Then a series of events spanning a few days in late March turned that on its head, giving the government the pretense it needed to go to an election 12 months early.
Speaker Sue Hickey was told she would not be endorsed by the Liberals, she became independent, the government lost its majority and Premier Peter Gutwein made his move by calling an election for May 1.
Then two days later, independent Madeleine Ogilvie joined the Liberals as a candidate for Clark, thereby - in theory - restoring the government's majority.
But the horse had bolted, with Mr Gutwein eager to capitalise on a surge in personal popularity following his handling of the COVID pandemic when he fronted daily livestreamed briefings and developed a priceless profile, particularly in his hometown of Launceston.
Within days of the election being called, the Liberals had their candidates ready to go and Launceston was rapidly covered with blue election posters. They also sprung up quickly across Lyons and Braddon. The alleged spontaneity of the sudden descent into minority government was but a distant memory as the Liberals launched into a co-ordinated campaign.
With the power of incumbency, they had thrown Labor onto the backfoot, forcing the opposition to rapidly put together a team of candidates. This short timeframe for vetting combined with preselection infighting meant candidate scandal was almost inevitable.
And so it was, first with Labor leader Rebecca White's tussle with unions over Kingborough mayor Dean Winter's candidacy for Franklin, then Clark candidate and party president Ben McGregor resigning over inappropriate text messages while fellow candidate Fabiano Cangelosi hit out at his own party's pokies and anti-protest policies.
The Liberals were not entirely immune as Franklin candidate Dean Ewington resigned after video showed him questioning government public health restrictions, while Bass candidate Lara Alexander's campaign claimed the party was gagging lower profile candidates. Adam Brooks' preselection in Braddon raised eyebrows, particularly when he faced court summons on alleged minor firearms offences.
As is often the case however, once the dust settled from an initial flurry of scandal, the policy debate could start.
With a public health system stretched to its limits, housing priority waiting lists steadily growing and a rebound needed from a COVID-induced economic downturn, the public deserved an election campaign that addressed the issues facing everyday Tasmanians.
Health system fixes
Recognising a potential weak spot in their bid for reelection, the Liberals quickly announced their health promises: 22,300 elective surgeries over four years, 160 more nurses, 14 doctors, 70 hospital support staff and 30 allied health staff, along with facilitating a co-located private hospital in Launceston, which Labor also committed to.
Infrastructure upgrades at the Launceston General Hospital, North-West Regional Hospital and Mersey Community Hospital were also promised.
But the government would not commit to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation's proposal to address a vacancy rate of 400 positions in the health system, which was adopted by Labor and the Greens.
Labor promised to recruit 325 permanent nurses and 70 specialist doctors, along with 150 more paramedics and 24/7 ambulance stations and community health centres.
The Greens say they'd add 730 more nurses through graduate programs and permanent nurses.
The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine described the systemic issues causing access block in Tasmania as "insidious", urging greater ambition than the major parties' current policies.
The Australian Medical Association wanted $400 million in IT investment so healthcare could be delivered within homes, easing pressure on other parts of the health system.
Housing crisis persists
Former premier Will Hodgman recognised the housing crisis in Tasmania and launched a summit looking for solutions three years, but how much has changed?
Government data shows more Tasmanians are waiting for priority housing, house prices - and rents - are increasing and levels of housing stress across the state are worsening. Both major parties want to ease the land tax burden, which they say will improve housing affordability.
The Liberals have promised 1500 more public houses by 2023, and 2000 more by 2027. Labor promised 3500 new social houses over four years, and the Greens believe 8357 can be built by 2030.
Tasmanian housing advocacy groups have urged 10,000 in 10 years, and remain disappointed that the major parties have not promised to match this level of ambition. The state is also facing a skills and materials backlog in the housing construction sector after the HomeBuilder rush.
Tasmania saw out the COVID crisis better than most places in the world, but it inevitably caused a drag on economic activity. Attention turns to the future, with Mr Gutwein regularly arguing that "growing the economy" again would result in improved services for Tasmanians.
To do this, the Liberals promised jobs hubs in various regional centres, making TasTAFE a government business enterprise and connecting prospective workers into the construction and civil engineering sectors to carry out $3 billion worth of public infrastructure.
Labor has promised to make TAFE free in areas of skills shortages and provide a $55 million jobs and innovation fund for businesses to add new technology and equipment.
The Greens say Tasmania needs a "job guarantee", in which the government provides work to anyone willing and able in areas such as environmental restoration and the care sectors.
Where it'll be won and lost
As late as February 9, Mr Gutwein told The Examiner "I've made it perfectly clear my intention is to serve a full term". But having watched Queensland return their state government with a boosted majority, and then Western Australia's landslide of March 13, the temptation to roll the dice for majority government must have been overwhelming.
While the Hare-Clark system sandbags Tasmania against a WA-style wipeout, it also makes predictions a dangerous game. But it's safe to say Clark offers the biggest chance for the Liberals to pick up the seat needed for majority - should Madeleine Ogilvie be reelected.
Standing in her way are high profile independent Sue Hickey and Glenorchy mayor Kristie Johnston. If both are elected, the Liberals would likely need to look elsewhere for their extra seat.
Braddon elected four Liberals in 2014, but party insiders say that's incredibly difficult to repeat.
In Bass, however, Mr Gutwein enjoys widespread support. He also possesses a secret weapon afforded to very few Liberals - popularity with the youth. One of the most revealing moments of the campaign was when Mr Gutwein received his AstraZeneca vaccine, pulling up his sleeve to show a large panther tattoo. Receiving the jab in his right-arm - unusually, also the arm he writes with - his media team was ready to go with a TikTok account: "papi_g".
Memes have become a powerful political tool in the fight for the crucial youth vote across the world, and this is the perfect case in point, stemming from Facebook page Launceston Memes popularising Mr Gutwein throughout the COVID crisis.
Could this flow down to a fourth Liberal in Bass? Or is this underestimating the nuance of today's youth?
The Greens - ever-popular among young voters - think they're a chance of snatching the final seat in Bass from the Liberals. And Labor's candidate Janie Finlay proved her popularity by almost toppling Jo Palmer in Rosevears last year as an independent. Could she guarantee the status quo for Labor in Bass?
A long Saturday awaits.