Australia The polls have closed and counting is underway for two Tasmanian Legislative Council seats

03:00  07 may  2018
03:00  07 may  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

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The count is in progress for the seats of the Hobart and Prosser Legislative Council where more than 48,000 Tasmanian voters registered. The Upper House traditionally dominated by independents has become somewhat less independent and little more Labor in the last two years.

The Tasmanian Legislative Council is the upper house of the Parliament of Tasmania in Australia. It is one of the two chambers of the Parliament, the other being the House of Assembly. Both houses sit in Parliament House in the state capital, Hobart.

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission is not expecting final results for either Hobart or Prosser on Saturday night.© Provided by ABC News The Tasmanian Electoral Commission is not expecting final results for either Hobart or Prosser on Saturday night.

Counting is underway for the Legislative Council seats of Hobart and Prosser where more than 48,000 Tasmanian voters have enrolled.

The largely rural Upper House seat of Prosser was created when boundaries were distributed because of population shifts, meaning there is no incumbent.

It is being contested by 13 hopefuls with familiar faces, including former MLCs and ex-MP and recycled candidates from the two major parties: Labor's Janet Lambert and Liberal Jane Howlett.

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Periodic elections for the Tasmanian Legislative Council were held on 5 May 2018. The two seats up for elections were Hobart and Prosser. Hobart was previously contested in 2012. Prosser was a new division created in the 2017 redistribution, and was vacant pending this election.

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The electorate includes the Southern Midlands, Northern Midlands, much of the East Coast and Tasman and Forestier Peninsulas.

The Tasmanian Liberals will be desperately hoping for a Jane Howlett win in Prosser.

The traditionally independent-dominated Upper House has become a little less independent and a little more Labor over the past two years.

After a year struggling to get some key legislation through the Legislative Council, the government does not want a fifth Labor MLC reviewing and voting on its legislation.

City seat held by independent

In Hobart, where the boundaries have changed since the last Legislative Council election, sitting member Rob Valentine is up against five male candidates.

Mr Valentine has held the seat since 2012.

He is a former Hobart lord mayor and an independent, considered to be one of the more left-wing MLCs.

His challengers include Liberal Simon Behrakis, who contested the seat of Denison at the March election.

Also in the race is independent Richard Griggs, the Tasmanian director of Civil Liberties Australia and a former Greens staffer.

Early results for the seat of Hobart are expected on Saturday night but with 13 candidates in Prosser it is likely to be days before a result is known in that seat.

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