Former treasurer Josh Frydenberg has won the coveted Liberal shortlist for the once safe state seat of Kew.
- Jess Wilson beat five contenders to win the preselection for Kew’s relatively secure seat
- Shadow Treasurer David Davis challenged Ms Wilson for the post
- Fallen opposition leader Michael O’Brien won the preselection for Malvern
Jess Wilson, policy director of the Business Council of Australia, beat shadow treasurer David Davis and four other suitors on Saturday afternoon.
Ms Wilson said she was grateful for the support of being “a new liberal voice to fight for Kew in the next election”.
“Kew is a special place and I will give my all to help elect a Liberal government in November 2022,” she said.
Ms Wilson was backed by her former boss, whose federal electorate includes Kew.
The vacant post at Kew was created after outspoken leader Tim Smith was forced not to challenge the seat after crashing his car at a family home while allegedly driving undisturbed. drunkenness.
Some senior Liberal leaders believe Mr Smith could leave Parliament before the November election, forcing a by-election.
The preselection was seen as a test of the Liberal Party’s ambition to get more women in seats up for grabs. There has also been a push for renewal in the state’s parliamentary ranks.
Ms Wilson had been the favorite, but Mr Davis’ attempt to leave the Upper House, where he was first elected in 1996, threatened that plan.
In his presentation to members, Mr. Davis highlighted his experience in fighting the government.
“The only way for the Liberal Party to wrest government away from Labor is to have a capable and seasoned team to confront them head-on,” he wrote.
“Bright, cool faces aren’t going to cut it.”
Some Liberals remain angry with Mr Davis and have questioned whether his position as leader of the Upper House is tenable.
“It is an utterly humiliating defeat for David Davis,” said a senior Liberal official.
“He should now seriously consider his position in the Upper House. The Victorian Division is in desperate need of more renewal as we have seen in Kew today.”
Kew was once a secure Liberal seat, but in recent years its margin has shrunk due to demographic change.
Polls taken during Mr. Smith’s drunk driving scandal showed the Liberals faced a serious challenge from the independents.
Kew sits at the federal headquarters in Kooyong held by Mr. Frydenberg.
There were six candidates in the field, including Monica Clark, who ran for Ivanhoe’s seat in 2018.
This morning, the independent Monique Ryan officially launched her campaign to overthrow Mr. Frydenberg in Kooyong.
Former ruler gets the seat of Malvern
Previously, former Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien easily won the preselection for Malvern.
There had been a push from opposing factions to pull him out, but that did not materialize with Mr. O’Brien generously winning.
Mr O’Brien went to the backseat after being dumped from management by his colleagues, but has since indicated he may want to return to a more senior position.
“I just want to see Victoria have a better government than the one they have now, and I will do whatever I can to try to help us get there,” he said after winning the preselection.
“I understand that there is now a vacant position in the Shadow Cabinet. I will certainly have this conversation with Matthew. [Guy] and the management team. “