After more than a week of counting, the Tasmanian Liberals have remained victorious in the State election and will form the next government with Peter Gutwein at the helm.
The third consecutive majority Liberal Government for Tasmania, this is the first time the Tasmanian Liberals have won three elections in a row.
All eyes were on the seat of Clark as Independents Kristie Johnston and Sue Hickey battled it out alongside Liberal’s Madeleine Ogilvie. Ogilvie was re-elected with just six per cent of the vote, and Hickey was defeated by Johnston despite receiving more primary votes than four of the five Liberal candidates standing for Clark.
State Director of the Tasmanian Division of the Liberal Party, Stuart Smith, said the win is a “fantastic testament to the hard work of Premier Peter Gutwein and his team”.
In the wake of the Liberal win, Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White has announced she will be stepping down as Labor leader. She has endorsed Shadow Treasurer David O’Byrne as her successor.
Today I announced I will be stepping aside as Labor Leader.
It has been an incredible honour and a role I have worked hard each day to undertake with integrity and purpose.
— Rebecca White (@bec_white) May 15, 2021
The historic third win has already been overshadowed by the news that Braddon candidate Adam Brooks had been charged by Queensland Police for being in possession of a handgun, false driver’s licences and unauthorised explosives.
Before declaring the win on Friday, Premier Gutwein announced Brooks would not take up his seat in the House of Assembly.
There were already uncertainties surrounding Brooks, who had allegations levelled against him by two women who claimed he misrepresented himself to them online. Brooks has vigorously denied these claims.
While Premier Gutwein is set to announce his ministry later this week, the resignation of Brooks leaves the Tasmanian Liberals’ majority government in doubt.
Brooks won the fifth seat in Braddon under Tasmania’s Hare-Clark System, and a recount is expected to see former Liberal MP Felix Ellis win back his seat, re-securing the majority for the Tasmanian Liberals.
By Hannah Cross