The Liberal Party has a handful of individuals that have expressed interest in running for preselection for the seat of Bendigo ahead of next year’s Federal Election, in what the party considers a winnable seat.
Bendigo Liberal FEC Chair Donna Petrovich said she expected voters to draw a clear distinction with the Federal and State Liberal Party after a disastrous Victorian election, which saw Labor MPs Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards consolidate margins in their respective electorates of Bendigo East and Bendigo West.
“There’s a lot of work to be done at state level which has become apparent,” she said.
“We expect the conversations between the (federal) government and the local community to be a lot stronger.”
Labor MP Lisa Chesters holds the seat of Bendigo by a margin of 3.9 per cent, which was consolidated by 0.2 per cent after the Australia Electoral Commission in June reshuffled various electoral boundaries across Victoria to create room for an extra federal seat in Melbourne’s west.
“We think with the right candidate, Lisa Chesters’ margin could be reduced or we can win the seat,” Ms Petrovich said.
The Liberal Party has begun the preselection process for other seats in regional Victoria with the Federal Election expected in the first quarter of 2019.
A Liberal Party spokesperson said: “The party is working with local electorate conferences to finalise a preselection and endorsement timetable for seats that do not yet have an endorsed candidate.”
Megan Purcell ran for the Liberal Party in the 2016 Federal Election but was unavailable for comment on Wednesday. Lisa Chesters was also contacted for comment.
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