The NSW Liberal Party has a number of familiar names to consider to fill Marise Payne’s Senate seat with nominations now closed.
Among them, former ACT Senator Zed Seselja and former NSW Cabinet Minister Andrew Constance are both rumoured to have put their hands up to be considered for pre-selection.
They can’t be considered ‘candidates’ until their applications have been processed to ensure there are no eligibility issues or breaches of Section 44 of the Constitution, which could render their application invalid.
One source in the party confirmed to Region that Mr Constance had put his name forward and that they had also heard Mr Seselja had made a late tilt for the NSW seat.
Mr Seselja was ousted from the Senate during the 2022 Federal election by independent Senator David Pocock, ending an 18-year run in both Territory and federal politics.
He’s known to be aligned with the right faction, but his name was recently positively mentioned by Opposition leader Peter Dutton at a fundraising event.
An internal election review found that while Mr Seselja’s work ethic, fundraising and organisational record was strong, his stances on issues such as voluntary assisted dying and Territory rights didn’t resonate with the ACT public.
Mr Constance quit state parliament in 2021 to take a run at Federal politics but failed to win the seat of Gilmore during the Federal election.
Earlier this year, he was submitted as a replacement for NSW Senator Jim Molan, who died in January, but he lost that vote 266 to 243.
Ms Payne retired on 30 September after more than 26 years in politics.
The NSW Liberals’ Senate ballot for pre-selection will be held by the end of November.
Original Article published by Claire Fenwicke on Riotact.