Giddings justifies power-sharing divorce from Greens

PREMIER Lara Giddings said yesterday the decision to sever Labor's power-sharing arrangement with the Greens was reached through conversations with party supporters and not internal polling.

Polling showed dumping Greens leader Nick McKim and Greens MP Cassy O'Connor from cabinet would add between 3 and 4 per cent to Labor's vote across the state.

But Ms Giddings said she had already decided to cut ties with the Greens and polling only confirmed this thinking.

"It is my job as leader of the Labor Party to reflect the views of the party," she said.

"Which is why I have ruled out any power-sharing deals, including having Greens in cabinet in the future." Ms Giddings said the response from Labor members and supporters since the decision had been overwhelmingly positive.

But a ReachTEL poll released yesterday showed the statewide Labor vote of 24.6 per cent was just 1.4 per cent better than in November - before the Greens were ousted from cabinet.

The poll suggested the Liberals were on track to establishing a majority government with 47.2 per cent of the vote. It predicted Labor would receive 24.6 per cent of votes statewide, the Greens 17.2 per cent and the Palmer United Party 7.5 per cent.

Tasmanian polling analyst Kevin Bonham said the figures indicated there was a "very remote" chance that the Greens could claim as many, if not more seats than Labor at the next election. "Almost every pollster seems to overestimate the Greens a little bit," he said.

"But it's worth bearing in mind these really weird things are possible." Greens leader Nick McKim said it was the first time in Tasmania's history there had been speculation the Greens could win more seats than Labor at a state election.


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