Liberals in a lather over preselection irregularities for newly minted seat – The Age

Posted: January 19, 2022 at 11:05 am

Thursdays meeting could endorse Mr Judah, who was the Liberal candidate for Bentleigh at the 2018 state election, overturn the result and order a fresh preselection, or wait for further information.

Last week upper house Liberal leader David Davis, representing Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, and Sarah Henderson, representing federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, spoke in favour of the status quo.

State party president Robert Clark recommended that the partys constitutional committee examine the vote.

If the committee members loyal to Mr Clark decide the electoral irregularities are too great, then the preselection would be overturned by a vote of 10-9.

Party state secretary Sam McQuestin is yet to give a recommendation to the committee.

Over the summer the party secretariat, who have been installing a new membership database, took to calling members in an attempt to ascertain their eligibility, which is determined by residence of an electorate, length of party membership and payment of membership dues.

In October the independent Electoral Boundaries Commission created the new seats of Ashwood, taking in Burwood and Box Hill, and Glen Waverley after scrapping the eastern seats Burwood (held by Labor), Ferntree Gully (Liberal), Forest Hill (Liberal) and Mount Waverley (Labor).

Analysts say the new seat is nominally held by Labor on a margin of 2.1 per cent. Burwood was held by Labor on 3.3 per cent.

The Liberal Party, which replaced Michael OBrien with former leader Matthew Guy in a September coup, must win back lost eastern suburbs seats, such as Ringwood, to have a chance of winning the state election in November. The Coalition has 28 fewer seats than Labor, and is behind in the polls.

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The Victorian branch has been mired in factional infighting for years. The controversial preselected candidate for Ringwood, Cynthia Watson, was overwhelmingly formally endorsed by the administration committee last week.

Moderate faction members had wanted to dump the former mayor of Boroondara, a Mormon, because of her conservative and religious views.

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Liberals in a lather over preselection irregularities for newly minted seat - The Age

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