Gordon Campbell said Wednesday he will step down as premier of British Columbia. Who will take his place?

For now, Campbell has asked the BC Liberals to hold a leadership convention "as quickly as possible" to determine a temporary replacement.

Simon Fraser University public policy analyst Doug McArthur told ctvbc.ca that the next leader will likely be plucked from the current cabinet.

"Kevin Falcon, [Kevin] Kreuger, [Mike] de Jong, and [Barry] Penner are the likely successors," McArthur said.

"Falcon will likely win it."

But Mario Canseco of Angus Reid Strategies said the party should avoid appointing a cabinet minister or anyone associated with the hated harmonized sales tax, the issue that most analysts believe put the nail in Campbell's coffin.

"Really, what they need right now is a leader who hasn't been tainted by the HST, so getting somebody from the cabinet right now might not be as easy as it may seem. It might have to be some sort of outsider," he said.

"Anybody who's right now serving in the Liberal cabinet is tainted by the HST. It's an issue that could come back to haunt them."

In recent months, speculation has also swirled around former finance minister Carole Taylor, but she was named chancellor of SFU late last month, putting any rumours of a leadership bid to rest.

Several observers have also floated Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts as a possible successor.

Within party ranks, cabinet ministers were hesitant to offer their thoughts on who the next leader might be.

"I think it'd be far too early to speculate on who might be that leader," Education Minister George Abbott told CTV News. "There'll be lots of time to speculate in the weeks ahead."

Whoever it is, NDP leader Carole James said she's prepared to face off against the new Liberal leader in the next election.

"I'm ready for whoever they put up," she said. "They can change leaders but it's not going to change the record that they have."

What do you think? Did Campbell do the right thing in resigning? Who will be the next premier of B.C.?