Image for Poll: Pretty boys, religious weirdos, and ... who cares?

Having just returned from a study (drinking) tour of the birthplace of modern democracy, South Africa, Jarvis has been taking a keen interest in the leadup to Tasmania’s upcoming election.

After all, South Africa and Tassie have a few things in common.  Variable climate aside, both regions have a habit of treating the black natives badly, and giving foreign companies unfettered access to limited and precious resources.

Kevin Bonham New poll can’t be trusted: HERE seems to have adopted an unusually non-committal position on the forthcoming vote, and as I’ve had the privilege of working closely with many of our elected representatives, offer the following predictions.

Denison:  Stuffed with overfed public servants, Denison has always been the `pretty boy’ electorate.  Except for Michael Hodgman, the exception that proves the rule.  Style over substance is the name of the game here.  Bartlett’s toe-ring won’t win the day though – I suggest he get a few tribal tattoos, or perhaps a tasteful nipple piercing.  That might win a few votes, although I suspect something more radical will be needed to get sufficient preferences to get Sturgo over the line.  Having used appropriate language against journalists recently, the nice Singh girl should pick up enough votes to send Sturgo back to a labouring position at his beloved Brighton transport hub.  Maddie – try again next time.  Everyone who knows who Andrew Wilkie is will vote for him, which should translate to about 3 per cent support.  Prediction:  Labor 2, Liberal 2, Greens 1.

Bass:  Someone at Team Bartlett misread an internal email.  What should have been `organise five talented individuals who can ensure we at least keep two seats’ was instead implemented as `get the boys together for a bashing’, with tragic results.  Likely net result – God only knows.  Although the dumb minority who always vote Labor will help Michelle keep her seat, a second Labor position could go anywhere.  If Scott MacLean wins (which I doubt), let’s hope he vacates his seat quickly, possibly to take up a post with the United Nations.  Prediction:  Labor 2, Liberal 2 (although Gutwein will quit not long after the election.  Michael Ferguson will leave not long after to join The Wiggles). Greens 1.  The likely indictment of a number of Launceston-based forestry executives on Corporations Law charges could swing the vote the way of the Greens, assuming the local newspaper reports that as news, rather than as an advertorial.

Franklin: Home of the short-sleeved business shirt, daytime television, valium and adultery.  Ms Wriedt isn’t standing this time, which means another candidate will need to step up to the plate to catch the marginal vote.  Ross Butler is possibly too old to engage in bed-hopping, although a couple of the other Labor hopefuls could pick up the baton.  I think the Liberals will do well here.  Young Will could drag a second candidate in easily on preferences, and the religious weirdo vote, which is nearly as powerful in Franklin as Braddon, could also help.  Prediction: Still, it will be 2:2:1, almost guaranteed.

Lyons:  My electoral guide describes Lyons as a sprawling electorate – a lot like Rene Hiddings’ combover.  Rene – get a new hairstylist.  Or get a hairstylist.  Whatever.  Labor will suffer here, with Heather Butler out the door, and the other couple of old stagers being punished with a big drop in voter support.  The Libs won’t do much better, and the Greens appear to have given up on any chance of a second seat in Lyons.  Note to the Greens – get some candidates with electoral appeal.  Prediction:Another 2:2:1

Braddon:  Who cares.  Actually, somebody must, as all three parties have fielded candidates.  There’s Greenie, cleared of charges, although still hopefully unfit for any sort of ministerial responsibility.  There’s Bestie, who, well, is just unfit for any sort of ministerial responsibility.  The Liberals have announced a field of thousands for a five-seat electorate.  And the sheep-loving locals still think the Greens are on the nose.  Still, I’m guessing Paul O’Halloran might just get over the line if enough hippies and freaks have moved to the North West Coast recently.  Prediction:2:2:1