The replacements for former NSW premier Mike Baird are circling after the member for Manly’s shock resignation announcement last week, and quite a few familiar names are part of the speculation. The Oz reports today Baird will recommend moderate James Griffin, while Tony Abbott-ally Walter Villatora, who also challenged Bronwyn Bishop for her federal seat of Mackellar last year, is also likely to throw his hat in the ring. A tipster tells Crikey most doubt Baird will show favouritism to any candidates, and that Villatora’s chances are good if Abbott loyalists vote for him. Manly is a plum seat for the Liberals and is likely to attract a large field of candidates. We also hear that some Liberals have encouraged Baird to make the move to federal politics; they suggested the seat of Warringah would be a good fit.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey