Will Hodgman, deputy leader of the Liberal Party in Tasmania and scion of a political dynasty, woke to good news today.
A Mercury TasPoll survey found that more than a third of Liberal voters believe Hodgman would make a better premier than party leader Rene Hidding, and 12% named Hodgman as the political figure they would most like to see as the next premier – an astonishing result considering his name wasn’t included in the survey questions.
Hodgman, 36, is chuffed to the eyeballs, telling Crikey he hopes to get the top job down the track, but he’s happy as Hidding’s deputy. “I don’t pretend I don’t want it,” he says. “I certainly have a desire to achieve as much as I can.”
Hodgman was born with a silver political spoon in his mouth. A lawyer, he is the son of Michael, a former Fraser Government minister and a current member of Tasmania’s House of Assembly, a nephew of Peter, a former Tasmanian Liberal Minister, grandson of Bill, a long serving member of the Legislative Council, and a great, great nephew of Thomas, also a parliamentarian.
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Hidding, 53, was born in Holland to dairy farmers, with half of their house providing shelter for their cows in winter, which in turn heated their home before they migrated to Australia. Before his move into politics, he owned a successful hardware business built from scratch. He is unfazed by the poll, telling Crikey he is delighted by it.
“Will is a smart young man – one of four elected three and a half years ago – and I said I would let them fly,” Hidding says. ” I don’t see Will as a threat, I see him as a future leader with an outstanding political career ahead of him.”