Councillor Christine Forster, sister to former prime minister Tony Abbott, has confirmed she intends to nominate for Liberal pre-selection in Malcolm Turnbull’s Sydney electorate of Wentworth.
Turnbull announced he will exit the parliament this Friday after he was deposed as Prime Minister in the Liberal party leadership spill last week, with voters in Wentworth reportedly set to head to the polls for a by-election in October.
“It’s a difficult situation and I don’t want to be seen to be disrespecting Malcolm – who I do respect,” Forster (pictured above, right) told The Guardian.
“I think as someone with local credentials and a strong track record of strong liberalism, I feel they are the types of candidates we want in any seat.
“I’ve been strong in espousing and representing Liberal values in the city of Sydney.”
The ABC reported Forster will face off against businessman and former diplomat Dave Sharma and acting federal director of the Liberal Party Andrew Bragg for pre-selection in the seat.
Fellow marriage equality campaigners Alex Greenwich and Dr Kerryn Phelps have both said they’ve been urged to run as independents in the seat if a by-election is called.
Greenwich said many people had offered him their support but he would stay focused on his job as independent state MP for Sydney.
He said he believes a community-based independent could win the seat.
“History shows we do well at state and local elections,” he said.
Dr Phelps told The Guardian she had been “very encouraged by the messages of support from people in Wentworth who would like me to stand when an election is called” but noted Turnbull hadn’t yet formally resigned.
Waverley deputy mayor Dominic Wy Kanak has been announced as the Greens candidate for the seat.
Forster married her partner Virginia Edwards in February, after the couple were engaged for four years.
They tied the knot at a ceremony that brought together a mix of Liberal politicians – including high profile “no” campaigner Tony Abbott – and Sydney drag queens.