Chance of Greens opposition

TASMANIA becoming home to the world's first stand-alone Green opposition is ``not inconceivable'', according to political academics. 

Greens leader Nick McKim declared this Saturday's state election result a foregone conclusion in favour of the Liberals, and has taken the unusual move of campaigning to form opposition.

Polling suggests the scenario isn't just fantasy, with the possibility of the Greens claiming a second seat in the Southern electorate of Denison  and just clinging on to one seat in Braddon. 

Associate Professor at the University of Tasmania's School of Social Science Kate Crowley said the scenario was not ``inconceivable'' and would depend on the extent that Labor ``implodes''. 

``Tasmania has been the first with Green politics all the way through,'' she said.

Professor Crowley said that given the chance, the Greens would rise to the challenge.

``The Greens have been in Parliament for 30 years now: they're very familiar with parliamentary process,'' she said.

``But they'll have a hard time doing anything other than keeping the government to account''.

Professor Crowley said Green parties elsewhere in the world were part of formal oppositions, but only through coalitions with other parties.

Political analyst   Kevin Bonham said that while it was likely that   Labor would  win more seats than the Greens, the scenario of a Greens opposition couldn't be written off completely. 

``There could be further loss of the Labor vote this week,'' he said.

Dr Bonham said that from reading the polling conducted by  The Examiner  last week, it was also possible that   Labor and the Greens would win equal seats.

 He said this could result in a co-operative opposition arrangement such as the one that was seen in 2002 when the Liberals won seven seats and the Greens won four. 

The then premier, Jim Bacon, amended legislation to allow resources for the Greens.

Both Labor and the Liberals were  reluctant yesterday to say how they would handle the scenario of a Greens opposition.

Deputy Liberal leader Jeremy Rockliff said the party's focus was on  winning majority government.

``We're not going to pre-empt the outcome of the election -  there's still a long way to go,'' he said.

Premier Lara Giddings said on Saturday that a week was a long time, and she would continue to campaign for government. 

Associate Professor Kate Crowley

Associate Professor Kate Crowley


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