Tuesday, 23 March 2010

If you're into the politics of hung parliaments and STV . . .

. . . then you might want to follow the aftermath of Saturday's election in the Australian state of Tasmania.

Final results won't be known until 1 April, but it seems that Labor -- the incumbent government -- will win 10 seats in the Tasmanian House of Assembly, the same number as the (centre-right) Liberals. The Greens appear to have taken five seats, giving them the "balance of power".

Labor previously had an overall majority but a 12 percent crash in their share of the vote has put an end to that. So far, the Liberals have won more votes than Labor. You can see the preliminary results here.

Labor leader David Bartlett refuses to concede defeat. He also says he won't do a deal with the Greens.

Liberal leader Will Hodgman says that if the two main parties end up deadlocked, he would expect to be given the opportunity to be premier. Soon after the numbers went up, Mr Hodgman indicated that he might have some Green MPs in his ministry. Now, Hodgman says that he wouldn't.

Hodgman is trying to get Bartlett to give an assurance that he won't try to govern with fewer seats and fewer votes than the Liberals.

For their part, Greens have promised not to block the budget, meaning that both Labor and the Liberals can, in theory, form a minority government and, presumably, negotiate each bill with the other parties. Their leader, Nick McKim says that he won't try to secure ministerial jobs for Green MPs. He has said that all three parties are now in the balance of power and that the people's mandare us for them all "to work constructively and cooperatively to deliver outcomes for Tasmania."

Meanwhile, a constitutional law expert has urged the state's governor to stay out of the melee and leave it up to the parliament to test out any deals the politicians make.

You can pick up the ABC's coverage here.

Posted via web from Neil Stockley

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