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Wilkie romps home before 8pm


Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The odds for Scott Morrison holding onto power after Saturday's election had blown out to $8 by 9pm, Labor pulling ahead with nearly half of the nation's total vote counted at that point. 

Electoral commission projections had Labor ahead in 69 seats, just 7 shy of majority government, while the coalition is winning in just 52 including Tasmanian marginals Bass and Braddon.

Independents lead in a potentially crucial 9 seats including Andrew Wilkie who's romped home in Clark for a fifth term.

In Bass, polling had suggested Bridget Archer would be in trouble in the knife-edge seat, but as of 9pm on Saturday she was more than 3000 votes ahead of the man she unseated in 2019, Labor's Ross Hart.

In the other marginal seat of Braddon, Gavin Pearce was comfortably ahead of Labor's Chris Lynch, the incumbent outpolling Mr Lynch by more than double at that point. 

Lyons was too close to call three hours after polls closed.

Coalition contender Susie Bower had slipped slightly behind Labor incumbent Brian Mitchell on preferences, Mr Mitchell suffering a 7.5 per cent swing. 

Andrew Wilkie had Clark won before 8 pm, as usual romping home and on track for more than 70 per cent of the two-candidate preferred vote. 

“I am delighted to be in a position to again hold the seat of Clark after today’s poll,” Mr Wilkie said.

“Elections are a wonderful celebration of democracy and to have secured a fifth term is tremendous validation that my consistent calls for greater fairness and action on many key issues have resonated in the greater Hobart community."

In nearby Franklin, it was a similar story for Labor veteran Julie Collins. 

The former Minister was bolstered by Labor's big-spending campaign, including a $60 million pledge to upgrade Hobart airport's runway, while the Coalition ran a fairly low-key campaign with no promises specifically for the electorate.

The Saturday night count had Ms Collins on track for a two-thirds majority win over Liberal Kristy Johnston after preferences.

In the Senate, Liberal Eric Abetz is in the fight of his political life after preselectors dropped him to third on the party's ticket behind Jonothan Duniam and Wendy Askew

Labor's Anne Urqhardt and Helen Polley are on track to return along with Green Peter Whish-Wilson, and attention will be focused on the sixth seat.

Below-the-line votes could get Senator Abetz home, but number 6 could also go to candidates including the Jacqui Lambie network's Tammy Tyrrel.