GROOM LNP party members have voted to keep their allegiance to the Liberal party in Canberra, rather than switching to the Nationals.
GROOM LNP party members have voted to keep their allegiance to the Liberal party in Canberra, rather than switching to the Nationals.

Groom LNP party members decide seat's allegiance

THE Groom LNP council will keep their allegiance to the Liberal party in Canberra, rather than switching to the Nationals for the time being. 

LNP acting president Cynthia Hardy confirmed the news at about 8.30pm. 

"Following a meeting of the Groom Federal Divisional Council of the LNP, an LNP Member for Groom will remain sitting in the Liberal Party's part room," Mrs Hardy said. 

The decision ends days of uncertainty about the seat's future, pushed by rumours central Queensland-based Senator Matt Canavan wanted to make a tilt for the seat and Roma-based Nationals-aligned Councillor Cam O'Neil wanted to run for the seat. 

Groom has long been considered a Liberal seat, with every member from 1988 onwards being either a member of the Liberal Party or choosing to sit in the Liberal Party in Canberra - as since the LNP merger in 2009, Federal MPs sit in either party room that aligns with the view of their local LNP branch.

Groom LNP party members voted in 2015 to allow then MP Ian Mcfarlane to defect to the Nationals from the Liberals, but that was blocked by the LNP executive in Brisbane.

Party members told The Chronicle the process had come about quite quickly and there was some confusion over the process of the vote.

An agenda for the meeting sent to party members said the vote would be one of the most important decisions they'd have to make.

Groom is one of the Coalition's safest seats in the country, with former MP John McVeigh winning the seat with 70.48 per cent of the two-party preferred vote at the last election. 

Tonight's vote was brought about after the resignation of Dr McVeigh just under two weeks ago.

Dr McVeigh was today appointed to a new role at the University of Southern Queensland. 

The Courier-Mail yesterday reported senior Federal Cabinet sources said "faceless" Nationals in Canberra were attempting to "blow up" the government by a "rushed" bid to snatch Groom from the Liberals.

If that bid was successful, it could have given the Nationals more power within the Coalition and potentially another frontbench position.


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