Labor reveals Tasmania election candidates

·2-min read

Tasmania's Labor leader has downplayed talk of disunity after two former premiers criticised the party's choice of election candidates.

The island is heading to the polls on May 1 after Liberal Premier Peter Gutwein last week called an early election when his government slipped into minority.

Labor leader Rebecca White on Monday revealed her team of candidates in Launceston, with all nine incumbent members set to run again.

Ms White and the party have copped heat from two former Labor premiers over popular mayor Dean Winter's failure to secure preselection.

"I understand there were more nominations than positions," she told reporters.

"I recognise it's disappointing for those candidates that miss out. (But) there's been a process that's been undertaken by the Labor Party."

Mr Gutwein said Mr Winter's non-selection proved Labor was in "all sorts of trouble".

"When the backroom starts telling the party, and the party leader, who they can or can't preselect, it says something about their party," he said.

Ms White said she was 100 per cent confident in her team and her focus was on making sure Tasmania had a Labor government.

"We've got the opportunity to pick up seats right across the state .... I know we can do that."

She also returned serve, saying the state Liberals were controlled by federal Senator Eric Abetz and they should "take a look at themselves first".

Mr Winter, the Kingborough Mayor, was aiming to run for Labor as one of five candidates in what looms as the key seat of Franklin in the south.

Under Tasmania's Hare-Clark counting system, five members are elected in each electorate.

Former Labor premiers David Bartlett and Lara Giddings have both criticised the party for not getting Mr Winter on board.

"(I am) disappointed Dean is not a candidate. To me he is premier material and I think he will be one day," Ms Giddings told ABC radio.

"But the reality is the Labor Party has its preselection processes and in this period he's been unsuccessful."

Ms White said education, healthcare, housing and privatisation would be key campaign issues.

"This election will be fought on the fundamental things that matter to all Tasmanians," she said.

Ms White says Mr Gutwein hasn't allowed Labor access to public health COVID-19 briefings while the government is in caretaker mode.