Celia Hammond
Celia Hammond.

Professor Celia Hammond has easily won the preselection battle to take over the blue ribbon Liberal seat of Curtin from former foreign minister and deputy Liberal Party leader Julie Bishop. Hammond took 51 votes, while her two closest rivals Anna Dartnell and Erin Watson-Lynn took 28 and one respectively.

The preselection process and growing public enmity between Bishop and conservative powerbroker Senator Mathias Cormann, came to be a simulacra for wider tension between the right and moderate factions of the party in general. Hammond had the backing of Cormann's conservative Western Australian faction. Although Bishop avoided explicitly backing any particular candidate, she suggested her replacement be a moderate ("to match the views of the electorate") and it's understood her faction wanted Watson-Lynn.