The balance of power in Tasmania's parliament has taken a turn, with a former Labor MP returning as an independent.
Madeleine Ogilvie earlier this week won a recount for the Hobart electorate of Clark triggered by the retirement of Labor's Scott Bacon.
She had her first day in parliament on Thursday after overnight revealing her intentions to sit as an independent and not rejoin her former party.
It is the first time in more than a decade Tasmania's House of Assembly has included an independent, in what has a big impact on the dynamics of parliament.
Ms Ogilvie had represented the Labor opposition in the lower house for four years but lost her seat at the 2018 state election and subsequently quit the ALP.
Ms Ogilvie, a Catholic, was a member of Labor's right faction and had previously clashed with the party's majority left on issues including euthanasia.
She held recent talks with Labor leader Rebecca White about rejoining the party.
"Maybe this is a moment in time where I get to make a once-in-a-lifetime contribution to Tassie," Ms Ogilvie said.
Ms Ogilvie said there were some obstacles to rejoining Labor but didn't elaborate.
"I always said that it was for Madeleine to decide whether to rejoin the Labor Party," Ms White said in a statement.
"I respect Madeleine's decision to sit as an independent and I look forward to working with her in the parliament."
Ms Ogilvie's decision could give the Liberal government a helping hand in the 25-seat House of Assembly.
Liberal Speaker Sue Hickey did hold the casting vote, which the independent-minded MP has used to pass legislation in step with Labor and the Greens, including controversial laws to make gender optional on birth certificates.
Ms Ogilvie, who had an unsuccessful tilt as an independent at the upper house this year, may be more inclined than Ms Hickey to vote along Liberal lines.
The Liberals hold 13 seats and the Greens two, with Labor slipping to nine.
Ms Ogilvie says she wants to contribute to a stable parliament but intends to "speak freely".
"The feedback that I've had from the people of Clark and Tasmania is that's what they want - a big contest of ideas for better or worse," she said.
Ms Ogilvie, whose great uncle Albert Ogilvie was a Labor premier, is the first independent Tasmanian MP since Bruce Goodluck in 1998.
Australian Associated Press