Doomed Labor Senator David Feeney’s hopes for preselection in the federal seat of Batman could lie with local right-wing powerbroker David Asmar, the subject of fierce lobbying for his loyalties in recent days as the battle for the seemingly safe Labor seat ratchets up.

Feeney, the frozen-out former Melbourne University Student Union office bearer who was expecting a Nova Peris-style Prime Ministerial parachute into Martin Ferguson’s seat before the Left arced up last week, is facing down the Socialist Left-supported Plan International executive (and former Lynne Kosky staffer) Mary-Anne Thomas.