It was the year that many Tasmanians thought would compensate for a challenging 2020.
There was optimism about a vaccine rollout and a promise that life would return to what was termed a "new normal".
That didn't happen and for another year COVID-19's ferocious new Delta strain dominated news coverage daily.
Despite the social devastation, disruption to daily lives, health and mental health impacts caused by the virus, incumbent governments could have been considered beneficiaries - at least at election time.
There is no clearly example of the political gain from hardline measures to protect a constituency than the Western Australian Government's election landslide earlier this year.
Despite his deflection of questions of an early election continually over a number of months, the McGowan factor would have keenly been on Premier Peter Gutwein's mind following WA's March election.
Sue Hickey had been an outlier of the party - cast out for supposed disloyalty - since her election to Parliament in 2018.
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It was over a coffee at Ms Hickey's house that the Premier cast the die.
He told her that he nor the party wanted her to run in the next state election, due in 2022, which resulted in her fronting media the following day to declare she would run as an independent. Under party rules, this meant Ms Hickey could no longer be a party member which put the government in minority.
Mr Gutwein swiftly went from deflecting questions over an early election to stating the state would have an election "when it needs it."
With the government in minority, Mr Gutwein was then able to argue to the Governor that there was no stability in the House of Assembly as the government could not be assured that Ms Hickey would vote with it on all matters. The justification was accepted, despite Ms Hickey saying she would not block supply, and it was on.
Labor's first weeks of the campaign was a sorry sight to see.
The party had been caught flat-footed by the early election call and was yet to firm up pre-selection across the state's electorates.
The innate power struggle between factions intensified and, more than before, shamelessly spilled out into the public.
It would appear that some within the party would do whatever they could to undermine leader Rebecca White, even if it took missing out on a chance to govern for the first time in seven years.
It must have been satisfying for maligned former Labor member Madeleine Ogilvie watch it all unfold as she campaigned alongside her new team as a Liberal candidate.
It started with a concerted effort by the left faction to block the pre-selection of popular mayor Dean Winter from the opposing faction.
Ms White eventually intervened, wrote the party's national secretary on the issue and Mr Winter was on the ticket.
He ended up topping the poll in Franklin.
Next, party candidate Fabiano Cangelosi spoke out against Labor's abandonment of its anti-poker machine platform from the 2018 election in the barrister's most floral language.
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Criticism mounted that Ms White had no control of her party, allowing the opposing side to repeat the phase ad nauseam: 'if you can't manage your party, how can you manage the state'.
Then there was party president Ben McGregor's exit from the campaign, one that was pushed by Ms White and state secretary Stuart Benson, for an inappropriate text message sent to a female colleague some years before.
Comments Ms White made about the situation on the campaign trail are now subject to defamation proceedings against her by Mr McGregor.
Eventually, Labor was able to clear the air and talk about its policies and it was Mr Gutwein's turn to deal with campaign sideshow antics.
Enter Terry Brooks - or Gav or trb44eng.
These were several aliases on dating apps which emerged during the final weeks of the campaign that were linked to former MP and Liberal candidate Adam Brooks. He denied the profiles were operated by him, though a figure captured on CCTV vision that looked like Mr Brooks with a complainant did not help his argument.
The Liberals ended up winning the May election by a seat, therefore, in a no better position than they were after the 2018 election.
A win is a win, but given the Premier's three-quota pull and the party's popularity in the polls, there is no doubt this win was somewhat of a disappointment.
On the day polls were to be declared in Braddon, an elected Mr Brooks said he would resign from his seat to deal with mental health challenges.
He was also facing fresh charges in Queensland concerning explosives, firearms, and a fake driver's licence.
In the aftermath of the election, Labor's troubles remained unresolved and it appeared Ms White's leadership was on borrowed time.
The inevitable happened and Ms White gracefully decided to step aside on the basis of party renewal.
David O'Byrne, who had been hungry for the top job since he entered Parliament in 2010, nominated for the position as did Shane Broad.
A membership ballot saw Mr O'Byrne elected with 75 per cent of the vote.
It was to be the shortest leadership tenure in the history of the Tasmanian Labor Party.
Just 15 days into the leadership, Mr O'Byrne stood aside while the party investigated an internal complaint of sexual harassment made against him while he was a union boss in 2007 and 2008.
He resigned from the leadership four days later.
The complaint was made by a female employee who was 15 years his junior.
Amid the growing calls for Mr O'Byrne to both resign the leadership and from Parliament, one member become sick of Labor's toxicity and packed it in after one year in the Legislative Council - Bastian Seidel.
Mr O'Byrne was later cleared of sexual harassment and victimisation allegations, though his actions were categorised as wrong and inappropriate.
He still retains a seat in Parliament, but not in the Labor caucus.
Perhaps the most significant reforms the government introduced over the year were the restructure of TasTAFE and its long-coming future gaming legislation.
Labor and the Liberals teamed up in the lower house to ensure gaming legislation was swiftly passed with minor amendments.
The legislation broke Federal Group's exclusivity arrangement over lucrative poker machine operations in the state, but compensated the business with a significantly reduced tax rate for takings.
Strident anti-pokies MLC Meg Webb wasn't going to let them off the hook so easily in the upper house with a second reading contribution that spanned most of the extended sitting day.
The legislation eventually passed.
Labor sought to make TasTAFE reforms an election issue and continued to argue the reforms were a move towards privatisation, though this argument failed to win over the independents in the upper house. Some concerns were held about ongoing wages and conditions for TAFE teachers, however.
A genuine pathway towards treaty with the state's Aboriginal population was forged this year with a commissioned report recommending the government should legislate a framework to reach that goal.
It recommended the establishment of a Truth-Telling Commission, joint management of parks, reserves and Crown Land, and implementing of new Aboriginal Protected Areas.
And finally, fed up with the ongoing controversy surrounding the Ashley Youth Detention Centre, a decision was made this year to close the facility and replace it with two new facilities.
What shape these facilities will take and their rehabilitation offerings is hoped to be known in more detail in 2022.
Political reporter for Australian Community Media, based in Hobart.
Political reporter for Australian Community Media, based in Hobart.
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