Labor lets go, Liberals set to govern – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Updated 7 hours 8 minutes ago

Tasmania is another step closer to a Liberal minority government.

Caretaker Premier David Bartlett met the new Labor caucus this morning and said it agreed to hand over power to the Liberals.

He said although he wanted to remain premier, he was sticking to his promise to concede to the Liberals if they won more primary votes in the state poll.

“I stand by those commitments 100 per cent,” he said.

“I will not be moving from those commitments.”

Mr Bartlett said he would visit the Governor on Wednesday to advise that Liberal leader Will Hodgman should become premier.

He said he had the unanimous support of the party room to do so.

“I cannot in any good conscience be confident that I would enjoy as premier the confidence of the House of Assembly,” he said, adding that the Liberals and Greens had recently moved a no-confidence motion against him.

The motion was defeated by the Government’s numbers but Mr Bartlett said neither Greens leader Nick McKim or Mr Hodgman had changed their position.

“Their collusion puts me in a position where I am unable to advise the Governor honestly that I have the confidence of the House of Assembly,” he said.

It is now up to the Governor, Peter Underwood, to decide whether or not to accept Mr Bartlett’s advice.

Mr Bartlett said that after 12 years in office, voters had given Labor a “kick in the pants”.

He said he took full responsibility for the 12 per cent swing against the party.

And in defending his decision to relinquish power, Mr Bartlett launched a scathing attack on former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson.

On the ABC’s Q&A program, Mr Richardson said Mr Bartlett was “silly” for refusing to negotiate a deal with the Greens.

But Mr Bartlett has hit back.

“I read Graham Richardson’s autobiography. What was it called again? Oh that’s right – Whatever It Takes,” he said.

“It is a litany of, frankly, a man who would crawl over his dead grandmother to get to power. And I am not that man.”

Mr Bartlett said he and deputy leader Lara Giddings retained their leadership positions in a unanimous vote.

Labor and the Liberals have 10 seats each in the new hung parliament, while the Greens hold five. The election result was finalised last night.

Tags: elections, labor-party, liberal-party, greens, tas, hobart-7000, launceston-7250

First posted 10 hours 14 minutes ago


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