NO COMMENT: Dawson MP George Christensen has not speculated on deputy position. Picture: Tony Martin
NO COMMENT: Dawson MP George Christensen has not speculated on deputy position. Picture: Tony Martin

Expert names dark horse contender for McKenzie’s spot

IN THE wake of the sports rorts scandal, a political expert has labelled Dawson MP George Christensen as "one of the least likely" to step into former Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie's shoes following her resignation.

A party room meeting to decide the party's deputy leader will be held tomorrow at 9am.

Political expert Chris Salisbury, from the University of Queensland, said while David Littleproud, Darren Chester and David Gillespie were the most likely contenders for the deputy position, another Queensland MP could be thrown in the mix to appeal to female voters.

"There might be some push for (Capricornia MP) Michelle Landry to take the deputy position because she's one of the few women in the party," Dr Salisbury said.

"The names that have been thrown around have been exclusively male."

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry. Picture: Tony Martin
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry. Picture: Tony Martin

Ms Landry said she would not be running for the leader or deputy leader position of the National Party.

She said the current leadership of the party had her complete support.

 "I am focused on delivering on my plan for Capricornia, on growing the economy and creating well-paid local jobs including in the mining and resources sectors," Ms Landry said.

"Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has my total and unreserved support as leader of the National Party," Ms Landry said.

 "Michael is a close friend of mine and I have been able to deliver time and time again for Capricornia thanks to his support and his leadership." 

But when it came to Mr Christensen's prospects, Dr Salisbury said Barnaby Joyce was a more likely contender if a "maverick MP" was to be considered.

"I think George is one of the least likely or less likely (for the position)," he said.

Mr Christensen on Monday declined to comment on his intentions, saying that the matters would "be determined by the Nationals party room".

Mr Joyce has further fuelled growing speculation of a wider leadership spill by admitting he would challenge Michael McCormack for the Nationals leadership if a spill was declared.

But Dr Salisbury said he believed that was unlikely.

"Both the Liberal party and Nationals would be keen to minimise the chaos that might come from a spill of both positions," he said.



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