Morrison, Perrottet to hand-pick candidates in must-have NSW seats



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Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet will select candidates for key federal seats in a last-minute intervention that will further heighten tensions in the troubled NSW division of the Liberals.

The move could pave the way for Transport Secretary David Elliott to compete for Parramatta’s federal seat, with many of his ministerial colleagues convinced he will leave state politics.

NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The Parramatta and Hughes pre-selections, scheduled for this week, have been canceled after the party’s federal executive intervened this weekend and took control of candidate selections.

Mr Morrison will also make a captain’s pick for Eden Monaro’s seat, as well as other seats including Warringah, Greenway and Hughes and several Labour-occupied seats.

Mr Elliott has long contemplated a tilt in federal politics and has told colleagues – including Labor MPs – he would not run in the next state election as his seat is abolished, and he wants to avoid a messy pre-selection battle.

NSW Transport Secretary David Elliott.

NSW Transport Secretary David Elliott.Credit:James Brickwood

He did not rule out participating in Parramatta on Sunday, but instead said, “I have not nominated and I have not been asked to nominate.” Mr Elliott has spent the past few days discussing running in Parramatta with party powers.

The intervention also means Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons will be denied the chance to challenge her pre-selection for Hughes. The pre-selections would take place on Thursday.

Ms Gibbons is one of three nominees for Hughes, who is currently in the hands of Liberal defector Craig Kelly, which includes attorney Jenny Ware and Alex Cook, another local candidate.

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