Labor concedes defeat in Tasmanian state election

  • Tasmanian Labor has admitted this will not be the case at the election
  • Party leader Rebecca White’s position is now vacant
  • READ MORE: Tasmania elections 2024

Tasmanian Labor has admitted it will not collect enough votes to win the state election, with leader Rebecca White declaring it is “highly unlikely” it will form a minority government.

Early election results pointed to a hung parliament, but Ms White admitted on Sunday that Labor was unlikely to form a government after winning 10 seats but not enough for 18.

“Based on the fact that the Liberal Party has won more seats and convention would dictate that the Governor would ask the Prime Minister to form a government, whether in Parliament or with the support of the jury, that is the likely outcome of this election result,” she told a news conference.

Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White has admitted it will not generate enough votes to win the state election

‘I respect that outcome. I respect the will of the people, and I am very grateful to the people of Lyon who have given me their support.”

Under Labor Party rules, the leadership position is now vacant.

Ms White told reporters she was still the leader of the state’s Labor Party and said she would take a “couple of days” to consider her options.

“I’m the leader right now and I’m doing the job I was elected to do,” she said.

While the Liberals are expected to win the largest number of seats after Saturday’s election, both the Liberals and Labor have failed to form a majority government – with the Liberals suffering a 12-swing percentage.

After hailing the result as a “victory”, Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff told reporters in Hobart that voters had sent a clear message towards small parties and independents.

“The Tasmanian people have spoken and I respect the message we heard last night,” Rockliff said.

“What we’ve heard is that Tasmanians clearly want attention on issues around the cost of living, healthcare and housing. What I do believe is that people also voted for security and stability.

On Sunday, Mr Rockliff confirmed he had started contacting independent parties and the Jacqui Lambie Network – which is expected to win up to four seats.

“I am confident that the new people elected to the Tasmanian Parliament will want the security and stability that Tasmanians naturally deserve,” he said.

The Liberals are expected to win the most seats in Tasmania's hung parliament

The Liberals are expected to win the most seats in Tasmania’s hung parliament

Earlier, Labor leader Julie Collins said a rise in Greens and independent votes was an outcome that was “not surprising” and criticized Rockliff’s declaration of victory despite its failure to form a majority government.

“The Prime Minister’s triumphant speech last night was out of touch with Tasmanians, and the result we saw last night is that there are still eight seats in doubt. I think it’s too early for people to say who Tasmania’s next government will be,” Ms Collins told Sky News.

A final election result likely won’t be finalized for a few weeks.