New Nationals Senator Steve Martin will struggle to get elected at the next poll, says Tasmanian political scientist Professor Richard Herr.
Professor Herr said he believed it was a miscalculation for Senator Martin to join the National Party.
“His personal vote was not strong when he stood for the Jacqui Lambie Network and it is difficult to see where his will vote will come from unless he takes it from the Liberals,” Professor Herr said.
“He made a choice to join a party that has had no presence here for the past 100 years and have tried repeatedly to set up here without success.
“He has miscalculated.”
Prof Herr said if Senator Martin had joined the Liberal Party he would have had access to an established party in Tasmania and would have better prospects of re-election if he had remained an independent.
“It will be a problem for the state Liberals who won’t want to see the conservative vote split in their northern heartland.” he said.
“Tasmanians wanting to abandon the triablism of the Liberal, Labor and Green parties won’t want to go to another tribe.
“Rather than another tribe he would he been far more saleable as an independent champion such as Brian Harradine was for Tasmania.
“He will have the baggage of the Nationals who have not been successful in Tasmania.”
Senator Martin said he hoped to register the National Party in Tasmania.
He is a member of the national party in New South Wales and said he needed 100 members to register the National Party as a party in Tasmania.
He dismissed suggestions he had wanted to join the Liberal Party.
“There has been a lot of banter around from all sides but I had no offer from the Liberals and did not talk to the Liberals,” Senator Martin said.
“At no stage did we ask for a dual Senate ticket with the Liberals.
“I had two months agonising what to do and when the Jacqui Lambie Network didn’t work out I was in a party so it seemed logical to go back into a party.
“I was leaning to the Nationals and had a talk to my wife and family and decided they were a good fit for me.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull again congratulated Senator Martin on his decision.
“We’re really delighted that he’s joined the Coalition team. It’s fantastic,” Mr Turnbull said on Tuesday.
“We were together at Cradle Mountain just a little while back, making the announcement for the funding there with Will Hodgman.”
Professor Herr said he did not believe Senator Martin’s decision to join the National Party was a big help to the Turnbull Government.
“This doesn’t make the government’s job easier, it just intensifies the work the government will need to do with the eight crossbenchers it needs,” he said.
“They will have less flexibility so it has not made it easier for them and there is less scope for movement.”
Labor Franklin MHR Julie Collins said many Tasmanians who voted for JLN would be disappointed that Senator Martin was now a member of the Turnbull Government.
“JLN ran on a clear platform of opposing many elements of the Turnbull Government's policies,” she said.