Fifth seat expected to be close

Scott Bacon
Scott Bacon

THE status quo is likely to remain intact in the Southern seat of Denison, but competition over the hotly contested fifth seat could go down to the wire in what is considered one of Australia's greenest electorates.

Doubt remains over whether Labor would cling to their second seat, held by outgoing MHA Graeme Sturges, political analyst Kevin Bonham said.

``It's possible in Denison there could be a long scramble between a handful of candidates for that last seat with nobody particularly close to claiming it,'' he said.

``We might get a bunch of people fighting over scraps, in which case we might not know the result in much of a hurry. You could get the Greens, Palmer United Party, the second Labor candidate and an independent all vying for the spot.''

Dr Bonham said incumbent Labor MHA Scott Bacon would definitely hold his seat, but it was unclear which candidate from the Labor camp would step up to fill the void left by Mr Sturges's departure.

``I don't think it will be Madeleine Ogilvie because she polled terribly last time around,'' he said.

``It's probably between Sharon Carnes and Julian Amos if they do get two seats. The issue is Scott Bacon has a strong base in the northern suburbs, but the Labor vote in the southern suburbs of Denison has been smashed to pieces.''

Political analyst Kate Crowley said the tussle between the two contrasting Labor candidates reflected the divergence between ``Old'' and ``New'' sections of the party.

``Julian Amos is very entrenched in Old, and one could say outdated, Labor values,'' Ms Crowley said.

``Madeleine Ogilvie is the absolute opposite, and has been running on the New Labor campaign. In my view, she more clearly suits the style of the Denison electorate.''

Commentators agreed Liberal MPs Elise Archer and Matthew Groom were certain to hold their seats at the election.

Also tipped to secure her seat was incumbent Greens MP Cassy O'Connor, with the possibility Greens candidate Bill Harvey could also snare a seat. The Tasmanian Greens received 16.67 per cent of the vote in Denison in the last state election.

Polling shows that the Greens' vote could jump to 27.6 per cent this time.

Ms Crowley said other minor parties and independent candidates could not be discounted on election day, with Palmer United Party deputy leader Barbara Etter the one to watch. Ms Etter is the former head of Tasmania's Integrity Commission.

``It's interesting Ms Etter is running in Denison because she personifies many of the qualities independent MP Andrew Wilkie holds such as integrity and ethical behaviour,'' Ms Crowley said.

``The confusing thing is she's running for PUP, so the people who might vote for her because they voted for Wilkie are not likely to vote for PUP. Denison isn't the type of electorate you're likely to find PUP support in.''


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