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New safe seat turns into a Wright stuff-up for LNP in Queensland

Scott Driscoll may stand for the seat of Wright.
At least, he couldn't be any worse than Cameron
Thompson, the defeated Member for Blair, who is
reported as planning another tilt at federal politics.


SMH.com.au

SCOTT DRISCOLL, a colourful Queensland business figure and Liberal National Party supporter, is contemplating a crack at federal politics.

Since Hajnal Ban, the LNP candidate for the newly created federal seat of Wright, was disendorsed, Mr Driscoll is considering a run for preselection. Also likely to run is Cameron Thompson, a Liberal MP in the Howard government who lost his seat to Labor at the last election.

Mr Driscoll, a controversial and opinionated character, established a small business lobby group, the Retailers Association. It was a bitter critic of the Rudd government and angered the more objective industry group, the National Retailers Association.

The latter and other similar lobbies accused Mr Driscoll of exaggerating his membership and acting as a front for the Coalition. Legal action was threatened.

Mr Driscoll changed the name of his organisation to the United Retail Federation and continued to act as an industry lobbyist.

Ms Ban, a local councillor who rose through the ranks of the National Party before it merged with the Queensland Liberals, was disendorsed this week after complaints were raised about the finances of an elderly man for whom she had power of attorney.

She may attempt to run again.

Her disendorsement and the subsequent bad press upset the LNP which has all but counted Wright as being in the bag for the Coalition.

With the federal election set to be a cliffhanger, the Coalition has made mistakes with candidates in marginal seats in NSW and Queensland.

It has had to conduct another preselection in the marginal Labor seat of Dobell, on the central coast, after the candidate withdrew. And in Queensland, the LNP chose a 19-year-old to try to wrest the marginal seat of Longman back from Labor.

The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, will spend the rest of the week in Queensland.

There is an awareness that a small number of marginals could decide the election and that poor candidate choice by the Liberals in key seats in the South Australian election in March proved costly.