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Tasmania Premier calls early election for 2024

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Tasmanians will head to the polls next month more than a year ahead of schedule, after the Premier called an early election.
tasmania early election 2024

Tasmania is going to an early election in 2024, heading to the polls next month more than a year ahead of schedule.

It comes after Premier Jeremy Rockliff said he would ask the Tasmanian Governor to call an early election.

Rockliff has been leading a minority Liberal government after two politicians quit the party.

Tasmania is the only state or territory that isn’t governed by the Labor Party.

Minority government

To pass laws through the House of Representatives, governments need to guarantee the confidence of a majority of MPs (members of parliament).

This is achieved when one party wins more than half of the seats available.

However, it can also be achieved through negotiations with crossbench members. This is called a ‘minority government’. Crossbenchers don’t have to vote with the government on everything, but they agree to keep the government in power and pass spending bills.

Tasmanian government

The Tasmanian Liberals, led by Jeremy Rockliff, secured 13 of the 25 seats in the lower house at the 2021 election.

However, they lost their slim majority after two former MPs, John Tucker and Lara Alexander, quit the party to become independent crossbenchers.

The Tasmanian Liberals currently hold 11 seats in the lower house.

The government had been in negotiations to secure the confidence of the former Liberal MPs. Last night, Rockliff announced those negotiations had failed.

Fallout

The failed deal essentially means the government cannot lead with any certainty that it will be able to pass laws.

Both Tucker and Alexander have criticised the government for its handling of negotiations.

Tucker has accused Rockliff of lying about discussions on a proposed deal, while Alexander compared the Liberal Party to an “abusive partner”.

Next steps

An election is scheduled for 23 March. Voters will elect 35 MPs to the lower house, with the number of available seats increasing from the current 25.

Members will be elected for a four-year term.

The early election will only determine the seats in the lower house. Periodic elections for the Tasmanian upper house are scheduled for May.

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