Saturday, March 27, 2021

2021 Tasmanian State Election Guide: Lyons

This is the Lyons electorate guide for the 2021 Tasmanian State Election.  (Link to main 2021 election preview page, including links to other electorates.)  If you find these guides useful, donations are very welcome (see sidebar), but please only donate in these difficult times if you can afford to do so.  Note: if using a mobile you may need to use the view web version option at the bottom of the page to see the sidebar.

Lyons (Currently 3 Liberal 2 Labor). 
Most of the state
Rural, outer suburban and forested.  
Lots of tiny dispersed towns that take many years for an MP to work

Declared/Expected Candidates

Note to candidates: As the number of candidates becomes large, continually changing link and bio details could consume a lot of my time.  It's up to you to get your act together and have your candidacy advertised on a good website that I can find easily well ahead of the election.  On emailed request I may make one free website link change per candidate at my discretion; fees will be charged beyond that.  Bio descriptions and other text will not be changed on request except to remove any material that is indisputably false.

I am not listing full portfolios for each MP, only the most notable positions.  Candidates are listed incumbent-first and then alphabetically, except if stated otherwise. 

The ballot paper order in Lyons is Liberal, Greens, Shooters, Animal Justice, Labor, Ungrouped.  Candidates appear in rotated order within each column.

Guy Barnett, incumbent, ex-Senator, Minister for Primary Industries, Energy, Veterans Affairs
Mark Shelton, incumbent, Minister for Local Govt, Police, Fire, Emergency Management
John Tucker, first-term incumbent elected on recount mid-term, farmer, backbencher
Susie Bower, CEO of Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone, Meander Valley councillor
Stephanie Cameron, Meander Valley councillor
Justin Derksen, co-founder of house-building firm Crusader Homes

Rebecca White, incumbent, Labor leader since 2017
Jenna Butler, first-term incumbent, Shadow Minister for Police, Building, Community Affairs etc 
Edwin Batt, Southern Midlands council Deputy Mayor, farmer
Gerrard Gaffney, seafarer, Maritime Union of Australia member, 2018 candidate
Janet Lambert, Northern Midlands councillor who nearly won in this seat last time and again in Prosser Legislative Council race

Greens candidates are listed in endorsed ticket order
Liz Johnstone, former community organiser with the Wilderness Society
Tim Morris, former Greens MP for Lyons (2002-2014) 
Jill Pierce, social worker, Eaglehawk Neck community figure
Isabel Shapcott, writer, co-owner Deloraine shop Seppenfelts Emporium (for sale) 
Glenn Millar,  Landcare group president and tour guide, also ran 2014,2018.

Animal Justice Party
Sharon McLay, retired firefighter, farm stay accommodation operator

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
Carlo di Falco, target shooter, hunter, gun collector, frequent Shooters candidate

Ungrouped Independent
George Lane, electrochemist, political commenter on social media, 2016 Senate indie, running on platform of reducing house prices

Prospects for Lyons

The Liberals won three seats in Lyons in 2018, off primary votes of Liberal 50.6%, Labor 33%, Greens 6.5%, Lambie Network 5.5%, Shooters 4%.  

The Liberals have benefited at the last two elections from the even spread of votes between Barnett, Shelton and Rene Hidding, but Hidding is gone now and Tucker's personal vote is not so strong.  Thus if the party's vote declines, Tucker could in theory be left on his own short of a quota.  But if it holds firm or goes up, the Liberal ticket will elect three. Barnett (who got great publicity in this term following the award of the Victoria Cross to Teddy Sheean) and Shelton should be re-elected easily, but Tucker won't necessarily be the third (Bower especially has been suggested as a threat; Cameron might also do well).  If there is an exceptionally strong pandemic vote statewide the Liberals might dream of a fourth seat here, but with a somewhat weakened lineup I think that's unlikely and the party will be most concerned about making sure it holds three.  Demographic change in the seat's south is often seen to be favouring Labor, but Labor still needs a swing of about 8% to gain a seat.  

A possible trouble spot for the government is around Westbury where it has proposed to build a new prison, currently on bushland north of the town.  It will be interesting to see any backlash in particular booths as a result (is the preselection of not one but two Meander Valley councillors an attempt to neutralise it?)  

Another trouble spot for the government is in the south.  The government ticket appears lopsided with four candidates from the north, one from the east coast (Tucker) and only one from the south (Derksen) and nobody from White's base in the growing Sorell area.  

On the Labor side, White will be elected.  Butler won narrowly over Lambert in 2018 and is vulnerable to within-party challenges (including Lambert), but will also benefit to some degree from incumbency and increased name recognition.

The Greens' lead candidate in 2018 was a bad fit for the electorate and a liability for the party's campaign generally.  Johnstone may be better but seems very low-profile with a thin political CV. It will be interesting to see what happens with the comparative votes for Johnstone and Morris given that Morris is a well known former MHA, the first time the Greens have run one of their former MPs as a support candidate.  Labor's troubles have opened up what chance they might have - to increase their vote by a few percent with Labor down by several - but even that won't be easy.  

Outlook for Lyons: Probably 3-2-0, but 4-1-0 and 3-1-1 shouldn't be ruled out given Labor's woes.  

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