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Education is the key to the future says a re-elected Josh Willie

The former teacher was formally declared elected in a brief open-air ceremony outside Parliament House on Wednesday.He cruised to victory for a second six-year term in the northern suburbs electorate with 52.6 per cent of the primary vote at the weekend’s poll.Independent Rick Cazaly was second on 26.4 per cent and Green Hannah Bellamy was third with 21 per cent.The former teacher said Tasmania was blessed with a robust democracy, of which the Legislative Council played an vital role.“We are very lucky to have Westminster democracy here in Tasmania in Australia, and you have to look at what’s happening across the world to understand that,” he said. “And of course, education is my great passion. “It’s our greatest opportunity as a state, it is challenging but it is our greatest opportunity to improve lives, to improve the economy and our society. “And I think all children deserve the opportunity to reach their potential. So I’ll remain focused on that.”Mr Cazaly congratulated Mr Willie on his win and said the campaign had been a great learning experience.“I would really like to acknowledge and thank the 4662 people who trusted me with their vote, but also acknowledge the vast majority of the people who wanted nothing to change. “And I, of course, must accept that.” In the weekend’s other Legislative Council elections, independent Tania Rattray was re-elected in the division of McIntyre, and the result in the division of Huon is yet to be determined. Willie and Rattray re-elected, Thorpe ‘hopeful’ of Huon victoryLABOR’s Josh Willie has been re-elected to represent the division of Elwick and independent Tania Rattray will return as the member for McIntyre, after the weekend’s three-seat Legislative Council elections.Labor leader Rebecca White celebrated Mr Willie’s win for the opposition, adding the party was “feeling very hopeful” that Toby Thorpe could also get over the line in the seat of Huon.As of the end of counting on Sunday night, Mr Thorpe held a narrow lead in the division with 25.23 per cent of the primary vote, followed closely by independent Dean Harriss with 23.93 per cent, Liberal candidate Aldo Antolli at 22.79 per cent and Greens candidate Gideon Cordover with Mr Willie’s and Ms Rattray’s leads were deemed insurmountable, with 53.49 per cent and 58.10 per cent of the primary vote respectively.It is unlikely the Huon result will be known until the end of the postal return period on May 17.Ms White said the election results were good news for Labor, saying the “Liberal party vote has plummeted”.“Their results in this election, compared to just one year ago, is pretty bad for the Liberal party. It’s a reflection on the chaos and instability in their government. I think the community has seen that and doesn’t want to vote for that type of government,” she said.“This is a very positive first step for us after last year’s election…I think this also bodes very well for the upcoming federal election.”Mr Willie said it was a “great privilege” to be re-elected in Elwick, which he said was where he lived and sent his children to public school.“I’m very humbled by the result and I think what it shows is that I listen to the community and I fight for the community,” he said.“I was surprised that there wasn’t a Liberal candidate. I’m sure they’d like to see the back of me at times, because I’m not afraid to ask the hard questions and hold them to account when things aren’t going well, particularly in the education portfolio, which is passion of mine. We need to do better as a state.”Mr Willie said he wanted to see more children reaching high school with foundational literacy skills and the “basics” such as “a roof over their head, a stable family environment and good support”.Mr Thorpe said the results could still “go either way”.“It’s a really close race,” he said.“I’ve worked incredibly hard this campaign. I’ve knocked on over…8000 doors.“We had all those hard conversations and we spoke about what we need to do better.”Leg Co election: Huon vote on a knife-edge9pm Saturday, May 7It’s a tight race for the Upper House seat of Huon in the Legislative Council elections with most candidates a chance to claim the abandoned seat.By the end of counting on Saturday, Labor’s Toby Thorpe held a very narrow lead, followed closely by independent candidate Dean Harriss and Greens candidate Gideon Cordover. The seat is one of three to be contested, with McIntyre and Elwick also being contested.The seat was made vacant after the resignation of Bastian Seidel last year.Also contesting Huon is Liberal candidate Aldo Antolli and The Local Party candidate Pat Caplice.Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner Andrew Hawkey said the seat of Huon was too close to determine.“From the Huon point of view there is a very even spread across four of the five candidates, with still quite a significant number of votes to come in,” Mr Hawkey said.“The order of exclusion is certainly not clear. “There’s been 5000 votes counted today a further 3000 ballot will be counted tomorrow for Huon, and we’re looking at around 1400 outstanding postal votes.”In Elwick, Josh Willie looks to retain his seat “He’s in a very strong position and he’s very close,” Mr Hawkey said. “Mathematically we’re not there yet but he’s very close.”Tania Rattray also held a strong lead. “Rattray has a very big lead it looks like she’s got enough votes to get over the line,” Mr Hawkey said. Mr Hawkey said there were still several votes which needed to be counted in all three seats. “We have 3000 already returned for McIntyre which we will count tomorrow, there’s another 1500 which will be returned over the coming days,” Mr Hawkey said. Political analyst Kevin Bonham said he called the race for Elwick early on. “Elwick is totally over, there’s nothing to see there,” Mr Bonham said. “Willie’s going to finish with a majority on the first count, it’s not even going to be taken to preferences.”“It’s not surprising, he’s pretty strong and he’s against relatively low profile opposition.”Mr Bonham said McIntyre would not change either. “Tania Rattray has won and will have an easy majority on primary votes,” Mr Bonham said. “David Downey is quite a well known name in the area but he only announced his run at the start of the campaign.”Mr Bonham agreed the seat of Huon was much less predictable. “It looks like it’s probably between Thorpe from Labor and Dean Harris,” he said. “To be assuming that’s the case will be decided on the other three candidate’s preferences.”“I don’t think the Liberal candidate will over take Harris, the preferences from the minor candidates will help Harris.”EXPLAINED: Where and when to vote for Leg Co this weekend12pm Friday, May 7HUON is set to host the most interesting contest in Saturday’s Legislative Council elections, as voters head to the polls in three Upper House electorates.Elections will be held Saturday in the Legislative Council divisions of Elwick, Huon and McIntyre.Five candidates are vying for Huon after Labor MLC and GP Bastien Seidel quit parliament in disgust over his disappointment with Labor infighting.The Labor hopeful in Huon is Toby Thorpe while Aldo Antolli is running for the LiberalsPat Caplice is running for The Local Party and Gideon Cordover for the Greens.Dean Harriss is running as an independent.Election analyst Kevin Bonham said it was difficult to predict an outcome in Huon given the vacancy and the number of candidates.However Dr Bonham said it would be a tough task for the government to win the seat.“They tend not to hold their state election result in these things,” he said.Mr Harriss, son of former independent and Liberal MP Paul Harriss, could be in with a chance.“If he gets into the top two he may well do well on preferences,” Dr Bonham said.While the northern suburbs seat of Elwick has lost its status as a rusted-on Labor electorate, Dr Bonham said incumbent Josh Willie was likely to retain his seat.“If I was in Labor’s position I would want to hold that comfortably,” he said.“Voters in Elwick as now very accustomed to voting for independents so Labor can’t take their votes for granted.”The Greens candidate in Elwick is Hannah Bellamy and Rick Cazaly is running as an independent.In the North-East electorate of McIntyre, incumbent independent Tania Rattray may face some competition from former Northern Midlands Mayor David Downie.Mitchell Houghton is running for the Greens.Election and voting information:Polling day is tomorrow (SAT) May 7How and where to vote:Pre-polling centres are open until 6pm today (FRI)In Elwick the pre-poll centre is at 29 Charles St, MoonahIn Huon, there are pre-polling centres at the Huon Town Hall in Huonville and Kingborough Family Church in HuntingfieldIn McIntyre, there are pre-poll centres at 58 Charles St Launceston, St Barnabas Church Scottsdale, Deloraine Community Complex. Longford War Memorial Hall and Portland Memorial Hall in St Helens.On polling day (SAT) at a polling place. There are multiple polling places across each electorate. Polling places are open from 8am to 6pm. Visit for full

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