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Libs ‘cooked’, as Joyce faces two challengers

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Senator James McGrath, who was re-elected last week at the head of the LNP’s ticket, is the Coalition MP with the most experience running political campaigns.Before entering parliament he was at various times deputy director of the Liberal Party federally, campaign director for the LNP in Queensland and campaign director for the Country Liberal Party in the Northern Territory.He has also worked on election campaigns for the Conservative Party in the UK.Senator McGrath told The Sunday Telegraph that in his opinion “the biggest issue facing Peter Dutton isn’t net zero, the biggest issue facing Peter Dutton is the cooked state of the Liberal Party.”In contrast to Queensland, where the LNP retained 21 of the 23 seats it held to remain overwhelmingly dominant in a state with 29 seats, the Coalition holds a clear minority of seats in Victoria and NSW.There is widespread anger across the Liberal Party in other states at the dysfunctional way NSW handled its preselections, with winnable seats left without candidates until almost the start of the election.“Numerous divisions are beset by factional warfare, weird policy priorities, ageing members, spiv warlords, and a dying local campaign structure,” Senator McGrath said.The situation in Victoria is even more dire, with the Liberal Party reduced to 8 out of 39 seats after losing two seats to the Teals and two to the Labor Party last Saturday.“The number one priority must be a reform of our campaigning capability from the ground up,” he said.Senator McGrath’s intervention comes ahead of next week’s meetings of returning Coalition MPs in Canberra to decide the Liberal and National Party leadership.Daily Telegraph – News Feed latest episodeAt the meeting of the Liberal Party MPs on Monday Queenslander Peter Dutton is expected to be elected unopposed as leader with NSW MP Sussan Ley as his deputy.But National Party leader Barnaby Joyce is facing a challenge from deputy leader David Littleproud, who announced on Saturday afternoon that he would nominate, and Victorian MP Darren Chester, who was dumped as a minister when Mr Joyce returned to the leadership in 2021.Few National MPs who spoke to The Sunday Telegraph before Mr Littleproud nominated expected Mr Joyce to lose his job to Mr Chester because the National Party retained all its seats at the election.Some suspected Mr Chester was running in the hope of flushing out another candidate.Got a news tip? Email weekendtele@news.com.au



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