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LNP Political Infight: Rookie candidate Wyatt Roy may be dumped from Longman race

Wyatt Roy

ENDORSED: Wyatt Roy, then 19, won a surprise
pre-selection for the LNP in Longman.


TheSundayMail.com.au

TWENTY-year-old Wyatt Roy's dream of becoming Australia's youngest federal MP is in danger of being shattered after a push by his party to oust him.

Ex-Howard Government Minister Gary Hardgrave has confirmed he was directly approached by a senior Liberal Party member early last month to replace Mr Roy in the northern Brisbane marginal electorate of Longman - one of the Coalition's must-win seats.

It is believed fellow former Federal MP Mal Brough, who was one of the biggest casualties of the last federal poll when he lost Longman to Labor, is also being pressured to stand as a potential replacement for Mr Roy. Mr Brough has refused to comment.

But senior Liberal Party sources say Opposition Leader Tony Abbott remains concerned about the ability of the political rookie to win over voters, whose pre-selection in March at the age of 19 sparked an angry backlash among the party's federal ranks.

The pre-selection by local branch members to Longman - home to some of the oldest voting demographics in the nation - and Mr Roy's later endorsement by the LNP in the must-win seat, triggered a wave of discontent among party insiders.

A Liberal Party source said Mr Abbott was continuing to push for a replacement for Mr Roy and had signalled he planned to approach state LNP president Bruce McIver. "He (Mr Abbott) has told the LNP he wants him (Mr Roy) gone," one senior party member said.

Mr Hardgrave said he was still waiting on the call from Mr McIver, but "at this stage had no intention of running".

It comes as internal party polling shows the Liberal National Party brand in Queensland has reached "toxic" levels just months out from a federal election, potentially derailing the Coalition's campaign to win office, according to party insiders.

Mr Roy yesterday said he was surprised some party members were attempting to replace him.

Mr McIver yesterday denied he had been approached to replace Mr Roy, saying Mr Abbott agreed Mr Roy was doing a "wonderful job" and planned to visit the electorate on his next visit to Queensland.