The Liberal Party has chosen Lana McLean as its candidate for the Burwood by-election on December 11, rejecting the public front-runner, Helen Kroger.
It is reported today that McLean performed better at the preselection convention last night than Kroger. Liberal Party preselection conventions are made up of 60% branch delegates (local party members in Burwood) and 40% Victoria-wide delegates.
McLean’s victory is a blow to the Liberal establishment which supported Kroger. McLean was the Liberal candidate for Melbourne in the September 18 election, where she polled 36.24% of the two-party-preferred vote, a swing of 2.15% over the 1996 result.
Jeff Kennett won Burwood on September 18 with 56.79% of the two-party vote. This represented a swing of 1.79% to the ALP.
A victory for the ALP would help it maintain its tenuous grip on government, but Burwood has always been a Liberal seat and will be hard for the new government to win.
Nominations for the by-election close on Monday 22 November.