Ted O'Brien
Ted O'Brien Brett Wortman

O’Brien a likely candidate for LNP Federal pre-selection

TED O'Brien appears the front-runner ahead of an LNP pre-selection contest to determine a candidate to try to win back the seat of Fairfax at the next Federal Election.

A field of five candidates will face Fairfax LNP members and party state executives at Nambour State School hall from 8.30am on Saturday behind closed doors.

Mr O'Brien was selected in 2013 to replace the retiring Alex Somlyay, who had held the seat for eight consecutive terms but lost by 53 votes to Clive Palmer.

The candidates on Saturday include Mr O'Brien, Ferguson Cannon solicitor Chloe Kopilovic, Don Jamieson an NAB banker and brother of Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson, USC lecturer Adrian McCallum and Mark Somlyay, the son of the former member.

LNP are looking to pick a contender to oust Clive Palmer. LUKAS Cochaap

Party rules preclude them from speaking publicly ahead of this week's vote. All however have been busy behind the scenes producing brochures and in some cases even videos to distribute to party members.

Though there has been internal friction, with LNP state president Bruce McIver having to step in after complaints that a branch news

letter had heavily featured Mr O'Brien to the exclusion of other candidates.

Mr O'Brien, who failed to return calls from the Daily yesterday, has the running ahead of Ms Kopilovic with a majority prepared to forgive the 2013 loss.

A report into that loss, delivered by Fairfax Divisional Council chair Mitchell Dickens last year, found that the campaign had not been deficient and that there was "strong quantative evidence that Mr O'Brien's name recognition had hit 80%".

"We can only imagine how high that vital name recognition must have gone over the course of the much publicised recount," Mr Dickens wrote. Up to 427 LNP members of more than 12 months standing and registered to vote in Fairfax will take part in the pre-selection contest.