Peter Gutwein has announced his retirement from parliament and as Premier of Tasmania, effective immediately. Without knowing an awful lot about the day-to-day of the Tasmanian political scene, my assumption would be that the favourite to succeed him is Deputy Premier and Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff, who has held the deputy position in both opposition and government all the way back to 2006. Rockliff declined to seek the leadership after Will Hodgman retired in January 2020, instead joining a moderate leadership ticket headed by Gutwein.
If the conservatives are willing or able to flex their muscles, other contenders might include Michael Ferguson, who holds the infrastructure and transport, finance, state development and local government and planning portfolios (and was one of the many one-term members for the federal seat of Bass from 2004 to 2007), and Attorney-General Elise Archer. Ferguson and Archer were initially poised to run as a conservative ticket for leader and deputy when Hodgman resigned, but both withdrew when it became apparent they didn’t have the numbers.
Gutwein’s resignation will also result in a vacancy in the division of Bass, which will be filled by a recount of votes from last year’s election. There has already been a vacancy for one of the three Liberal seats, with Sarah Courtney succeeded by Lara Alexander in February. The results of that recount suggest Gutwein’s seat is certain to be filled by Simon Wood, who finished narrowly behind Alexander in the recount and well ahead of the remaining Liberal on the ticket, Greg Kieser.