Jeremy Rockliff
Liberal Party leader Jeremy Rockliff has claimed what he says is a historic win. Image by Rob Blakers/AAP PHOTOS
  • election

Defiant Rockliff claims minority mandate

Ethan James March 23, 2024

Australia’s only Liberal premier has declared victory in the Tasmanian election despite falling short of majority and needing support of a yet-to-be-known cross bench to return to power. 

Jeremy Rockliff called an early March election after spending eight months in minority and finds himself in essentially the same position after Saturday’s election. 

Labor leader Rebecca White refused to concede, seemingly leaving the door open for a potential Labor minority government.

Rebecca White
 Labor Leader Rebecca White says she is waiting for the dust to settle. Image by Rob Blakers/AAP PHOTOS 

With 66 per cent of the vote counted at 10.30pm (AEDT), the Liberals had 12 seats, four short of the 18 required for majority. 

The party suffered a 12 per cent swing against them, with the Greens, Jacqui Lambie Network candidates and independents picking up support. 

Labor has secured 10 seats, with the decade-long opposition’s first preference remaining virtually unmoved at 29 per cent.

A cross bench will include at least two Greens, likely independents and potentially a Jacqui Lambie Network member with 11 seats remaining in doubt. 

Final results may not be known until the week of April 8 because of Easter public holidays, a record 167 candidates and an expanded parliament.

Mr Rockliff declared victory on Saturday night, saying the result was a “fourth consecutive win” for the Liberals. 

“Let’s be clear, the Liberal team has clearly gained the most votes this election and the most seats by a large margin,” he said. 

“It is incumbent upon the new parliament to work together, to put aside our differences (and) work day-in and day-out for Tasmanians.” 

Ms White took a dig at Mr Rockliff for lacking humility.

“The final make-up of this parliament will not be known for some time,” she said.

“Whether (Mr Rockliff) can ultimately remain as premier will be up to the members who are ultimately elect it. 

“We will wait to see how the dust settles and for the final results to be determined.

Roaslie Woodruff
 Greens Leader Rosalie Woodruff says you can have a team without a stadium. Image by Rob Blakers/AAP PHOTOS 

“Labor will be ready to work with the parliament to implement our agenda and our plan for a better future for Tasmania if that is the will of the people.” 

Greens leader Rosalie Woodruff said her party would push for the closure of the Ashley Youth Detention Centre and against a new AFL stadium in Hobart. 

Former senator Eric Abetz will make a political comeback for the Liberals after running in the southern electorate of Franklin. 

Eric Abetz
 Eric Abetz will return to politics after winning a seat for the Liberals in Franklin. Image by Rob Blakers/AAP PHOTOS 

Tasmania’s parliament is being restored from 25 to 35 seats, with seven MPs to be elected in each of the state’s five electorates. 

Independents Lara Alexander and John Tucker, whose decision to quit the Liberals plunged the government into minority, weren’t re-elected.

Greens Senator Nick McKim said the vote was a “clear message” Tasmanians were sick and tired of being taken for granted by the major parties.