Senate swap puts country LNP ‘on edge’
ANGRY country LNP members have warned that the dumping of two senators could hurt the party’s chances in four marginal seats, and could even damage the Coalition’s re-election chances. Losing two regionally-based senators for city-based representatives last week has seen city-country tensions flare in the LNP. But others are moving to rally behind the new blood, arguing it will renew the party. Townsville-based Ian Macdonald and Toowoomba-based Barry O’Sullivan lost their top billing on the LNP’s Senate ticket, with positions going to mining executive Paul Scarr, and Super Butcher managing director and Nationals royalty Susan McDonald. Leichhardt, Capricornia, Dawson and Flynn are all under threat, while the chances of a third Senate spot or winning back Herbert are all but gone, senior LNP figures said. “People have been toying with leaving, and for some of them, this will be it,” a senior LNP source said. But others questioned the severity of the fallout, saying that while Ms McDonald lived in Brisbane, stalwart Ron Boswell had been one of the most effective regional and rural representatives while working out of the capital.