The Nationals look set to enter the federal election race in Ballarat for the first time since 1987.
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The move could heap even more pressure on incumbent Catherine King who holds a 4.9 per cent margin on a two party preferred basis.
Victorian Nationals Party president Peter Schwarz said he believed a candidate would be pre-selected sometime around April.
The decision was first reported on Wednesday, however, many see the move as another way for the Coalition to steal votes away from Ms King.
“We have got a growing membership that has been indicating for a number of years that when the opportunity presents itself we would like to run candidates,” Mr Schwarz said.
“I think the Coalition is a real contender and obviously with the amount of time that has gone since we stood a candidate, it is a tall ask for us, but if we do run we give people a conservative choice.”
He said a decision had been made to contest all Labor held regional seats. This includes the hotly contested Bendigo and McEwen.
The Liberal Party is expected to have a candidate for the seat within weeks with a pre-selection meeting set to be held on January 25.
While there was a belief a third nominee may enter the race, the Liberal Party has confirmed that only two residents have nominated for pre-selection with no one else throwing up their hand over the holiday period.
That battle will come to a vote between farmer and mental health advocate Nick Shady and lawyer Sarah Wade.
Both candidates have confirmed their intentions to nominate to be the Liberal candidate, however, are restricted from speaking to the media until the pre-selection process is complete.
It is understood senior party members believe they are a significant chance to cut into Ms King’s lead in the seat and possibly return the seat to the Coalition on the back of Malcolm Turnbull’s popularity.
Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger confirmed to The Courier last year that the party was already relcoating resources to the city away from seats previously thought to be in danger in Melbourne.
Former Victorian election candidate Alice Barnes has already been pre-selected as the candidate for The Greens.
Little is known about when exactly the 2016 election will be held, however, it is expected to be towards the later part of the year.
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