Former candidate Ben Taylor eyes Liberal preselection again

FORMER City of Ballarat councillor Ben Taylor is set to challenge again for Liberal preselection in the new state seat of Buninyong. 

If preselected, it will be Mr Taylor’s second consecutive state election after unsuccessfully running against veteran Labor MP Geoff Howard for Ballarat East in 2010.

Mr Taylor said there was still a “process” to be followed for the Liberal Party, however he intended to put his hand up when the time came.

“Yes, definitely. I’m interested in following that process,” he said.

There has been some speculation that another former candidate Craig Coltman will also seek Liberal preselection in the new seat of Wendouree, however he is yet to confirm this publicly.

Current Ballarat Labor MPs Mr Howard and Sharon Knight are both choosing to run again in the November poll. 

If Mr Taylor and Mr Coltman are preselected for the Liberals it will leave Ballarat voters with the same major party candidates they were presented with in 2010.

The Liberals will be eyeing off both Ballarat seats of Buninyong and Wendouree as very winnable, with the recent redistribution leaving the margins within striking distance.

The knife-edge state of the current parliament makes a strong showing in Ballarat even more important, with Liberal preselections expected to take place some time in the new year.

Preselection battles are also still to play out locally in Ripon, after Labor MP Joe Helper’s retirement, and Macedon, where Labor MP Joanne Duncan is stepping down.

The Greens will open their preselection nominations for Wendouree and Buninyong in March next year.

tom.cowie@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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