Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett has dropped a bombshell by announcing (on Facebook, if you please) that he will relinquish the leadership, citing family reasons. Bartlett plans to remain in parliament and cabinet for the remainder of the current term, but will not contest the next election. Deputy Premier Lara Giddings has Bartlett’s full support to succeed him, but the ABC reports former deputy Bryan Green is believed to be another potential candidate. Green however is carrying weighty baggage from the previous term, when he resigned over the granting of a building accreditation monopoly to a company part-owned by former Tasmanian and Queensland (respectively) Labor ministers John White and Glen Milliner. He was tried twice on charges of conspiracy and attempting to interfere with an executive officer, both of which ended in hung juries. The leader and deputy leader positions will be determined at a caucus meeting tomorrow. The new Premier will be the fourth since Labor came to power in 1998, following Jim Bacon, Paul Lennon and David Bartlett.
UPDATE: Channel Ten has reportedly reported that Bartlett likely faced a leadership challenge from Giddings if he did not go quietly.
UPDATE 2: Kevin Bonham relates in comments that Giddings has been elected unopposed, with Green back as deputy.