Senator makes call on crucial by-election seat
LNP Senator Matt Canavan has confirmed that he will not be making a switch to the lower house at the Groom by-election, ending a week of speculation around the move which could have cleared the way for a future leadership tilt.
A historic vote will still take place on Monday night among Groom LNP branch members to determine whether the next MP will sit with the Liberal or National party in Canberra should the party win the upcoming by-election.
Senator Canavan had been approached by party members about contesting the seat, which has been held by the Liberals for 32 years, and while he said it was "unlikely" he had not ruled it out.
But Senator Canavan confirmed to The Courier-Mail today the he will not contest pre-selection for Groom.
"I'm humbled to be asked to consider such a move," he said.
"But I am very committed to central Queensland. I'm proud of what I've achieved there and there's a lot more to do.
"Myself and my family have made central Queensland a real home. We can't leave when we're so happy there."
Senator Canavan and his wife Andrea have five children, aged between three years and 15 years old.
There has long been speculation that Senator Canavan will be a future leader of the National party and potential future Deputy Prime Minister.
An MP has to be in the House of Representatives to be the leader of the National party.
Earlier in the day Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said he would support Senator Canavan should he choose to make the switch from the Senate.
"If Matt wants to have a go at the lower house of course I'd welcome him in the lower house," Mr McCormack told Sky News.
"We want more good and sensible people representing the National party, representing the LNP and representing regional Queensland."
Originally published as Senator makes call on crucial by-election seat