AN ULTRA left-wing party could give a new meaning to high economic growth after taking a step closer to representing Tasmania in the Senate.
With a policy of opening up the state to regulated marijuana plantations, the Australian Sex Party's Tasmanian Senate candidate Robbie Swan said his election could herald a new multibillion-dollar industry for the state.
Mr Swan is in the mix for Tasmania's sixth Senate seat but despite the high stakes involved, Mr Swan said he was not following the count closely.
``I'm taking note of what people are saying, it's just that we can't afford scrutineers to tell us how we're going,'' he said.
Canberra and Sydney-based, Mr Swan said he was awe-struck by Tasmania on previous visits.
``Driving around Tasmania a couple of times in our rusty old truck, I thought we should put together an election plan because we believe the place has incredible potential,'' Mr Swan said.
Seeing poppies by the roadside convinced Mr Swan a marijuana plan could work.
``If we regulate the stuff, tax it, grow it legally for the rest of Tasmania, it'd be worth billions,'' he said.
``Australia's drug policy is led by the US, which has already had states regulate and tax marijuana.
``Colorado taxed it and in the first three months raked in millions in revenue, which they put straight back into schools.''
By getting ahead of the rest of Australia, Mr Swan said Tasmania could reap the rewards of an industry estimated to be worth up to $6 billion a year.
Mr Swan said he saw no problem with a mainlander running for election as a Tasmanian senator.
``I understand Tasmanians are fiercely independent but if you're delivering a better way of life to people living in the state and if you can deliver, there's no problem,'' he said, while pledging to live in Tasmania if elected.
The Sex Party is armed with with a swag of liberal policies, endorsing same-sex marriage, decriminalisation of personal drug use, legalisation of voluntary euthanasia and uniform decriminalisation of abortion.
Mr Swan said the policies ``had the broad support of the community' and would work.
After receiving just 1.43 per cent of the vote counted so far, the Sex Party hopeful received a boost when the Electoral Commission revised its Senate count, putting it within touching distance of the elusive sixth Tasmanian Senate seat.
The Sex Party's route to victory is by receiving other minor party preferences and rising above Labor`s surplus following the election of Carol Brown and Catryna Bilyk, which it would then accumulate as part of a ``preference snowball''.
Electoral analyst Kevin Bonham said the number of below the line votes made forecasting the outcome a nightmare.
``It's the hardest count I've ever tried to follow,'' Dr Bonham said, suggesting Mr Swan's election was ``quite possible but unlikely''.
``Late last week [Mr Swan] was as much as 800 behind but that's come back to around 400,'' Dr Bonham said.
If the Sex Party fails to overcome Labor's vote, Palmer United candidate Jacqui Lambie or Liberal Sally Chandler should be elected by a different flow _ although another outlier gives Family First candidate Peter Madden a minute chance.
The Electoral Commission has previously said results would not be confirmed until next Monday at the earliest, with counting continuing this week.