Leader of the Opposition (Tasmania)

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Leader of the Opposition
Rebecca White in Hobart (April 2021).jpg
Incumbent
Rebecca White

since 7 July 2021
Term lengthWhile leader of the largest political party not in government
Inaugural holderThomas Gregson
FormationNovember 1856
DeputyAnita Dow

The Leader of the Opposition in Tasmania is the title of the leader of the largest minority party in the state lower house, the Tasmanian House of Assembly. They act as the public face of the opposition, leads the opposition on the floor of parliament. They thus act as a chief critic of the government and ultimately attempt to portray the opposition as a feasible alternate government. They are also given certain additional rights under parliamentary standing orders, such as extended time limits for speeches. Should the opposition win an election, the Leader of the Opposition will usually be nominated to become the Premier of Tasmania.

The position of Leader of the Opposition was essentially informal throughout the nineteenth century, with formal recognition only being granted in the early twentieth century. As there was no party system until 1909, the loose ideological blocs in parliament tended to change regularly, and few people lasted in the position for more than one or two years at a time. The development of a party system gave the role greater significance, and it was subsequently given greater formal recognition, with an additional salary payment being accommodated for in 1927 and formal recognition in the parliamentary standing orders in 1937.

The current Leader of the Opposition is Rebecca White of the Labor Party. She has been in the role since 7 July 2021, having been elected to the leadership after David O'Byrne stood down from his role as leader. White had previously served as leader from 2017 to 2021, but had stood down after two election losses and to take maternity leave.

List of Leaders of the Opposition in Tasmania[edit]

No. Name Portrait Term of Office Party Constituency Elections Premier
1 Thomas Gregson Thomas Gregson.jpg 1 November 1856 26 February 1857 Independent Richmond 1856 William-Champ-1856.jpg
William Champ
1856–1857
2 William Champ WTN Champ.jpg 26 February 1857 25 April 1857 Independent Launceston Thomas Gregson.jpg
Thomas Gregson
1857
(1) Thomas Gregson Thomas Gregson.jpg 25 April 1857 July 1862 Independent Richmond William Weston Premier.jpg
William Weston
1857
Sir Francis Smith.jpg
Francis Smith
1857–1860
William Weston Premier.jpg
William Weston
1860–1861
1861 Thomas Chapman.jpg
Thomas Chapman
1861–1863
3 Charles Meredith CharlesMeredith.png July 1862 20 January 1863 Independent Glamorgan 1862
4 Thomas Chapman Thomas Chapman.jpg February 1863 June 1864 Independent Campbell Town James Whyte.jpg
James Whyte
1863–1866
5 William Dobson William Lambert Dobson.png June 1864 24 November 1866 Independent Campbell Town 1866
(3) Charles Meredith CharlesMeredith.png 24 November 1866 4 November 1872 Independent Kingborough
West Devon
Sir Richard Dry.jpg
Sir Richard Dry
1866–1869
1871 James Milne Wilson.jpg
James Wilson
1869–1872
6 William Giblin WRGiblinsmall.jpg 4 November 1872 4 August 1873 Independent Central Hobart 1872 Frederick Innes.jpg
Frederick Innes
1872–1873
7 Frederick Innes Frederick Innes.jpg 4 August 1873 March 1875 Independent North Launceston Alfred Kennerley.jpg
Alfred Kennerley
1873–1876
8 Thomas Reibey Thomas Reiby.jpg August 1875 20 July 1876 Independent Westbury
(6) William Giblin WRGiblinsmall.jpg 20 July 1876 June 1877 Independent Central Hobart Thomas Reiby.jpg
Thomas Reibey
1876–1877
9 Philip Fysh Philip Fysh 1898.jpg July 1877 9 August 1877 Independent East Hobart 1877
(8) Thomas Reibey Thomas Reiby.jpg September 1877 20 December 1878 Independent Westbury Philip Fysh 1898.jpg
Philip Fysh
1877–1878
WRGiblinsmall.jpg
William Giblin
1878
(6) William Giblin WRGiblinsmall.jpg January 1879 30 October 1879 Independent Wellington William Crowther.jpg
William Crowther
1878–1879
9 Alfred Dobson No image.png October 1882 July 1885 Independent Glenorchy 1882 WRGiblinsmall.jpg
William Giblin
1879–1884
AdyeDouglas.jpg
Adye Douglas
1884–1886
(8) Thomas Reibey Thomas Reiby.jpg July 1885 August 1886 Independent Westbury 1886
James Agnew.jpg
James Agnew
1886–1887
10 Edward Braddon Edwardbraddon.jpg August 1886 29 March 1887 Independent West Devon
11 Nicholas Brown Nicholas J. Brown (1898).jpg July 1887 July 1889 Independent Cumberland Philip Fysh 1898.jpg
Philip Fysh
1887–1892
12 William Burgess No image.png July 1889 August 1891 Independent West Hobart 1891
13 Henry Dobson Henry Dobson (1898).jpg September 1891 17 August 1892 Independent Brighton
14 Stafford Bird Nla.obj-136644329-1.jpg 17 August 1892 February 1894 Independent Franklin 1893 Henry Dobson (1898).jpg
Henry Dobson
1892–1894
(10) Sir Edward Braddon Edwardbraddon.jpg February 1894 14 April 1894 Independent West Devon
15 Elliott Lewis N.E. Lewis (1898).jpg May 1894 November 1897 Independent Richmond 1897 Edwardbraddon.jpg
Sir Edward Braddon
1894–1899
16 Andrew Clark Aeclark.jpg November 1897 May 1898 Independent Hobart
(14) Stafford Bird Nla.obj-136644329-1.jpg June 1898 12 October 1899 Independent Franklin
(10) Sir Edward Braddon Edwardbraddon.jpg 12 October 1899 29 March 1901 Free Trade West Devon 1900 N.E. Lewis (1898).jpg
Sir Elliott Lewis
1899–1903
(8) Thomas Reibey Thomas Reiby.jpg May 1901 October 1901 Protectionist Westbury
17 William Propsting William Propsting.jpg October 1901 9 April 1903 Protectionist North Hobart 1903
18 Robert Patterson No image.png May 1903 March 1904 Anti-Socialist South Hobart William Propsting.jpg
William Propsting
1903–1904
19 John Evans Sir John William Evans.jpg March 1904 12 July 1904 Anti-Socialist Kingborough
(17) William Propsting William Propsting.jpg 12 July 1904 December 1905 Protectionist North Hobart Sir John William Evans.jpg
John Evans
1904–1909
20 Herbert Nicholls No image.png January 1906 January 1909 Protectionist Central Hobart 1906
21 John Earle John Earle (Australian politician).jpg April 1909 20 October 1909 Labor Waratah
Franklin
1909
N.E. Lewis (1898).jpg
Sir Elliott Lewis
1909
(15) Sir Elliott Lewis N.E. Lewis (1898).jpg 20 October 1909 27 October 1909 Liberal League Denison John Earle (Australian politician).jpg
John Earle
1909
(21) John Earle John Earle (Australian politician).jpg 27 October 1909 6 April 1914 Labor Franklin 1912 N.E. Lewis (1898).jpg
Sir Elliott Lewis
1909–1912
1913 Albert Edgar Solomon.jpg
Albert Solomon
1912–1914
22 Albert Solomon Albert Edgar Solomon.jpg 6 April 1914 5 October 1914 Liberal League Bass John Earle (Australian politician).jpg
John Earle
1914–1916
23 Norman Ewing Norman Ewing - Swiss Studios (cropped).jpg 5 October 1914 23 September 1915 Liberal League Franklin
24 Sir Walter Lee Sir Walter Lee.jpg 23 September 1915 15 April 1916 Liberal League Wilmot 1916
(21) John Earle John Earle (Australian politician).jpg 15 April 1916 2 November 1916 Labor Franklin Sir Walter Lee.jpg
Sir Walter Lee
1916–1922
25 Joseph Lyons Joseph Lyons.jpg 2 November 1916 25 October 1923 Labor Wilmot 1919
1922
John Blyth Hayes.jpg
John Hayes
1922–1923
Sir Walter Lee.jpg
Sir Walter Lee
1923
26 Edward Hobbs Edward Hobbs.jpg 25 October 1923 November 1923 Country Darwin Joseph Lyons.jpg
Joseph Lyons
1923–1928
27 James Newton No image.png November 1923 October 1924 Nationalist Bass
(26) Edward Hobbs Edward Hobbs.jpg October 1924 29 July 1925 Country Darwin 1925
28 John McPhee Sir John McPhee.jpg 29 July 1925 15 June 1928 Nationalist Denison 1928
(25) Joseph Lyons Joseph Lyons.jpg 15 June 1928 13 September 1929 Labor Wilmot Sir John McPhee.jpg
John McPhee
1928–1934
29 Benjamin Watkins No image.png 13 September 1929 15 October 1929 Labor Franklin
30 Albert Ogilvie Albert Ogilvie.jpg 15 October 1929 22 June 1934 Labor Franklin 1931
1934 Sir Walter Lee.jpg
Sir Walter Lee
1934
(24) Sir Walter Lee Sir Walter Lee.jpg 22 July 1934 July 1936 Nationalist Wilmot Albert Ogilvie.jpg
Albert Ogilvie
1934–1939
31 Henry Baker Henry Baker.jpg July 1936 22 February 1945 Nationalist Franklin 1937
Edmund Dwyer Gray TasGovPhoto.jpg
Edmund Dwyer-Gray
1939
1941 Cosgrove Sir Robert HA 355.jpg
Robert Cosgrove
1939–1947
32 Neil Campbell Neil Campbell.jpg 22 February 1945 6 February 1950 Liberal Wilmot 1946
Edward Brooker.jpg
Edward Brooker
1947–1948
1948 Cosgrove Sir Robert HA 355.jpg
Robert Cosgrove
1948–1958
33 Reginald Townley Reginald Townley.jpg 6 February 1950 26 June 1956 Liberal Denison 1950
1955
34 Tim Jackson William Jackson Tasmania.jpg 26 June 1956 19 March 1960 Liberal Franklin 1956
1959 Eric Reece.jpg
Eric Reece
1958–1969
35 Angus Bethune Angus Bethune.jpg 19 March 1960 27 May 1969 Liberal Wilmot 1964
1969
36 Eric Reece Eric Reece.jpg 27 May 1969 4 May 1972 Labor Braddon 1972 Angus Bethune.jpg
Angus Bethune
1969–1972
37 Max Bingham No image.png 4 May 1972 7 August 1979 Liberal Denison Eric Reece.jpg
Eric Reece
1972–1975
1976 Bill Neilson.jpg
Bill Neilson
1975–1977
1979 Doug Lowe premier.jpg
Doug Lowe
1977–1981
38 Geoff Pearsall No image.png 7 August 1979 11 November 1981 Liberal Franklin
39 Robin Gray No image.png 11 November 1981 27 May 1982 Liberal Wilmot 1982 No image.png
Harry Holgate
1981–1982
40 Ken Wriedt Ken Wriedt 1971.jpg 27 May 1982 19 February 1986 Labor Franklin 1986 No image.png
Robin Gray
1982–1989
41 Neil Batt No image.png 19 February 1986 14 December 1988 Labor Denison
42 Michael Field No image.png 14 December 1988 29 June 1989 Labor Braddon 1989
(39) Robin Gray No image.png 29 June 1989 17 December 1991 Liberal Lyons No image.png
Michael Field
1989–1992
43 Ray Groom No image.png 17 December 1991 17 February 1992 Liberal Denison 1992
(42) Michael Field No image.png 17 February 1992 14 April 1997 Labor Braddon 1996 No image.png
Ray Groom
1992–1996
No image.png
Tony Rundle
1996–1998
44 Jim Bacon No image.png 14 April 1997 14 September 1998 Labor Denison 1998
45 Tony Rundle No image.png 14 September 1998 2 July 1999 Liberal Braddon No image.png
Jim Bacon
1998–2004
46 Sue Napier No image.png 2 July 1999 20 August 2001 Liberal Bass
47 Bob Cheek No image.png 20 August 2001 6 August 2002 Liberal Denison 2002
48 Rene Hidding No image.png 6 August 2002 30 March 2006 Liberal Lyons
2006 No image.png
Paul Lennon
2004–2008
49 Will Hodgman Will Hodgman apples cropped.jpg 30 March 2006 31 March 2014 Liberal Franklin
2010 DavidBartlettW1.JPG
David Bartlett
2008–2011
2014 Lara Giddings.jpg
Lara Giddings
2011–2014
50 Bryan Green No image.png 31 March 2014 17 March 2017 Labor Braddon Will Hodgman apples cropped.jpg
Will Hodgman
2014–2020
51 Rebecca White Rebecca White MP.jpg 17 March 2017 17 May 2021 Labor Lyons 2018
2021 Peter Gutwein.jpg
Peter Gutwein
2020–2022
52 David O'Byrne DAVID O'BYRNE.jpg 15 June 2021 7 July 2021 Labor Franklin
(51) Rebecca White Rebecca White in Hobart (April 2021).jpg 7 July 2021 Incumbent Labor Lyons
Jeremy-Rockliff.jpg
Jeremy Rockliff
2022–

External links[edit]