The Guardian July 24, 2002


Greens set world benchmark in Tasmania

The 18.2 percent vote for the Greens in Tasmania, is the highest vote 
recorded for the Greens at a state or national level anywhere in the world. 
The astounding result will give the Greens four seats in the Tasmanian 
State Parliament

"This is an historic Greens landslide against the odds which will boost 
Greens right round Australia", said Federal Senator Bob Brown.

The resurgent Greens vote in Tasmania follows the record Greens vote in 
last year's WA and federal elections.

There are now 14 Green parliamentarians across Australia: four in Tasmania, 
five in WA, one in the ACT, two in NSW and two in the Federal Senate. The 
Greens also have over 40 representatives in local government.

"We are now established and growing rapidly as the progressive political 
alternative to the two big parties which, to the electorate, look more and 
more like each other", Senator Brown said.

The Greens leader in Tasmania, Peg Putt, said of their election win: "You 
can't ignore the forests. It's on everyone's lips. They want an end to 
clear felling and it doesn't stop at this election."

Ms Putt stated that the result showed that they were no longer a "one 
issue" party, and that she has high hopes for the future.

"We aim to eventually become the opposition in Tasmania and then (go) 
forward towards government", she said. "That may take many years, but 
that's the course we're set on."

At the 1998 Tasmanian election, the Greens lost seats under a new electoral 
system engineered by Labor and the Liberals. At that time Greens leader 
Christine Milne predicted "we will be back".

"On 21 July 2002 we are back!" Senator Brown said.

The Greens resurgence parallels the huge growth in the New Zealand Greens' 
popularity. The NZ election will be held this Saturday, and the Greens are 
currently polling 10 per cent.

Results

Labor 52.3 % (up from 44.8)  15 seats (up 1)

Liberals 26.9% (down from 38)  6 seats (down 4)

Greens 18.2% (up from 10.2)  4 seats (up 3)

There is a possibility that the Greens will win a fifth seat at the expense 
of the Liberals

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