The leadership contest to decide who will be the next premier of Tasmania is unprecedented, according to a leading political analyst.
Richard Herr said that before Will Hodgman stood down last Tuesday, he couldn't recall when a premier had resigned mid-term, sparking a contest between colleagues on the treasury benches.
He also noted that opposing joint premier-deputy premier tickets hadn't been seen before in a contest between intra-party leadership candidates.
"It appears to me to be unprecedented," Professor Herr said.
"When I first heard there were two tickets, I was surprised.
"It hasn't been part of a traditional leadership battle [in Tasmania]."
Professor Herr said the voting pool to decide the government's next leadership team was "tiny", with 14 Liberal members voting in total and just 10 without taking into account the four leadership candidates: Treasurer Peter Gutwein and Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff and Infrastructure Minister Michael Ferguson and Attorney-General Elise Archer.
Psephologist Kevin Bonham said the closest comparison to the leadership contest playing out right now within government ranks was the battle between Liberals Tony Rundle, Roger Groom and Michael Hodgman in 1996, following Liberal premier Ray Groom's resignation after failing to win a majority at that year's state election.
Mr Rundle went on to win the contest and negotiate an informal confidence and supply agreement with the Greens to form government.
"I think the 1996 [contest], with Rundle and so on, was the only [other] time the Liberals have sort of decided who will be premier by [an internal leadership contest]," Dr Bonham said.
Labor hasn't had a leadership contest in the past 30 years and party rules for how such contests work have changed over time, while it's understood the Liberals' rules have remained relatively static.
"Now ... [Labor has] a complex election process if there are actually multiple candidates, which may discourage multiple candidates from running," Dr Bonham said.
The last time there was a leadership spill within Labor in Tasmania was in 1988, when Michael Field successfully challenged opposition leader Neil Batt, winning eight votes to Mr Batt's seven.
It appears to me to be unprecedented.Richard Herr on the nature of the Liberal leadership contest
Mr Field went on to govern in minority following the 1989 election.
In addition to the Rundle-Groom-Hodgman contest of 1996, Dr Bonham recounted several other leadership stoushes within the Liberal Party in the 1990s, although all of them occurred while the party was in opposition.
Liberal MHA Ray Groom toppled his leader and former premier Robin Gray in 1992, and eventually became premier himself that year after the election defeat of the Field government.
Later in the decade, Denison Liberal MHA Bob Cheek mounted a leadership challenge against opposition leader Sue Napier, which he lost nine votes to two.
But following his unsuccessful bid for the Liberal leadership in 1999, Mr Cheek challenged Ms Napier again in 2001 and she withdrew from the contest due to Mr Cheek having the numbers to win.