Lambie party gets third seat in Tasmania’s parliament

The Jacqui Lambie Network has secured a third seat in Tasmania’s parliament as the party eyes a kingmaker role to prop up a minority Liberal government.

The incumbent Liberals have 13 seats and could reach 15 – short of the 18 required for majority – after the March 23 state election.

Preference counting continued on Thursday, with two of the island state’s 35 lower house seats remaining undecided.

The Jacqui Lambie Network had secured seats in the electorates of Bass and Braddon and has picked up a third spot in Lyons, according to ABC election analysis.

Tasmania’s House of Assembly has increased by 10 members, with each of the state’s five electorates electing seven MPs.

Ongoing counting will determine which Jacqui Lambie Network candidates have been successful, with a clearer idea of parliament’s make-up expected by Saturday or Monday.

Senator Jacqui Lambie, who hails from Tasmania’s northwest, has indicated her party is prepared to provide stability and certainty to a Liberal minority government.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff has reached out to the Jacqui Lambie Network as well as crossbench independents Kristie Johnston and David O’Byrne.

Mr Rockliff has said he is not prepared to compromise on policy positions and won’t trade ministries.

Ms Johnston and Mr O’Byrne have also indicated they want to see stability and certainty in Tasmania’s parliament.

Labor, which has 10 seats, ruled out trying to form government and has yet to announce a replacement for Rebecca White who stood down as leader after her third failed attempt at becoming premier.

Mr Rockliff has ruled out doing deals with the Greens, who have five MPs and remain in the hunt for one of the undecided seats.

The Liberals, who have been in power since 2014, suffered a 12 per cent swing against them and received 37 per cent of the primary vote.

Labor picked up 29 per cent of first preferences with a swing of less than one per cent towards them.

The election was held more than 12 months ahead of schedule after the Liberals battled in minority for the best part of a year after two MPs quit the party to sit as independents.

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