Daniel Andrews’ resignation: Victorians react with joy, anger and sadness

Many Victorians have expressed joy following the shock resignation of Daniel Andrews, as many remain bitter about his actions and policies as premier.

Andrews announced on Tuesday he would step down from his top job, prompting mixed reactions from Victorians.

A large number were angry that the Prime Minister was quitting, while others received the news with unbridled cheer.

Many were still angry about the premiere of the 262-day Covid lockdown and the heavy-handed policing tactics used by officers during the pandemic.

Reflecting the unflattering nickname “Dictator Dan” given to him during this period, one of the Prime Minister’s most ruthless critics and right-wing agitator, Avi Yemini, tweeted: “THE TYRANT IS FINALLY GONE!!!!!”

In a flashback to the Covid era, the dueling hashtags of #DictatorDan and #IStandwithDan quickly started trending on social media site X.

The thread under prominent Andrews critic and filmmaker Rukshan Fernando quickly filled with people wishing the Labor strongman anything but a fond farewell.

In a shock move, Dan Andrews ends his polarizing premiership of Victoria

Mr Andrews' shock resignation was greeted with cheers by his most bitter critics

Mr Andrews’ shock resignation was greeted with cheers by his most bitter critics

“I feel relieved and alive now that this narcissistic vile human being has resigned…Best news ever,” one said.

‘Monumental shame from a politician. He can AGAIN,” said another.

“All our Christmases have come at once,” a third added.

Several Victorians took the opportunity to recall the trauma of the Covid period, when police violently suppressed protests, including firing rubber bullets into a crowd on the steps of Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.

‘We won’t forget it. We will not forgive,” one Twitter user wrote, posting footage of riot police charging into a panicked crowd amid the crackle of their firearms.

‘Good riddance. A reprieve,” wrote another.

“Time for some joy after so much suffering – and everyone who bowed to him should also resign.”

Andrews may have spent nine years in the role and earned a bronze statue for himself, but his tenure has not been without controversy.

The Victorian government announced in July it would cancel the upcoming Commonwealth Games, which were due to be held in regional Victoria.

The move sparked opposition from the state’s Liberal Party, as well as the federal government and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who spoke out shortly afterwards.

Many X users were quick to celebrate the end of Andrews' polarizing rule over Victoria

Many X users were quick to celebrate the end of Andrews’ polarizing rule over Victoria

The independent broad anti-corruption commission found last year that two former ministers had violated parliamentary codes of conduct.

The pair, who are not alleged to have committed any criminal conduct, misused public funds to fuel a massive branch-stacking operation, the IBAC found.

The Victorian Labor Party was found to have misused $388,000 in parliamentary grants to pay for political campaign staff during the 2014 election.

The Victorian Ombudsman found 21 former and current Labor MPs breached parliamentary guidelines when staff were diverted to campaign for members.

In March 2021, Dan Andrews broke his back after falling on wet stairs in Sorento, on the state’s Mornington Peninsula.

The prime minister spent 111 days recovering from his injuries, which included broken ribs and spinal damage, but was criticized upon his return.

The incident drew attention to allegations about the state of the Victorian healthcare sector, as well as flaming conspiracy theories about the incident.

For some Victorians, seeing Andrews disappear from the political scene was not nearly enough.

“Now let the prosecution begin and hope he gets a long prison sentence,” one X user wrote.

“Daniel Andrews most hated man in Victoria,” wrote another.

‘You can resign. But we won’t forget it. Victoria won’t forget your dirty bully. Dan Andrews, you gotta PAY!!!!’

Victorian UAP senator Ralph Babet also wanted Andrews to retire quietly from political life.

“He should not disappear into the private sector without first being accountable to a Royal Commission for the actions taken during the pandemic,” he tweeted.

Some began to speculate about the real reason for the departure, with Labor falling in the polls in the wake of the Commonwealth Games walkout debacle due to alleged rising costs.

“I got more responses that the CFMEU and some unions were planning to publicly call for Dan’s resignation tomorrow, so he came in first,” wrote Emily Coltraine, the woman behind social media political commentary brand Voice forVictoria.

‘Internally everyone already knew that he would leave soon, but that was probably the final straw.’

Mr Andrews oversaw one of the world's longest Covid lockdowns and was heavily criticized for the brutal tactics used by state police during that period.

Mr Andrews oversaw one of the world’s longest Covid lockdowns and was heavily criticized for the brutal tactics used by state police during that period.

News of Andrews’ resignation even reached Hollywood, with comedian and actor Rob Schneider.

“Prime Minister Dan Andrews is shirking responsibility for COVID response!” he tweeted.

“As Australia wakes up from its Covid tyranny nightmare, there was no other leader full of hatred and vengeance for his own people than Victoria’s Hitlerian Prime Minister ‘Herr’ Dan Andrews.”

The virtual celebration will be a real one, with Fernando tweeting that a ‘Dan Andrews Resignation Celebration’ party will be held on the steps of Parliament House from 5pm.

Yet not everyone is celebrating.

‘No, thank you Daan. The best leader I have seen in my decades of being a Victorian. Truly grateful and appreciative of your tireless service,” one X user wrote.

“You deserve to go on the pill now!”

‘He saved thousands of lives! Only selfish people think differently,” another commented.

Several hit back at the “dictator” label.

“Yes, the dictator who voluntarily relinquished power and left to retire on his own terms. That’s totally how dictatorships work,” one X user wrote.

“Thanks, Dan, great job!” wrote another.