The Tasmanian Electoral Commission has begun distributing preferences for the March 3 poll.

Final countdown: Bass returning officer Jenny van den Bosch and assistant returning officer David Gibbins oversee counting after the state election. Picture: Scott Gelston
Final countdown: Bass returning officer Jenny van den Bosch and assistant returning officer David Gibbins oversee counting after the state election. Picture: Scott Gelston

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission expects the final make up of the new House of Assembly will be known by Thursday.

Electoral Commissioner Andrew Hawkey said about 100 TEC staff had worked on Tuesday counting the last batch of postal votes which arrived before the 10am deadline and also distributing preferences.

“I’m happy with the progress we have made and things have moved well,” Mr Hawkey said.

“We still have fifth seats that are very close and it is better to be in front in Hare Clark.

“We are on track for a final result on Thursday.”

The likely make up after the March 3 poll is 13 or 14 Liberals, 10 Labor and one or two Greens.

Election analyst Dr Kevin Bonham believes Bass Greens MHA Bass Andrea Dawkins is at serious risk of losing her seat to Labor.

“It is probable that Labor will pick up the fifth seat in Bass but just who that will be remains unclear,” Dr Bonham said.

“The Liberal preferences are more likely to go to Labor than the Greens as they did in 2006, almost three to one.”

In Braddon, sitting Liberal members Roger Jaensch and Joan Rylah are still in a tug of war for the fifth seat.

“Joan Rylah has come back a bit but she still has a way to go,” he said.

The closest contest is in Franklin, which is set for a nail biting finish between sitting Liberal MP Nic Street and Greens MP Rosalie Woodruff.

“This is seriously tricky and still too close to call,” Dr Bonham said.

“It will depend on where Shooters, Fishers and Farmers preferences land and how much leaks from Liberal and Labor to the Greens.”

Dr Bonham said that in Lyons, the final contest for the fifth seat is likely to be between Labor’s Janet Lambert and Jen Butler.

In Denison, he said sitting Labor MP Madeleine Ogilvie had caught up to Ella Haddad.

“Ms Ogilvie made a big gain from Scott Bacon’s surplus but she is still 780 behind and it is too hard to call.”

More than 381,000 were enrolled to vote in the March 3 poll.

Under the Hare Clark voting system used in Tasmania, the counting is completed and preferences are distributed from two sources.

The first distribution is from candidates who receive more than a quota.

When a candidate receives more than a quota, they are elected and their vote is distributed to other candidates.

The second way of getting preferences is from candidates who get the least number of votes.

They are excluded from the count and their preferences are distributed to remaining candidates.