ACT Liberal leader Zed Seselja insists he has no plans to move into federal politics, despite party insiders suggesting that he does and political pundits saying that he should.
Following his strong performance in the recent territory election, Mr Seselja's profile has lifted to the point where he is being encouraged to consider a tilt at Federal Parliament.
His options would be to oppose sitting Liberal senator Gary Humphries' preselection or to try and unseat Labor's Gai Brodtmann in the Lower House electorate of Canberra.
Mr Seselja enjoys strong support from within the local Liberal Party, with staffer Tio Faulkner also the ACT Liberal Party branch president.
Senator Humphries, who is known as a "small l" Liberal, would struggle to win a preselection battle with the more conservative Mr Seselja.
"Gary has been in politics for many years, including a good stint in the Senate, and there is some sense that it might be time for him to step aside and give someone else a go," said one well-placed source, who asked not to be named.
Senator Humphries will not comment on his preselection, saying only that it will be a matter for the Liberal Party to decide.
"I never take these things for granted," he said.
Neither is the newly re-installed ACT Opposition Leader commenting specifically on whether he will challenge Senator Humphries for a Senate seat.
But he has ruled out quitting the Assembly for Capital Hill – for now.
"I have no plans to enter federal politics," Mr Seselja said.
He does, however, think that the seat of Canberra is winnable for his party.
"Given the massive swings towards the Liberal Party at the ACT election, up to 18 per cent in some parts of Tuggeranong, it is no surprise that Labor insiders and Gai Brodtmann might think that the seat of Canberra is under threat.
"Frankly, Labor has neglected Tuggeranong and taken it for granted for years, and I have no doubt that whoever runs in the seat of Canberra for the Liberal Party will receive a very strong vote."
Ms Brodtmann, who holds the seat with a 9.2 per cent margin, said it was pointless to comment on speculation.
"I campaigned as if Canberra was a marginal seat and since being elected I have worked as if it's a marginal seat," she said.
The Canberra electorate has traditionally been a stronghold for the ALP, but a Liberal member is not without precedent.
The Liberals have held the seat twice since it was created in 1974, with Brendan Smyth the most recent in 1995-96.
But political lecturer at the Australian National University Andrew Hughes thinks Mr Seselja should look to the Senate and not the Canberra electorate if he wants to make the switch to federal politics.
"Zed's brand is now very, very strong in Tuggeranong but the issue for him with the seat of Canberra is that voters in Woden and Weston Creek might bring him down," Mr Hughes said.
"The other issue is the fear Canberra voters might have about public service cuts if the Liberal Party wins federally and what that might mean for their jobs.
"But I think he should have a go at Gary Humphries' Senate seat. Humphries' brand is the reverse of Seselja's – it's going backwards.
"Zed is young and has a long career ahead of him.
"Federal politics has been calling Zed for a long time now. He should listen."
Mr Seselja led the Liberal Party to its biggest ACT vote since 1995.
He attracted 29.2 per cent of the vote (18,566 votes) in his seat of Brindabella.
A number of Liberal Party sources have told The Canberra Times that despite his denials, Mr Seselja is considering a future move into federal politics.