CBD Liberal voters may be denied an opportunity to vote for their party of choice at next year’s state election.
After the recent Northcote by-election, party officials said the Liberals may also not field a candidate in Melbourne next year.
The ALP has preselected former local member Jennifer Kanis to contest the seat. CBD News understands that sitting member Ellen Sandell is not being challenged for the opportunity to recontest the seat for The Greens.
The Liberals have not preselected a candidate and are unlikely to do so in the near future.
CBD News understands the decision whether or not to contest the seat is as much mired in internal factional politics as an ambitious hope to leverage a preference deal in another electorate.
Ms Kanis told CBD News it would be insulting to local voters if the Liberals failed to contest the seat.
“The voters of Melbourne deserve to be given a choice,” she said.
“And, if they abandon the inner city, what does that mean from a policy position,” Ms Kanis asked.
She suggested the Liberal Party would no longer be interested in specific issues of relevance to inner city voters.
The Liberals actually outvoted the Labor Party at the last federal election, with Philip Le Liu attracting 25.25 per cent of the primary vote, compared with 24.46 per cent for ALP candidate Sophie Ismail.
Ms Kanis conceded she needed to work hard to win the seat for Labor.