The next leader of the Victorian Labor Party will be decided at a caucus vote on Wednesday following the shock resignation of Daniel Andrews after nine years in power.
Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan is widely expected to succeed Mr Andrews, but the outgoing premier on Tuesday said the next leader would be “determined by the caucus” ahead of Mr Andrews’ planned resignation from 5pm on Wednesday.
Mr Andrews shocked Aussies with the sudden announcement at a snap press conference, reiterating that it was “time”.
“To have been premier for nine years and the leader of my party for 13 years is a greater set of opportunities that I ever thought be afforded to me,” Mr Andrews told reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s not an easy job being the premier of this state; that’s not a complaint, it’s just a fact.”
Asked who would succeed him as premier, Mr Andrews said he wouldn’t speculate on who it might be but insisted it would be “determined by the caucus”.
“I am deeply respectful of that process,” Mr Andrews said.
“I am not here to speculate on who that might be or give you my form guide or any of that.
“From five o’clock tomorrow night I will not have a vote, other than as a local member.”
The vote will take place from noon on Wednesday.
Mr Andrews’ leadership will officially end five hours later.
Ms Allan, who was sworn in as deputy premier in June last year, is a likely contender for the leadership.
But Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio is also likely to be another potential candidate – including whether she takes the deputy position should Ms Allan succeed her outgoing boss.
Ms D‘Ambrosio faced criticism over allegations of branch stacking and whether a Labor branch associated with her forged the signatures of dead people on party forms.
Earlier this year, Ms Allan brushed off questions about whether she would be happy for Ms D’Ambrosio to take over as deputy premier were she to succeed Mr Andrews.
“That gossip is hypothetical, I’m very focused on doing the job I’m doing right now. I’ve got a fantastic job,” Ms Allan said in August.
Mr Andrews has served as the state’s leader since 2014.
The Mulgrave MP said his reason to quit was because the job was starting to “consume” him.
“In talking to my kids and Cath, talks of what life will be like after this job have started to creep in,” he said.