The seat of Launceston, previously known as Paterson, had been held by Don Wing since 1982; the last time the seat was up for election, Wing was re-elected unopposed. His retirement left the seat vacant. One of the stronger Liberal areas in Tasmania, that party selected Sam McQuestin, the state party president, as their candidate. The Labor Party selected Steve Bishop, while Launceston Alderman Rosemary Armitage and businesswoman Lou Clark were independent candidates.
Tasmanian Legislative Council periodic elections, 2011: Launceston
Rumney had been held since 1999 by Labor MLC and Children's Services Minister Lin Thorp, who was elected in 2005 with a primary vote majority. The only party to preselect an opponent was the Greens, who nominated schoolteacher Penelope Ann; however, Tony Mulder, an independent candidate, was a past candidate for the Liberal Party. Other independents included former Children's Commissioner Paul Mason, former Labor member Cate Clark, and business analyst and serial candidate John Forster.
Tasmanian Legislative Council periodic elections, 2011: Rumney
Labor MLC and Treasurer Michael Aird had held the seat of Derwent since 1995, and the seat had been in Labor hands since 1979. Aird announced his retirement on 9 November 2010 and formally resigned from the Legislative Council on 6 December 2010. As his replacement, Labor preselected Craig Farrell, the Deputy Mayor of Derwent Valley Council. The Greens selected Phillip Bingley, while independent candidates included retailer Ray Williams, Glenorchy Alderman Jenny Branch (a former Liberal Party candidate), and Central Highlands Councillor Deirdre Flint.