Daniel Andrews quits

A short sharp race for the premiership of Victoria to follow Daniel Andrews’ retirement, followed in a few months by a by-election for his seat of Mulgrave.

A fraction shy of a decade since returning Labor to power in Victoria after its only term in the wilderness this century, Daniel Andrews has called it a day, effective 5pm tomorrow. This will result in a by-election for his loseable south-eastern suburbs seat of Mulgrave and the choice of a new Premier at a caucus meeting to be held at midday tomorrow. (UPDATE: It is noted that party rules require a three-day nominations period.) Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan has long been the heir presumptive, reflecting the dominance of her and Andrews’ Socialist Left faction, although her CV carries the unfortunate entry of “Minister for Commonwealth Games Delivery June 2022 – July 2023”. However, the Financial Review reported in May that Ben Carroll of the Right had been “canvassing support in the event of an early exit” by Andrews.

The party has a strong incentive to fall behind a consensus choice, since party rules require a ballot of the membership unless 80% of caucus supports the winning candidate in a contested vote. Making Carroll deputy would restore factional balance to the leadership positions, but the Herald Sun reported in June that Mary-Anne Thomas, Gabrielle Williams and Lily D’Ambrosio of the Left might also be in contention. However, the latter’s stocks may have declined in light of recent branch-stacking controversies.

UPDATE: The Australian reports today’s caucus meeting is likely to choose an acting leader from among those who are not planning to nominate for the leadership in the three days available for them to do so, but the Financial Review hears different, saying the meeting is likely to hand the role to Jacinta Allan. An acting leader could be in place for some time if the leadership is contested, which would require a second contender to have their nomination endorsed by 20 per cent of the party room. There would follow a two-week campaign period before ballot papers were sent out to party members, whose votes would account for 50% of the result alongside the result of a party room vote.

The question would appear to be whether Ben Carroll of the Right, who is said to be canvassing support, goes the distance against Allan. Labor sources cited by The Age say the leadership is “Allan’s to lose”, but the Right could play hardball in forcing a vote if it is not assured of the deputy position. Anthony Carbines and Natalie Hutchins are mentioned as potential Right contenders along with Carroll, but Mary-Anne Thomas and Gabrielle Williams of the Left are also said to be interested. Carbines, Williams and Thomas, together with Colin Brooks, are further listed by The Australian as “possible but unlikely” contenders for the leadership.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

220 comments on “Daniel Andrews quits”

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  1. Rr grand final holiday:

    It used to be on Thursday. We called it show day. Kennett abolished it, cos workers should work. Gotta pay the Man.

    Dan brought it back but moved it to the Friday.

    All hail grand final eve! I. Love. It.

    (And yes, it forces me to take the week off and costs me a fortune….)

    I vote green, but Dan is a Colossus. The LNP were his bitch. (Apologies for the inherent sexism in that word, but I am referring to the idiom.)

  2. If anyone here is based in Melbourne and has any interest. Friendly Jordies is doing an encore of his show all about his defamation lawsuit and spat with the former deputy premier of NSW at The Comics Lounge tonight and tomorrow night and there’s still some tickets available. He goes into great detail about the farcical nature of the whole case in a way he hasn’t been able to talk about online or in the media. I saw it during Comedy Festival and it was quite good.


  3. Good start for Allan, she handled all the gotcha questions well today.

    Currently, there is no sense this will turn into a Bracks-Brumby handover. I wasn’t following politics too closely but there was a sense that 3rd term Labor government of Brumby and Bracks was sort of out of ideas and going through motions. Plenty of action this time around.

  4. From what I gather, things went bad for Brumby over the 2008-2009 summer. It was a record heatwave and a lot of public transport services couldn’t cope. The press went particularly hard at the Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky, so much that she quit politics the next year. Brumby could never really recover from that and Ted Baillieu was seen as someone safe enough to vote for in that he wasn’t a scary hardliner like Jeff Kennett was.

  5. My memory of the Brumby years is that the North-South Pipeline was the killer.

    I can remember the protest slogans painted on the Melba Highway (on the bitumen) as well as on signs beside it.

    It almost certainly cost Labor the seat of Seymour, and possibly one or two others which in such a tight election was enough to be fatal.

  6. Remember the North/South pipeline came to fruition because of the business case presented by significant agricultural players who lobbied Brumby.

    The presentation was not only the ability to move excess water between the North and South of Victoria and vice versa as circumstances instructed but also to address evaporation by investing in infrastructure to minimize that evaporation, evaporation leading to significant loss of water resources to agriculture (so open channels).

    Remember that these were times of significant drought – which will again return to Australia.

    The business case presented to Brumby was comprehensive – noting who the proponents were so not naturally a Labor constituency and, indeed, the opposite.

    The evaporation mitigation assets have been delivered and the pipe line is in place, only absent the generators to pump the water either way.

    That this project wound up in yet another “No Tolls”, “No Desalination Plant”, “Save the CFA”, “No Skyrail” and the list goes on and on and on and on is no surprise.

    It is the relevance of the “Liberal” Party in these times.

    There will come a time in our history when the North-South pipeline serves the purpose it was designed for.

    In the meantime, evaporation is curtailed returning water as an asset to agriculture.

  7. @Victoria

    Yeah, that was sad news. I wouldn’t be surprised if her treatment in 2009 was a factor, it was absolutely feral at times and Vic Labor didn’t seem to know how to handle it.

    And totally unfair too. Most of the things she was being blamed for was due to decisions made by the previous Public Transport Minister, Peter Batchelor, who quietly retired at the 2010 election.

    One such decision being the horrendous Myki rollout.

  8. If this reporting is true, Dan Andrews lost his temper big time in the Vic Labor Caucus meeting yesterday.


    Labor MPs say Daniel Andrews erupted in anger in his final party room meeting as brawling over his old job threatened Jacinta Allan’s ascension, before a peace deal stopped a potentially months-long public factional battle in Victorian Labor.

    “He lost it,” said one of more than a dozen Labor MPs who told The Age about Andrews’ final caucus meeting. The MPs, from both factions, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential party matters.

  9. And from The Shovel,:-
    “Victorians Endure Final Day Living in Brutal Dictatorship
    People have gathered in bars, cafes and restaurants across the city to be oppressed for one final time”

  10. Labor will decide its candidate for Mulgrave on Monday October 9.

    Ian Cook has declared that he’ll be running as a candidate.

    The Liberals haven’t decided if they’ll be running yet.

  11. I think you’ll find plenty of Victorian Labor people who would regard just losing in 2010 (as opposed to just winning, and then losing badly in 2014) as the best thing that could have happened to them long-term.

    On the subject of the North-South pipeline (which was certainly fiercely opposed locally), I had an interesting experience in late 2008 – I was working on a stand at an agricultural field day in northern Victoria and the next stand was for the northern Victorian irrigation renewal which was part of the broader project. Their person was a former Nationals MP (for Swan Hill IIRC), and we got talking; I recall him saying that he’d said in meeting with his former colleagues ‘are you seriously saying that if you were in government you’d let Melbourne run out of water?’ (or words to that effect).

  12. @bt, Labor losing narrowly in 2010 was the re-set they needed.

    There is zero evidence that accidentally installing the current batch of LNP south Gileadeans would be of any benefit to anybody.

    The libs lost in 2014 because they were a terrible do nothing whinge a lot government. They still need a re-set.

  13. The main reason the Coalition lost in 2014 was the huge drag effect of the Abbott federal government. And Geoff Shaw didn’t help.

    As Kevin Bonham put it, they did well to merely lose rather than get thrashed.

  14. I recall another factor in the 2014 election was that the redistribution was highly beneficial to the Coalition.

    5 seats held by Labor became notionally Liberal (Bellarine, Monbulk, Ripon, Wendouree and Yan Yean), and to win, Labor had to gain ground to hold these to win the election. They managed to do so in all except Ripon.

    From there all Labor managed to flip were the South-East Melbourne “Sand Belt” seats of Bentleigh, Carrum, Mordialloc and Frankston, and even then only narrowly.

  15. Mabwm says :-
    I vote green, but Dan is a Colossus. The LNP were his bitch. (Apologies for the inherent sexism in that word, but I am referring to the idiom.)
    Yes Dan was a Colossus and he did them (LNP) slowly.

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