One of the most important blocs of Wilkie votes probably came from former Labor voters especially in the northern suburbs.
There are many people who were disillusioned with the Labor Government but for entrenched cultural reasons will never vote Green or Liberal. Many of these folk have also had direct and personal experience of the harm caused by poker machines.
It is a remarkable fact that in all the analysis I have heard of Andrews ‘surprising’ vote no one has suggested that perhaps poker machines are a bigger issue ‘out there’ than media commentators believed.
The solid empirical fact is that the 2009 Social and Economic Impact Study (with a much larger sample than used by ERMS or Newspoll), found that fifty per cent of all Tasmanians now personally know someone with a gambling problem.
… Is it really so surprising, that in looking for an alternative to an unpopular Labor Government that has rigidly defended the pokies status quo since 1998, many of these voters might choose Andrew whose very effective anti-pokies campaign was targeted in the regions where the machines caused the most harm?
From the Wilkie Blog:
Well, who could have predicted this?! At close of counting last night Andrew was sitting on about 5000 primary votes, which translates to 8.45% of the vote – a fraction over half a quota. About 80% of the votes are counted so Andrew will finish a little better than this, but we won’t know just how well for another 10 days or so, after postal votes are counted and preferences are distributed. Andrew, the Greens and the Liberals are now vying for the fifth seat in Denison. Whatever the final result, Andrew could not have wished for much better at this stage. Congratulations Andrew and everyone who supported him and the campaign. Read more HERE