There is increasing optimism within the Liberal Party that Clark independent MHA Madeleine Ogilvie could join its ranks in the coming year.
It comes after Bass Liberal MHA Peter Gutwein was elected leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party on Monday, following fellow leadership contender Michael Ferguson's decision to pull out of the race.
Mr Gutwein was sworn in as Premier of Tasmania at Government House in Hobart this afternoon.
Multiple Liberal sources told The Examiner that there was a reasonable prospect of the former Labor member Ms Ogilvie joining the party within the next 12 months.
When asked about the possibility of her crossing over to the Liberals, Ms Ogilvie said she was "open-minded about where it all goes".
"At the moment, I'm really pretty happy being an independent," she said. "But I do like Peter Gutwein and I work well with him."
"So my open-minded position continues on.
"People have certainly been reaching out to me across a number of fronts and I obviously talk to many, many people."
However, Ms Ogilvie had a warning for Mr Gutwein's new government.
"Just a little bit of a shot across the bow: I also don't want to be taken for granted because I've been friendly," she said.
"It doesn't mean I'm not going to want things delivered for Clark. And so that's where the rubber is going to hit the road."
She said she was going to "wait to see what unfolds" under Mr Gutwein's leadership, particularly in the first six months of the year.
People have certainly been reaching out to me across a number of fronts and I obviously talk to many, many people.Madeleine Ogilvie, Clark independent MHA
One senior Liberal source said while they were aware that Ms Ogilvie was currently an "absolute independent", they wouldn't be at all surprised to see her join the government within the year.
"She is interested, as a close friend of the Liberals [and] as an independent, who has a natural affinity with we Liberals," the source said.
"She's right-wing Labor, which puts her into the moderate camp of the Liberals and she fits there very well."
Another party figure said there were, indeed, efforts to convince Ms Ogilvie to make the move from the crossbench to the government benches.
"If it happens, one assumes it will happen by the end of the year," they said.
"For us to keep two seats in Clark, it would be helpful to have two sitting members.
"And, of course, if Madeleine were to join the Liberal Party, then we would have a majority in our own right, without needing [Speaker of the House of Assembly] Sue Hickey, and she would be very much sidelined."
At a press conference following his elevation to the Liberal leadership on Monday afternoon, Mr Gutwein confirmed he'd had a conversation with Ms Ogilvie in the past week.
"At the end of the day, Madeleine is Madeleine," he said. "She is an independent member but obviously I will be mindful that she has a view on a range of matters and will speak with her when is necessary."