Will Canberra Liberals make a serious lower house play next election?
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Will Canberra Liberals make a serious lower house play next election?

Nominations close for the Canberra Liberals' preselection process for the seat of Bean at noon on Friday, with a wide field expected to put their hands up to represent the party against Labor's David Smith.

After the ACT Labor party's very public, very bitter factional fight over preselection, Liberal party sources are reluctant to reveal names in the mix for preselection, with many former candidates at the territory level quick to say they wouldn't comment on whether they would run, but slow to rule themselves out.

Liberal Senator Zed Seselja says he won't try and move to the lower house at the next election.

Liberal Senator Zed Seselja says he won't try and move to the lower house at the next election.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

It's believed at least four members will put their hands up, and it's understood local businesswoman Jane Hiatt, who ran second on the party's Senate ticket in 2016 is one of them.

Former ACT candidates Ed Cocks and Paul House wouldn't comment on whether they were considering running.

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The official list won't be released until early next week, after each candidate's eligibility is confirmed and they have sat an interview with the party's management committee.

A recent electoral redistribution created three federal lower house seats in the ACT.

The new boundaries for Bean, which includes areas of Tuggeranong, most of Woden and Weston Creek, all formerly part of Canberra, create a seat with a slightly tighter margin than either the new Canberra or Fenner.

Added to the shock announcement from Labor's Gai Brodtmann that she would no longer be contesting Bean at the next election, the seat could be seen as one on the Liberal party's radar.

Canberra Liberals' president John Cziesla said running the preselection weeks before similar processes in Canberra and Fenner shouldn't be read as a signal about the party's strategy around the upcoming federal election.

"Basically they have to go in some order, Bean was really first cab off the rank," Mr Cziesla said.

"It was on the cards before we found out about Gai’s decision not to recontest."

While the party's official line is that there is no push on the seat at the next election, some within the party see it as winnable over a few election cycles and with the right candidate.

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The result for Bean will be known on September 27, when party members have the chance to hear speeches from candidates before casting their votes. The other two seats will continue in the same way later in the year, with the Liberals' the last of the major parties to wrap up the processes in the ACT.

The Liberals' only federal representative, Senator Zed Seselja, was already preselected to run at the top of the Senate ticket in April, well before he played a leading role in the party's leadership tussle. Senator Seselja was one of the public faces of the public campaign to make Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton prime minister.

Senator Seselja is a longtime resident of the south, but despite his strong Tuggeranong credentials, and the chance to run for the lower house where there is no incumbent member, his camp maintains there's no way he would attempt to make the switch to Bean.