Craig Kelly will be the Liberal candidate for Hughes but it's a mystery in Barton

Decided: Craig Kelly will be endorsed as the Liberal Party candidate for Hughes. Picture: John Veage
Decided: Craig Kelly will be endorsed as the Liberal Party candidate for Hughes. Picture: John Veage

Craig Kelly will be the Liberal Party’s candidate for the Sutherland Shire seat of Hughes, but the party is still without a candidate for the St George electorate of Barton.

Mr Kelly, the sitting member, was due to face a preselection ballot tonight, but challenger Michael Medway has withdrawn.

​Barton is proving more difficult for the Liberals.

The federal election date is set for July 2, but it appears Liberal officials have so far had no success in convincing sitting member Nick Varvaris to stand again.

Mr Varvaris did not renominate for Barton, which favours the Labor Party by a margin of 5.4 per cent following boundary changes.

He did not reply to the Leader’s requests this week to clarify his position.

The last statement from his office, on March 11, said Mr Varvaris was “still in discussions with the Liberal Party regarding his nomination for the seat of Barton”.

“It is also worth noting that many other MPs across the country, from all sides of the political spectrum are considering their options,” the statement said.

“Some may choose to renominate, others may not, whilst others may choose to withdraw their nomination.

“Mr Varvaris’ situation is no different.

“Mr Varvaris reiterated that at the last federal election he achieved a swing of above seven per cent.

“The current margin and the impact of the redistribution is not a factor in his consideration.

“Until further notice, Mr Varvaris will continue discussions with the NSW Division of the Liberal Party and there is no further comment.”

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