Will Hodgman

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Will Hodgman

Will Hodgman apples cropped.jpg
45th Premier of Tasmania
Elections: 2010, 2014, 2018
Assumed office
31 March 2014
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor Peter Underwood
Kate Warner
Deputy Jeremy Rockliff
Preceded by Lara Giddings
52nd Leader of the Opposition of Tasmania
In office
30 March 2006 – 31 March 2014
Deputy Jeremy Rockliff
Preceded by Rene Hidding
Succeeded by Bryan Green
Member of the Tasmanian Parliament
for Franklin
Assumed office
20 July 2002
Preceded by Matt Smith
Personal details
William Edward Felix Hodgman

(1969-04-20) 20 April 1969 (age 49)[1]
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Political party Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Nicola Hodgman
Children William, James and Lily Hodgman
Alma mater University of Tasmania
Website Official website

William Edward Felix Hodgman (born 20 April 1969) is an Australian politician who is the 45th and current Premier of Tasmania. He has been a member for the Division of Franklin in the Tasmanian House of Assembly since the 2002 state election. He became premier following the 2014 state election, having been Leader of the Opposition since 2006. He was re-elected to a second term in government following victory in the 2018 state election. In March 2018, he succeeded Angus Bethune as the longest-serving leader in the history of the Tasmanian Liberals. Hodgman is from Hobart and was educated at the University of Tasmania. Hodgman's father, uncle, and grandfather also served in the Parliament of Tasmania.

Early life and education

Hodgman is the son of former Liberal parliamentarian Michael Hodgman. His uncle, Peter, was also a Member of the Tasmanian Parliament, and his paternal grandfather, Bill Hodgman, was a member of both Houses of the Tasmanian Parliament, ending his career as President of the Legislative Council. He was educated at The Hutchins School and the University of Tasmania, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws in 1993, and a Graduate Certificate in Legal Practice in 1994. He is married to Nicola, and the couple have two sons, William and James, and a daughter, Lily.

Legal career

Hodgman was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in 1994. He was an associate of the Hobart law firm Wallace Wilkinson & Webster, before practising as a solicitor for the Wiltshire County Council in the United Kingdom for 15 months. In the United Kingdom he acted as prosecutor and advocate for the Council in the County Courts and the High Court of Justice. He then returned to Wallace Wilkinson & Webster in 1998, and practised in criminal law and personal injuries until his election to Parliament.

Political career

Hodgman entered Parliament at the 2002 election in the electorate of Franklin and was elected to the role of deputy leader immediately afterwards.[1]He was elected alongside his father, who was elected in the neighbouring seat of Denison.

Hodgman was re-elected in the 2006 election receiving 21.98 per cent of first preferences, an increase compared to his previous vote of 12.37 per cent in the 2002 election. This is the third highest individual vote ever recorded in the seat of Franklin.[citation needed]

On 30 March 2006 he was unanimously elected as the leader of Tasmania's Liberal Party, replacing Rene Hidding following disappointing results at the 2006 election. Jeremy Rockliff is his deputy.[2]

Hodgman has held a number of shadow portfolios in his parliamentary career, including Treasury and Finance, Energy, Major Projects and Community Development. Apart from his Party Leadership, he was also Shadow Minister for Tourism, Economic Development and the Arts.

2010 election

Hodgman contested the 2010 Tasmanian state election and the result was a hung parliament, with the Liberals and Labor on 10 seats each. The balance of power rested with the Tasmanian Greens, who won five seats. Before the election, the incumbent Premier David Bartlett stated that the party who won the most votes should form government. Since the Liberals won the popular vote by just over 6,700 votes, Bartlett and his caucus voted to give up power, and Bartlett advised the Governor of Tasmania, Peter Underwood, to invite Hodgman to form a government.[3]

However, Hodgman never approached the Greens before the writs were returned, and Bartlett did not promise a Hodgman minority government would have a minimum period of support. Faced with the prospect of a government being defeated at its first sitting, Underwood recommissioned Bartlett as premier and left it to the Assembly to determine whether Labor had enough support to govern.[4] Hodgman accused Bartlett of going back on a promise not to topple a Liberal minority government. [5]

2014 election

Before the 2014 Tasmanian state election, with polls suggesting the Liberals were positioned to win government, Hodgman had promised that he would only govern in majority. ABC News election analyst Antony Green suggested Hodgman's promise could have come back to haunt him if the Palmer United Party, which made a significant effort in the election, were to siphon off enough votes to deny the Liberals a majority.[4] On election night, Hodgman led the Liberal Party to victory with a swing of over 9% against the incumbent Labor Party. The Liberals picked up an additional seat in every electorate except Denison, assuring that Hodgman would have a secure majority.[6] They ultimately went on to win 15 seats–a comprehensive victory under current Tasmanian electoral practice.[7]

Hodgman himself topped the poll in Franklin, tallying 23,589 first preference votes on 35 percent of the first preference vote; the total number of electors in Franklin is 74,189.[8] This result was achieved despite competing against both Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim in this multi-member electorate. Hodgman was sworn in as the 45th Premier of Tasmania, alongside the members of his cabinet, on 31 March 2014, becoming only the fifth non-Labor premier in 80 years[9] and only the third to govern in majority.

2018 election

Hodgman dissolved the parliament and called the election for March 3. Repeating his vow of four years earlier, Hodgman categorically ruled out governing in coalition or minority, saying, "We will govern alone or not at all." However it was thought unlikely at the time that the Liberals would keep their majority due to the strong polling of the Greens and the Jacqui Lambie Network.[10]

During the campaign, Hodgman and the Liberals promised to keep poker machines in pubs and clubs.[11][12] He claimed 5000 jobs were at risk if machines were banned, although fact checkers called this claim overblown.[13]

The day before the election it was revealed that the Liberals had privately indicated to farming stakeholders they might relax the state's gun laws. The move was criticised by some opponents.[14]

Ultimately, the Liberals suffered a swing of two seats, leaving them at 13 seats, just enough for a majority. It was only the second time in 87 years that the non-Labor forces in Tasmania had been reelected with an outright majority.

Hodgman is one of the few Australian state politicians to have never spent a day on the backbench. He has spent his entire tenure in the House of Assembly as deputy opposition leader (2002-2006), opposition leader (2006-2014) and premier (2014-present).


  1. ^ a b "HODGMAN: William Edward Felix". The Parliament of Tasmania from 1856. Parliament of Tasmania. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Hodgman takes charge of Liberals". ABC News. Australia. 30 March 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  3. ^ Denholm, Matthew (1 April 2010). "Bartlett's Labor gives up power in Tasmania to Will Hodgman's Liberals". The Australian. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  4. ^ a b Green, Antony. 2014 Tasmanian election preview. ABC News, 2014-01-17.
  5. ^ Ogilvie, Felicity (9 April 2010). "Governor's stinging rebuke for Bartlett". ABC News. Retrieved 10 April 2010. See also Ogilvie, Felicity (9 April 2010). "Tasmanian Governor explains why he picked Labor". PM (ABC). Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  6. ^ Lehman, Ros (15 March 2014). "Tasmania votes: Liberals sweep to power, ending 16 years of Labor rule". ABC News.
  7. ^ Green, Antony. 2014 Tasmanian election preview. ABC News, 2014-01-17.
  8. ^ "2014 Tasmanian Election Results - Division of Franklin". Tasmanian Electoral Commission. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Will Hodgman announces cabinet line-up for new Tasmanian government". ABC News. Australia. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  10. ^ Wahlquist, Calla (2018-01-27). "Tasmania election: Will Hodgman says Liberals will 'govern alone or not at all'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  11. ^ "PM dodges pokies regulation questions while supporting Tasmanian Liberal campaign". ABC News. 2018-02-16. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  12. ^ "Liberals gamble on giving more back to pubs, clubs from pokies". ABC News. 2018-01-09. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  13. ^ Carmignani, Fabrizio. "FactCheck: are 'around 5,000 jobs' at risk if pokies are removed from pubs and clubs in Tasmania?". The Conversation. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  14. ^ Relaxation of Tasmanian gun laws is about supporting farmers: Will Hodgman, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2018-03-02, retrieved 2018-03-01

External links

  • Will Hodgman's maiden speech to parliament
  • Will Hodgman's website
Tasmanian House of Assembly
Preceded by
Paul Lennon
Martin McManus
Neville Oliver
Matt Smith
Paula Wriedt
Member for Franklin
Served alongside: Ross Butler (2008–2010)
Lara Giddings (2002–2018)
Daniel Hulme (2009–2010)
Paul Lennon (2002–2008)
Nick McKim (2008–present)
David O'Byrne (2010–2014)
Jacquie Petrusma (2010–present)
Paul Harriss (2014–present)
Political offices
Preceded by
Rene Hidding
Leader of the Opposition of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Bryan Green
Preceded by
Lara Giddings
Premier of Tasmania
Party political offices
Preceded by
Rene Hidding
Leader of the Liberal Party in Tasmania

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