If yesterday’s report in the AFR’s Rear Window is anything to go by, the Victorian Liberals may struggle to preselect more women to high-profile, winnable seats for the next election, after the IPA’s James Paterson won Michael Ronaldson’s place in the Senate. According to that report, Michael Kroger-backed Liberal blueblood Georgina Downer’s campaign for the seat of Goldstein isn’t going so well, with local numbers swelling behind Denis Dragovic (that would also leave Tim Wilson out of a job). Before Goldstein was vacated by Andrew Robb, it was thought that Downer had her eye on the seat of Menzies, which former defence minister Kevin Andrews is holding onto like a preschooler who doesn’t know when his turn is over. It has already been suggested that the government could offer the role of ambassador to the Holy See to Andrews or his fellow hanger-on Tony Abbott, but Ms Tips hears that the role is being deliberately left unfilled in case Downer doesn’t win Goldstein to keep a carrot for deeply religious Andrews. We’ll watch this space.

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Peter Fray

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