the worst I think It’s a pity they joined the Federation,as many there wanted to be seperate at the time of Federation In reality they could not afford to be They would have had trouble funding themselves in such a remote and thinly peopled state ..let alone funding defence needs…so we have all paid up big over the years for them] We would have found a way, you can be sure… Read more »
ShowsOn
Guest

There’s already 3 Liberal Senators who have gone on record as opposing the deficit tax.

The Coalition may not even have enough numbers in the Senate to pass it even if they get the Greens to agree to it!

kezza2
Guest
[Puff, the Magic Dragon. Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 12:17 am | PERMALINK Kezza. The way prominent groups and people laid low and said nothing over what was done to PMJG will remain a stain on this country for decades to come. It was shameful in the extreme and I feel disgust when I think of those who joined in.] Hey, don’t stress. We worked hard. Copped a lot of flak, here and abroad, even from Labor supporters. Which was the most shameful, in my book. I can excuse the ignorant, but not those in the party. I don’t… Read more »
kezza2
Guest
[Kevin Bonham Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 12:48 am | PERMALINK kezza2@877 And, I knew then she would never win the next election. Hang on there – aren’t you the one who was so dogmatically pronouncing at a certain stage (not long before she was rolled) that Gillard would beat Abbott, that I asked if you would put something behind it by quitting PB if Abbott beat her? (I do confess that that challenge – which was accepted – was inspired by my admiration for Andrew Elder’s guts in saying he would quit blogging if Abbott became PM. Admiration… Read more »
Bugler
Guest
Fran, It’s not that I don’t understand the argument or think its invalid, I merely don’t agree with it. I rather doubt had she argued the point it would not have still been labelled a “lie”. But, I don’t accept a lot of things spouted about “the lie”, for example that a significant amount of people (or even anyone, for that matter) voted for Labor purely because she stated she intended to implement a carbon price/ETS but ruled out a carbon “tax”. The entire premise on which the whole attack was based was absurd and assumes so much for it… Read more »
fredex
Guest
Re Milne and Juliar Some history first. 1.Before the election – by just one day – of 2010, Gillard specifically stated that she did not rule out an ETS scheme – which was essentially what she delivered later. That is on the record – in The Australian no less. Technically it was not a tax and technically she did not lie. Technically – but that is really just semantics and there was no doubt there was a backflip. But circumstances after the election were – very obviously – dramatically different to pre 2010. The hung parliament scenario should have granted… Read more »
Kevin Bonham
Guest
kezza2@877 And, I knew then she would never win the next election. Hang on there – aren’t you the one who was so dogmatically pronouncing at a certain stage (not long before she was rolled) that Gillard would beat Abbott, that I asked if you would put something behind it by quitting PB if Abbott beat her? (I do confess that that challenge – which was accepted – was inspired by my admiration for Andrew Elder’s guts in saying he would quit blogging if Abbott became PM. Admiration that of course completely disappeared after he didn’t go through with it,… Read more »
Fran Barlow
Guest
Bugler quoted me: [It was not a tax, and Gillard’s blunder was very serious.] Then added: [I’m not sure. I can understand why she did it, so they didn’t spend an interview discussing semantics.] There are two things wrong with this. 1. It wouldn’t have been mere semantics. The. MPCCC was readying to consider ways of pricing emissions. Gillard had ruled out a tax, by which she meant something like the G&ST or some other levy. 2. Had she spent ten minutes explaining why it ought not be called a tax she’d have had ten minutes to put her case… Read more »
Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Guest
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

Fran,
I do not know what the correct term is for the people, but I know Wales is Cymru.

I know what Abbott was doing, and it shows what a total bastard he really is, a sexist and racist one at that.

Thomas. Paine.
Guest

Eric Hodder aptly named, a place holder AG. His role to ensure no prosecution of the favoured ones takes place.

Just as the head of the SEC and CFTC are captured rodents whose entire responsibility it is to allow continuous manipulation of markets. Normally when they finish their stints in these regulatory roles they find themselves in multi million dollar jobs with a bank somewhere.

I am sure place Holder will get well looked after as well.

Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Guest
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

DavidH
Whatever Abbott does in the Budget, he would have lied. Every option open to him involves him not just breaking a promise but telling an outright lie. That is because his whole campaign to get into government was based on falsehoods and lies.

I believe it is called painting oneself into a corner.

WeWantPaul
Guest

[if Abbott does introduce a new tax or levy in the budget next week, would you agree then that he has lied?]

Any credible person wouldn’t have even raised the ‘he hasn’t lied’ farce, it is hilariously stupid, so no he wont be talking about the 1000th Abbott lie after having missed the first 999.

Fran Barlow
Guest

PtMD

The word Welsh, for the people from Wales, has a very long xenophobic/racist history.

Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Guest
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

Maybe I should just pour a large glass of sherry and sit back and weep.

Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Guest
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

Next Tuesday night should be a hoot. I don’t know whether to be angry or just shrug my shoulders saying that the Australian people asked for it. But then again, about half of them didn’t.

Socrates
Guest

Davidwh
[Abbott’s alleged tax lie is not a lie at least until next Tuesday. There is still time for a backdown even if it’s unlikely.]
if Abbott does introduce a new tax or levy in the budget next week, would you agree then that he has lied?

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