With Liberal Party preselection closing today conservatives who hold drastically different views to moderate Liberal leader Jeremy Rockliff are lining up to take over the Liberal party posing a direct threat to Mr Rockliff’s leadership.
Hard right powerbroker Eric Abetz has announced his intention to run at the next state election for the Liberal Party in Franklin.
He’s in the same hard right clique as Deputy Leader Michael Ferguson, Guy Barnett, Felix Ellis and Simon Behrakis who is a former staffer for Mr Abetz.
It’s also rumoured that former Minister and conservative Jacqui Petrusma will run for pre-selection; hard right Hobart City Councillor Louise Elliot is eyeing off a run in Clark for the Liberal party, as is the ultra-conservative Clarence Mayor Brendan Blomeley.
As leader of this hard-right clique Mr Abetz is known for his ultra conservative views such as opposition to same sex marriage and access to pregnancy termination, far right-wing views that most, if not all of the above also hold.
Mr Rockliff got rolled in cabinet by the conservatives regarding the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy with the draft bill widely criticized for not going far enough and containing too many loopholes.
With more ultra conservatives set to join his caucus, things are only going to get worse.
The threat of the Liberal Party being ruled by these ultra Conservatives and taking us back to the 1940s will concern most people.
It looks like the so-called “broad church” is about to become even narrower here in Tasmania.
The deliberations over the next few weeks and who gets preselected will be a huge test for Jeremy Rockliff’s leadership.