MARTIN GILMOUR says: THERE will be plenty of Tasmanian voters with a sense of deja vu after week two of the federal election campaign.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott pulled out his "captain's pick" and ruled out the Liberals negotiating with the Greens or any independents to form government in the result of a hung vote in 20 days.
A few days later, in the spirit of policy equalisation that is a feature of this campaign, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also said that he would not enter into any formal arrangement with independents or minor parties, but may govern in minority.
Many Tasmanians will vividly recall the state election campaign of 2009 when the Liberals' Will Hodgman and Premier David Bartlett both pledged majority government or nothing.
Mr Bartlett went even further and said of the Greens, "I will never do a deal with the devil."
History will record that Labor delivered Tasmania something completely different than it promised to retain power.
In many ways this betrayal has mortally dogged Labor and this government.
Premier Lara Giddings, to her credit, now states that she will work with whatever parliament Tasmanian voters deliver.
It's based on long-term polling that means Labor's only option is another deal with the Greens, but at least voters know that up front.
In many ways former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was also mortally wounded by the deal with the Greens and independents.
The deal with the Greens involved a carbon tax and the deal with Denison MP Andrew Wilkie was for poker machine reform.
Mr Wilkie was dudded and the carbon tax recant crippled her leadership integrity and was never forgiven by many voters.
Tony Abbott has said that he will preference the Greens last in all 150 House of Representatives seats and also the Senate.
The House of Representatives move is quite problematic. Each voter actually has to number each candidate, so unless voters strictly follow a Liberal how-to- vote ticket, the preference flow can leak.
However, the move is calculated to be worth about 2-3 per cent, which will benefit Labor and probably save it a couple of seats like that of deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
There is far more to win and lose in the Senate where 80 per cent of people vote above the line for a particular party rather than numbering every candidate.
This then gives each party control of its preferences.
Labor and Liberal are guaranteed to win two seats each and will then fight out the remaining two seats with the Greens.
Recent polling has Devonport Liberal Sally Chandler (third on the Liberal card) in a winning position, which leaves Labor's Lin Thorp and Greens Peter Whish-Wilson in a tight fight for the final seat.
With the Liberals preferencing Lin Thorp it would clearly be in Labor's interests to return the favour and starve out Mr Whish-Wilson to secure her future.It seems the Labor-Green love-in may be sorely tested over preferences.