The Liberal Party has won a historic third term in Tasmania with ongoing vote counting still to determine if they will govern in majority.
With more than half of the votes counted, the Liberals are expected to win at least 12 seats, one short of a majority in the state’s 25-member lower house.
Premier Peter Gutwein has vowed to quit if he is unable to secure a majority meaning another Liberal could lead Tasmania if the government fails to secure a 13th seat.
Mr Gutwein though on Saturday night said he was ‘confident’ he had secured a majority in state parliament.
‘While we have won this election convincingly, it appears increasingly likely that we will also govern in majority,’ he told a crowd of supporters at the Hobart tally room.
‘I want to thank Tasmanians for the way that they worked with me and the government, how they help their neighbours, how they helped their state over the last year to get on top of the deadly virus.;
Labor leader Rebecca White meanwhile conceded defeat.
‘It’s clear that we have fallen short of our goal to win majority Labor government,’ she said on Saturday night.
‘I rang Peter Gutwein to congratulate him on his re-election and his impressive personal result,’ she said.
‘All around the country we have seen incumbent governments rewarded for their management of COVID-19 and there is no doubt that Peter Gutwein and our public health officials kept our community safe and tonight’s result reflects that.’
Election analyst Antony Green earlier predicted victory for the Liberals.
‘After this election, there will be a Liberal government. Whether it’s Peter Gutwein leading it and whether it’s the Liberal government in majority or minority,’ he told ABC TV on Saturday.
‘But there’s no other government in that chamber.’
The Hobart electorate of Clark shapes as the crucial race with independents Kristie Johnston and Sue Hickey both polling strongly.
Victory in one of the two in-doubt Clark seats could deliver the Liberals a majority, while independent success could give rise to a kingmaker.
Mr Gutwein called the election after Ms Hickey quit the Liberals, plunging the government into minority.
The ABC is calling six seats for Labor and two for the Greens with five remaining in doubt.
The Greens picked up a healthy swing to ensure leader Cassy O’Connor and colleague Rosalie Woodruff will be re-elected.
There are 392,000 registered voters in Tasmania and more than 105,000 pre-poll or postal votes were cast.
Independent upper house MP Meg Webb said the major parties’ refusal to entertain a minority government was a slap in the face to the Tasmanian people.
‘It’s worse than turning their back, it’s actually childish,’ she told Sky News.
‘It’s a tantrum approach to democracy.’
Source: Thanks msn.com