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Liberal candidate stumped on day one

Bumbling Liberal candidate for Greenway, Jaymes Diaz, learns the hard way that he shouldn't speak to journalists unprepared during his election campaign in August 2013.

PT3M30S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2rard 620 349

The NSW Liberals have been left without a candidate for the seat of Riverstone after sitting MP Kevin Conolly was sensationally disendorsed by his own branches following a falling out with the family of failed federal hopeful Jaymes Diaz.

Mr Conolly was resoundingly disendorsed by a vote of 14 - 3 at a meeting on Monday night that was supposed to confirm he would run for the Liberals in the safe Liberal seat in Sydney's north west.

The decision means the Liberal state executive may be forced to decide between using special powers to impose Mr Conolly as the candidate or reopen the preselection process.

The notorious interview that cruelled the candidacy of Jaymes Diaz.

The notorious interview that cruelled the candidacy of Jaymes Diaz.

Mr Conolly is a member of the Liberal party's hard right faction, which has been vocal in its opposition to the use of use of special powers by the state executive controlled by the rival left and centre right factions.

Mr Conolly's branches are controlled by members and supporters of the family of the failed former candidate for the federal seat of Greenway, Jaymes Diaz.

During last year's federal election campaign, Mr Diaz gained notoriety after failing to name the Liberal Party's six-point plan for stopping asylum seeker boats during a television interview and then seeking to avoid further scrutiny.

Kevin Conolly, right, with the Premier, MIke Baird.

Kevin Conolly, right, with the Premier, MIke Baird.

It is understood Mr Conolly initially enjoyed the support of the Diaz family but after patriarch Jess Diaz failed secure the Blacktown mayoralty he nominated against him in Riverstone in February.

A Liberal party source suggested the falling out was due to Mr Conolly withdrawing his support for Mr Diaz's tilt at the mayoralty, but a separate source denied this.

Last week local media reported that Mr Diaz had suddenly pulled out of the preselection contest and quoted Mr Conolly as saying winning the seat would be "a lot tougher this time".

Mr Conolly won Riverstone with a record swing in 2011 to become the seat's first Liberal MP. A source said it was apparent that "the Diaz family has been at it again" and expressed surprise that it would seek to topple a sitting candidate.

The irony of Mr Conolly potentially needing to rely on state executive's intervention to secure his candidacy has not been lost on his factional rivals.

"Conolly has railed against the use of special powers," one said. "Now he needs them". Mr Conolly declined to comment.