Senior West Australian Liberal Linda Reynolds is refusing to endorse a candidate to replace former foreign minister Julie Bishop, as party members meet to make their decision.
Senator Reynolds said selecting the candidate for Curtin, the party’s safest seat in WA, was “purely and simply” for local preselectors.
“There’s always a lot of speculation for high profile and important seats like Curtin, in fact for any seat,” she told Sky News on Sunday.
“I think there’s an incredibly strong field and there are four amazing women who are running for preselection.
“I know the preselectors today will choose wisely and whatever the outcome we will have a worthy successor to Julie Bishop.”
A meeting will be held in Perth on Sunday to preselect a candidate to fill the seat held by Ms Bishop for two decades.
There are three main contenders among the five candidates: former University of Notre Dame vice chancellor Celia Hammond, foreign affairs specialist Erin Watson-Lynn and resources executive Anna Dartnell.
The other two candidates are Karen Caddy and Andres Timmermanis, the only male in the contest.
Ms Dartnell is tipped to win the vote, The Sunday Times reports.
Ms Bishop announced her retirement from politics on February 24, saying she would step down at the federal election.