The Informer: Tasmania's election race is heating up

Labor leader Rebecca White and Premier Peter Gutwein
Labor leader Rebecca White and Premier Peter Gutwein

Tasmania's election campaign has so far been spicer than a birdseye chilli.

The state is going to the polls on May 1 after Premier Peter Gutwein called an early election, which was not due until May 2022.

And there's been plenty of infighting, big dollar announcements and attempts to save face since the campaign trail began.

Both Labor and the Liberals have already farewelled candidates due to controversy.

Just a day after he was confirmed as a Liberal candidate in the electorate of Franklin, Dean Ewington was forced to apologise for a social media post he made two years ago.

In the post, Mr Ewington bemoaned the "hysterical rants" of Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who he labelled an "autistic 15-year-old".

Mr Ewington dropped out of the state election race a few days later when a video of him questioning the Tasmanian government's coronavirus public health restrictions emerged.

President of the Tasmanian branch of the Labor Party, Ben McGregor, resigned as a state election candidate after a complaint about "inappropriate" text messages he sent several years ago.

"A complaint has been made to the Labor Party by a person in relation to two text messages I sent seven years ago. Though it does not allege sexual misconduct or sexual harassment, its purpose is appallingly clear. The complaint seeks to pervert and weaponise the current justified public outrage at the treatment of women in this country for selfish, tawdry and political purposes," Mr McGregor said on Wednesday.

Then there's the Independent member for Clark, Madeleine Ogilvie, who announced she would run as a Liberal candidate in the state election.

This party affiliation might not seem overly interesting, but Ms Ogilvie was initially elected into parliament as a Labor member, before rejoining as an independent.

Hopefully the next few weeks are less about individuals and more about Tasmania's future.

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