Western Victorian MP Josh Morris could find himself at the top of the Coalition’s upper house ticket, following the resignation of disgraced colleague Simon Ramsay.
The former Ballarat mayor was expected to take the second Liberal spot on the region’s Legislative Council behind Geelong-based Mr Ramsay, essentially guaranteeing him in the upper house for another four years.
But Mr Ramsay announced on Tuesday he was leaving Victorian politics at the next election, after being caught driving on the wrong side of the road in a drunken state on the weekend.
Under the Nationals agreement with the Liberals, the Liberals get first, second and fourth spots on the Coalition ticket for the seat and the Nationals third and fifth spot.
When contacted by The Courier, Mr Morris declined to comment on the matter.
The Courier also sent questions to the Victorian Liberals about when a new candidate would be announced, and if Mr Morris would move to the top spot on the ticket, but received no response before deadline.
The Coalition’s upper house ticket for the seat has already been contentious, after a state council meeting of the Victorian Nationals on the weekend rejected a bid by 27-year-old Ballarat law lecturer Andrew Black to overturn the Nationals’ decision to place him fifth on the Coalition ticket for the seat.
Mr Black had gained the most votes in a Nationals pre-selection last month, which would normally assure him of third spot, but the Nationals state council reaffirmed its decision to place Ararat councillor Jo Armstrong in third spot, and Mr Black in what many consider the unwinnable fifth spot.