Kathy Dunderdale announced her resignation on Wednesday after 10 years in government.
The former premier — who made history as the first woman leader to win a general election in Newfoundland and Labrador — said it was her time to go.
"Just as you know when it's time to step up, you also know when it is time to step back," said Dunderdale.
The former premier's decision to quit was something her top cabinet ministers were expecting, although they admit the timing did catch them off guard.
"She was planning, as I understood, [to resign] sometime in the spring," said minister Kevin O'Brien to On Point host David Cochrane, Saturday.
O'Brien said he spoke with Dunderdale sometime before Christmas about her plan to leave the party.
"I think she understood the time had come. [The party] needs time to organize and to regroup…and knowing premier Dunderdale as well as I know her, I know that her decision has more to do with that than anything else," said minister Susan Sullivan.
According to a national online Angus Reid poll, Dunderdale had the lowest approval rating of any premier in the country with only 24 per cent those surveyed approving her performance.
Dunderdale was heavily criticized for her lack of leadership during a series of storm-related power outages on the island.
And most recently, Paul Lane, the MHA for Mount Pearl South, crossed the floor to join the Liberals, saying he could no longer support Dunderdale's government.
You can catch David Cochrane's full interview with ministers Kevin O'Brien and Susan Sullivan by clicking the link above.