Tasmanian voters, unsure who can get the job done, expect a hung parliament

by | Mar 13, 2024 | The Big Story, Wire

Tasmanians are skeptical about both major parties' capacity to drive change will result in a hung parliament in ten days time.

Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff; Image courtesy AAP, Rob Blakers

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An Australia Institute poll ten days before the state election reveals a massively disillusioned and dissatisfied electorate. Neither major party is anywhere near a majority of the vote. The Liberals sit on 37 percent, Labor languishes at 23 percent, while almost half (46 percent) believe the state is ‘heading in the wrong direction’. 

The Institute’s Vanessa Bleyer says it’s not just that “voters are questioning the capacity of both major parties to deliver meaningful change”. They are also worried neither will be able to guide the state through a minority government.

Independent analyst Kevin Bonham agrees there’s every indication that voters will flee the major parties. “The Liberals [might] be the largest party but need to work with either several independents or a mix of independents and [Jackie Lambie] to govern”. Bonham says they could end up with their own “coalition of chaos” but Labor would lack any path to government without the Greens.

An executive officer of Disability Voices Tasmania made a facile and obviously meaningless claim that a quarter of the state has a disability on ABC radio. What makes detached and ambit throw-away lines like this so disappointing in such a contested electoral environment is that the ‘disability vote’, if there is one, could really make a difference. 

That’s why National Disability Services (NDS) is urging residents and political parties to prioritise disability policies when deciding how to vote. The peak body has identified five priorities: 

  1. Increasing peak body funding to support high quality services 
  2. Supporting the implementation of safeguards 
  3. Developing a skilled disability workforce 
  4. A joined-up ecosystem of foundational supports, and 
  5. A Tasmanian Social Procurement Framework. 

NDS is urging anyone concerned about disability to contact local politicians and ask questions to make them realise how important these issues are for many voters. The peak body is encouraging disability service providers to build support across the state for their campaign. 

The organisation is encouraging business to support the campaign “by contacting local candidates and asking them to support inclusive policies at the state election”. 

NDS’ campaign to raise awareness 

ABC radio interview