Two in race to replace LNP president

 

The contest to take charge of the LNP has narrowed to two candidates, and remains too close to call, after a tumultuous period of infighting in the party.

Dave Hutchinson resigned as party president on Friday night, after a controversial few months, making way for an acting president to be chosen tonight.

Frecklington addresses LNP boss's exit

Dave Hutchinson resigns as LNP president

LNP boss a 'dead man walking'

Former LNP boss Gary Spence is being pushed as a "consensus" candidate with election experience, while vice president Cynthia Hardy is pitched as taking the party to the future not a face from the past.

 

Cynthia Hardy (left) with Tim Nicholls, Derek Tuffield and Deb Frecklington
Cynthia Hardy (left) with Tim Nicholls, Derek Tuffield and Deb Frecklington

Under the rules, the new president must come from the executive, with the winner to steer the party until a full vote can be held at the state conference next year.

Mr Spence is technically on the executive as the immediate past president.

The party's other vice president Cameron O'Neil has withdrawn from the running and thrown his support behind Ms Hardy.

Sources said the contest was too close to call yesterday.

The executive will be meeting Zoom and meeting anonymously online.

Mr Hutchinson resigned after increasing anger from the grassroots membership after leaking against state Opposition leader Deb Frecklington, as well as "father of the LNP" Lawrence Springborg being dropped from the executive.

Senior Morrison Government Minister Peter Dutton publicly called for Mr Hutchinson to resign after the leak against Ms Frecklington, which came just months before the October poll.

Some within the party argue Cynthia Hardy is too aligned with Mr Hutchinson and the move against Mr Springborg, who would do little to ease grassroots members anger at recent events.

Sources said Mr Spence had election campaign experience and was a proven fund raiser.

Former LNP president Gary Spence is one of the candidates who could be acting president, after Dave Hutchinson’s resignation.
Former LNP president Gary Spence is one of the candidates who could be acting president, after Dave Hutchinson’s resignation.

While he stepped down as party president in December 2018, due to developer donation ban laws, it is understood he has removed any assets that could provide a conflict.

But the Hardy camp say Mr Spence comes with his own baggage and there were members who had not been happy with his leadership style.

Her allies say she would take the party into the future, rather than being another face from the past.

Mr Spence remains managing director of Fyfe engineering and planning consultancy firm, but the Electoral Commission Queensland prohibited donor scheme states the ban does not apply to professional service providers "do not themselves make relevant planning applications on their own behalf".


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