Joyce tipped to make play for Maranoa

NATIONALS Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce is likely to make a play for long-time LNP incumbent Bruce Scott's lower house seat of Maranoa, despite his hold on the primary vote in the huge Queensland electorate.

Senator Joyce, who is widely seen as a future contender for the Nationals' leadership, on Thursday told The Australian he was willing to throw his hat into the ring for the safe LNP seat.

But Mr Scott, who at 68 has held the seat since 1990, was not giving anything away on Thursday as to whether he was willing to step aside for the Senator Joyce's lower house bid.

While the pre-selection process has not officially begun for Maranoa for the 2013 Federal election, if Mr Scott does not concede the seat, it could become a hot contest for LNP preselection.

Neither Mr Scott nor Mr Joyce yesterday would make further comment on the issue, with Mr Scott issuing a statement saying simply he had "welcomed parliamentary leader Warren Truss' support".

Mr Truss has long led the party, with the Coalition deal with the Federal Liberal party likely to secure him the Deputy Prime Minister's seat should he remain party leader and the Coalition wins next year.


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