|Election||Premier at election||Premier's party||Premier after election||Premier's party|
|TAS 22 April 1972||Walter Angus Bethune||Liberal Party||Eric Elliott Reece||Australian Labor Party|
|TAS 10 May 1969||Eric Elliott Reece||Australian Labor Party||Walter Angus Bethune||Liberal Party|
|TAS 2 May 1964||Eric Elliott Reece||Australian Labor Party||Eric Elliott Reece||Australian Labor Party|
|TAS 2 May 1959||Eric Elliott Reece||Australian Labor Party||Eric Elliott Reece||Australian Labor Party|
Change of party leader: Beginning of Reece's first period in office: Premier Cosgrove resigned in August 1958 because of ill health, and the Labor caucus elected Reece leader on 25 August. The previous nine months had been a period of turmoil for the government: in November allegations had been made that the Treasurer, R J D Turnbull had solicited a bribe; the Attorney-General, R F Fagan had instigated a police investigation and requested the resignation of Turnbull, who had refused to comply; two motions of censure against the government and the Treasurer were moved but were not supported; in June, the Treasurer was indicted and resigned; and in July the Attorney-General resigned on the grounds of ill health. See Hughes and Graham, 1968, p. 264 (see 'Sources', below) and, for more extended coverage, see W A Townsley, 'Tasmania', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle January-June 1958, 4 (2) November 1958: 262-265, and Townsley, pp 126-134 (see 'References', below).
Change in parliamentary support: In May 1959, Reece was the first Premier to contest an election for the enlarged House of Assembly which now had 35 members in place of the previous 30. The Australian Labor Party won 17 of the 35 seats and could rely on at least one of the two Independents, W G Wedd and R J D Turnbull, to support a minority Australian Labor Party government. At the election in May 1964, the Reece government secured a majority of seats.
Loss of general election: The Reece government lost its majority at the May 1969 general election for the House of Assembly, the Australian Labor Party winning only 17 of the 35 seats. The Liberal Party also won 17 seats, but joined with the sole elected member of the Centre Party, K O Lyons, to form a coalition government under Bethune with Lyons as Deputy Premier.
References: Terry Newman, Tasmanian Premiers 1856-1988: A Biographical Handbook, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Library, ); For background on politics in Tasmania during this period, see W A Townsley, Tasmania: Microcosm of the Federation or Vassal State, 1945-1983, pp 135-263, (Hobart: St David's Park Publishing, 1994). For a survey of Labor Party politics in this period, see Richard Davis, Eighty Years' Labor: The ALP in Tasmania, 1903-1983, pp 57-84 (Hobart: Sassafras Books and the History Department, University of Tasmania, 1983, ISBN 0859012212).
For a brief survey of Reece's career, see Jillian Koshin, 'Eric Elliot Reece AC (1909-99)', in Alison Alexander (editor), The Companion to Tasmanian History, p. 303, (Hobart: Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, University of Tasmania, 2005, ISBN 186295223X), online at: http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/
'Ministries: Names of the Members of Successive Ministries which have held Office in Tasmania since the inauguration of Responsible Government, together with the Dates of Appointment and Retirement', Journal of House of Assembly, Second Session of the Forty-Fifth Parliament of Tasmania, Anno LIII and LV Eliz II; Session 2 of the 45th Parliament, Volume 251, 2004-2006, (Hobart: Government Printer, Tasmania); Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700), Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politcs 1965-1974, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1977, ISBN 0708113400), and the website of the Parliament of Tasmania, http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/