An emotional Annastacia Palaszczuk wiped away tears as she confirmed her retirement from politics, saying she felt “now is the time” for her to walk away. The Queensland Premier made the shock announcement on Sunday, following months of speculation she was on her way out after nine years in power. She will officially step down as Premier next week and has thrown her support behind her deputy, Steven Miles, to succeed her. Ms Palaszczuk said she began considering retirement during a two-week holiday in Italy in September. “If you were wondering, I turned my mind to this when I was trying to have a holiday with my partner,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Sunday. “Everyone deserves a break. “Finally, my mind was made up at national cabinet last week when I saw so many new faces. “Renewal is a good thing.” Ms Palaszczuk became known as the “accidental Premier” after leading a then-seven seat opposition to defeat Campbell Newman in 2015 after Labor served just one term in opposition. She won the next three elections, growing the Labor caucus to 52 people. “When I led this party from an opposition of just seven members, I said that the first election will be like climbing Mt Everest,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “I went on to climb that mountain twice more (in 2017, and 2020). “I don’t need to do it again.” The outgoing premier was the first woman leader in Australia to be re-elected. Ms Palaszczuk succeeded her father, Henry, in the western Brisbane seat of Inala in 2006. The outgoing premier confirmed she would also be finishing up as an MP come the end of the month. “I have no job come January,” she laughed. “But look, I think I will be out there promoting Queensland in some form or capacity. “Look around you, this state has so much to offer.” Before she became a member of Queensland’s legislative assembly, Ms Palaszczuk was a political adviser and has led the Queensland branch of the Australian Labor Party since 2012. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced her retirement at a press conference on Sunday. Ms Palaszczuk was elected in 2015, following the loss of the one-term Campbell Newman Liberal National government. She will officially step down as premier next week. A three-way contest between Deputy Premier Steven Miles, Health Minister Shannon Fentiman and Treasurer Cameron Dick will decide who takes over as leader. Ms Palaszczuk endorsed Mr Miles, saying he has been “a fantastic, steadfast deputy”. “I will be giving my strong endorsement to Steven Miles to be the new premier of Queensland.” Ms Palaszczuk became a contentious figure during the Covid-19 pandemic, where she implemented strict border controls which ultimately led to low levels of the virus in the community for much of 2020 and 2021. She recorded high approval ratings amongst Queensland voters and defeated the Coalition in the 2020 state election. “I have given it my all and I have run a marathon,” she said. “I’ve dedicated my whole life to community service, there’s no greater honour. “Nine years, it feels like an eternity.” Who are her likely successors? On Sunday, the premier indicated she would like to see Mr Miles take her place. “It’s the right time. It’s time for renewal and I have a great deputy in Stephen Miles and I believe he’ll make an excellent premier,“ she said. Mr Miles has been Ms Palaszczuk’s deputy since his predecessor Jackie Trad stepped aside amid an integrity probe into the appointment of a school principal. Mr Miles confirmed he would be nominating himself to lead the party on Sunday afternoon, and commended Ms Palaszczuk for her service, and said she will “go down in history as a great reforming Labor premier”. “I want to pay tribute to Annastacia Palaszczuk MP and thank her for her extraordinary public service, as an MP, a minister, an Opposition Leader, and nine years as premier,” he shared in a post on X. “She brought the Labor Party back to office at a time when people had written us off for a generation.” Other contenders for the role include senior Left faction member, and Health Minister, Shannon Fentiman. Treasurer Cameron Dick is also expected to put his hat in the ring for the job. Barr now last remaining pandemic leader Ms Palaszczuk’s resignation leaves ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr as the last pandemic leader to remain in power. In NSW, Gladys Berejiklian sensationally resigned as a result of a pending investigation by the state’s corruption watchdog in September 2021. Then-treasurer Dominic Perrottet was voted in as the state’s leader, and oversaw NSW’s pandemic exit, before the Coalition lost government at this year’s state election. South Australian premier Steven Marshall resigned after the Liberal Party lost the election in March 2022. Labor leader Peter Malinauskas was sworn in as premier, and then environment minister David Speirs took on the role as Opposition Leader. Former WA premier, Mark McGowan shocked the country in March this year, when he announced his departure. During his final press conference, he said the past three years had left him “exhausted,” and “extremely tired”. Ex Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein gave a similar response, after announcing his resignation in April 2022, despite winning the state election just 11 months earlier. Mr Gutwein said he had “nothing left in the tank to give,” and admitted he could “no longer give 110 per cent” as premier. Former Northern Territory chief Minister Michael Gunner resigned in May 2022, following the birth of his second son in April that year. “I can no longer keep looking Territorians in the eye and say ‘I can keep giving 100 per cent every day’, and if I can’t do that I shouldn’t be in the chair,” he said. Two months later, he quit politics altogether, resigning as the MP for Fannie Bay. Most recently, former Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced his retirement from politics in September, with his deputy, Jacinta Allan taking his place. Pollies line up to pay tribute Following the announcement, politicians were quick to pay tribute to the outgoing premier. Former federal treasurer and national ALP president Wayne Swan described Ms Palaszczuk as “one of the true Queensland Labor greats”. “In 2015 Annastacia promised good, decent government for the people of Queensland. That’s exactly what she’s delivered for the last nine years. Congratulations on your premiership,” he said. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to the “Labor hero”, who he described as “a champion for Queenslanders”. “From the moment she made history with her extraordinary 2015 election victory, Annastacia Palaszczuk has served Queensland with fierce pride in her state and a powerful determination to deliver for people,” he said in a statement. “Annastacia’s leadership brought Queensland Labor back from the political brink and on so many occasions since then her Government has put Queensland in a position of national leadership. “When the world turns its eyes to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, so much of what they see in that vibrant and prosperous setting will reflect the vision and ambition of Annastacia Palaszczuk. “Annastacia leaves office rightly proud of all she has achieved and – as ever – thinking of what is best for Queensland and its future. I wish her all the very best for her future.” Opposition leader David Crisafulli also paid tribute to his political rival, wishing Ms Palaszczuk well in retirement and thanking her for her service. “Regardless of politics, nine years as premier deserves acknowledgment and respect,” he said on X. Falling support ahead of announcement Over recent months Ms Palaszczuk’s popularity has been in free fall. But she remained defiant to continue serving as Queensland premier. Queenslanders are due to head back to the polls next October, and there were broad expectations that if Ms Palaszczuk didn’t step aside, Labor would lose power after a decade. A poll for Nine Newspapers this week showed Ms Palaszczuk’s personal popularity had fallen further against Mr Crisafulli. That poll showed Ms Crisafulli now led Ms Palaszczuk as preferred premier 39 per cent to 34 per cent. But crucially, while support for Ms Palaszczuk may have fallen, polls show support for Labor remained steady. Ms Palaszczuk will serve out the next week as Premier to give the Labor caucus the time to select who will replace her.