Are we up a wattle with our tip that
Tasmanians could be headed to the polls earlier than expected next year?

One cluey political player from the Apple
Isle says so – yet an independent mainland source with no axe to grind is
backing us up. Whatever.

We know that Attorney General Judy Jackson
is going and that Labor is looking for fresh female faces,
and a former parliamentary staffer has this fond memory to share: “Over her
nearly 20 years in parliament she has had almost open warfare with The
. She said to me one morning as
we crossed on the steps of Parliament House on of one of the many occasions
when they had done her over: “F*cking Mercury. I hate the bastards.”

There’s been little surprise at the
reaction from her political foes.
Shadow AG Michael Hodgman has called for her to go now, while fellow Denison MP
and Greens leader Peg Putt thinks the Greens can now win two seats in Denison. Putt’s claim is close to fantasy as, although
Putt herself and the Greens are more popular in Hobart-centred Denison than the rest of the
island (1.5 quotas in 2002), it’s very hard to see enough Jackson voters
abandoning Labor in favour of the Greens.

Things might be more interesting at the
Launceston end of the state if former Bass MHR Michelle O’Byrne runs.

If one of the sitting members in Bass is to
be squeezed out, Liberal wannabe Peter Gutwein will be very nervous. He
has to be considered the most at risk, even with the work he has done on his

What will he do? Keep his lot in with the
Hidding led Liberals and hope that’s enough to get him re-elected? He will surely
want more assurance than that. Insiders says that Gutwein will do what it takes
to ensure he is not the one to miss out. And if he took over as leader or even
deputy, that would be a big boost to his profile.