Senator Jim Molan left in an unwinnable position following Liberal Senate preselection
The Liberal Party has completed its Senate preselection, with Hollie Hughes coming out on top.
Andrew Bragg, who withdrew from the Wentworth preselection race to reportedly make way for a woman, took the second spot, and Senator Jim Molan came in third position.
This means that Senator Molan will appear fourth on the Coalition’s Senate ticket, as the Nationals will take the third spot. This is considered to be an “unwinnable” position.
Ms Hughes won the top spot for the Liberal Senate ticket back in 2016, but lost this position after then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull intervened so that Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells wouldn’t lose her position.
Then, in 2017, she was set to replace Senator Fiona Nash, after Ms Nash was found ineligible to sit in Parliament due to Section 44. However, Ms Hughes was also found to be ineligible, as she’d taken on a government job, by working for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Finally, today, she’s secured the top spot for the upcoming Federal Election.
But Sydney Morning Herald’s CBD Columnist, Kylar Loussikian, who first broke the news on Twitter today, tells John it’s come as a surprise to most people, including key factional players within the Liberal Party.
“Hollie Hughes…doesn’t have an enormous amount of factional support from either of the two big factions” he says.
But will Prime Minister Scott Morrison intervene? And could this lead to yet another internal factional battle within the Liberal Party?
“Hollie Hughes is aligned with Alex Hawke, who’s one of Scott Morrison’s key backers…It’s unfortunate for him in that he’s losing a fairly high profile senator in Jim Molan.”
“I don’t think you’ll find a lot of fighting between the Moderates and the Right…this is a coup by the Soft-Right.”