In a shock move, South Australian Premier Mike Rann last night ended 48 hours of speculation on a leadership coup by announcing he would step down as state Labor Party leader.
New Zealand-raised Rann has agreed to step aside in favour of Education Minister Jay Weatherill, a former lawyer, who has held the Adelaide seat of Cheltenham since 2002.
The Premier, who is in India on a seven-day trade mission, says he has told his colleagues he will hand over the leadership, but only after a transition period.
"I have always believed it is for the parliamentary party to choose the leader," Rann said last night.
"A decision has now been made that Jay Weatherill is the person who will succeed me ... I have decided that a seamless transition to a new leader was the most appropriate course in the interests of South Australia."
The ALP is pretty good at these kind of strikes, although to be fair, in the last few years, they've had a bit of practice. We can't help but wonder whether anyone from the New Zealand Labour Party has been watching this coup evolve. We also can't help but wonder of Phil Goff, a long-time friend of Mike Rann, is feeling just a little bit nervous this morning.