Tuesday 24 May 2005

Poll Bludgers

Mr HARRISS - I think, Mr Deputy President, whilst there is a whole heap of other things there that I could address my mind to, even my speech notes, I will not. In terms of getting some sort of assessment of where we go in this House to support the Budget or support the Government's initiatives over the coming year, I want very quickly to address my mind to the polling history of the voting process which has occurred here. We might be able to form some opinions as to where the support for the Government might lie.

Poll Bludgers last year characterised Harriss, Fletcher, Dean, Smith and Jamieson as the Council opposition, with the remainder holding the balance of power. But, Mr Deputy President, of concern is this: Ivan Dean has proved more inclined to support the Government in the past year while Sue Smith has become even more a borderline case.
Members laughing .

Mr Finch - In what respect - personal life or political life?

Mrs Smith - I thought I was always borderline.

Mr HARRISS - The article went on to say, Mr Deputy President, that along with Harriss, Tony Fletcher has consistently been the most troublesome member from Labor's point of view and they will presumably be pleased to see the back of him. I am going to send that on to Mr Fletcher, just so he knows where he stands in the game.
Mrs Jamieson - I would.

Mr HARRISS - It is interesting that the honourable member for -
Mr Finch - Did I not get a mention?

Mr HARRISS - You are about to, you are just about to get a mention. The honourable member for Rosevears, the government member for Rosevears, between 2002-04 had supported the Government on 59 per cent of occasions when it came to divisions. He had a small decline to 58 per cent, a real turn to the Right. He has really turned the corner; he has gone from supporting the Government 59 per cent of the time down to 58 per cent of the time.

Mr Finch - As I suggested to you - through you, Mr Deputy President - I believe that between 40 per cent and 70 per cent shows true independence. Anything outside of that, I think you are starting to look at other flavours. Just give me your percentage, please, member for Huon. As an independent, I am sure you fit in that 40 per cent to 70 per cent category.

Mr HARRISS - That is right. Mr Deputy President, if it is bad legislation you reject it, and so on only 6 per cent of occasions in 2002-04 I supported the Government on divisions because they were clearly bad issues that we were addressing our minds to. I went up to 17 per cent, tragically.

Members laughing .

Mr Finch - Oh, you have some work to do in fitting into that independent zone of 40 per cent.

Mr HARRISS - I have. During the forthcoming year I have to do some work on that. Goodness me, the closest to that was 25 per cent by the honourable member for Mersey. The honourable member for up the right-hand side of the Tamar has blown out from 9 per cent support to 42 per cent support. We probably should divide on this question about whether the budget papers be noted, so we can see exactly where people stand in regard to their support for the Government.

Mr Deputy President, I think I support the motion that the budget papers be noted. But just before doing that, I will take my papers and sit down.

Members laughing .