Victorian Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan is in the box seat to take over the state’s top job when the Labor caucus meets following Premier Daniel Andrews’ resignation.
No candidates have formally put themselves forward, but the outgoing leader laid the foundation for Allan’s succession when she became his deputy in June 2022.
It is unclear whether Allan would run unopposed, but if a challenger did emerge, then it would force a leadership ballot at the caucus meeting, set for 12pm on Wednesday.
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Andrews said he would not interfere by making phone calls or lobbying for any particular candidates.
But he also pointed out that two thirds of his cabinet are women, saying this had led to better policies and government.
“I’m not here to speculate on who (the next leader) might be and to give you my form guide or any of that,” he told reporters.
“It’s a matter for the colleagues and I am deeply respectful of that process.”
Allan attended the premier’s resignation press conference in Melbourne on Wednesday and stood behind a media pack along with other members of cabinet.
In addition to her role as deputy premier, the Bendigo East MP is also minister for transport and infrastructure and minister for the suburban rail loop project.
She was also charged with delivering the now-cancelled 2026 Commonwealth Games until the portfolio was abolished.
Allan joined parliament in 1999 and is a member of the Socialist Left faction, just like Andrews.
Her election last year bucked longstanding Labor convention that the left and right factions install one of their own as either the premier or deputy premier.
If elected leader, Allan would become the state’s second female premier, following in the steps of Joan Kirner, who served in the top role from 1990 to 1992.
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