Close go for fifth Braddon seat

BOTH major parties remain confident of snaring the tightly- contested fifth seat in Braddon as the first of two full ballot paper rechecks draws to a close.

The Liberals are upbeat about getting a fourth candidate across the line in the North-West electorate, but the ALP has not given up on returning incumbent MP Brenton Best to Parliament.

Brenton Best

Brenton Best

ALP state secretary John Dowling said the party was receiving a good preference flow from minor parties, all-important under the Hare-Clark system.

"It appears about 10 per cent more of the preferences are coming to Labor than are to the Liberals," Mr Dowling said.

"I suspect it's going to be close but I think that Brenton would be the slight favourite to hold the seat."

Liberals' Tasmanian director Sam McQuestin said the party was hopeful of securing the undecided seat.

"Our vote seems to have stayed quite disciplined and stayed within the column," Mr McQuestin said.

"We have high quality candidates in Roger Jaensch and Joan Rylah, and it would be fantastic to have them both in the lower house."

Scrutineers on both sides of the political divide are keeping a keen eye on inter-party contests in Bass and Denison.

The winner of a three-way race to join Bass Liberal MHAs Peter Gutwein and Michael Ferguson in the new-look House of Assembly is far from set in stone.

"Sarah Courtney has the highest vote but given there is such a substantial surplus to cascade down, any of the candidates are in with a chance," Mr McQuestin said.

The ALP's second successful Denison candidate would be determined by preferences in the northern suburbs, Mr Dowling said.

"It's certainly going to be a very interesting count," he said.

"Until we see those figures we just don't know."

Electoral Commission staff will immediately launch into a second full recheck after the first count finishes later this morning.

The process is expected to last until tomorrow.


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