Australian Politics

Abbott backs sister to replace Turnbull in seat of Wentworth

Tony Abbott has backed his sister Christine Forster to replace Malcolm Turnbull in the Sydney seat of Wentworth. Source: AAP

Tony Abbott's sister says she will run for Liberal Party preselection when former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull vacates his prized Sydney seat.

Just days after Tony Abbott helped orchestrate the demise of Malcolm Turnbull from the prime ministership, he is campaigning for his sister to replace the dumped leader in his plum Sydney electorate.

Christine Forster on Monday confirmed she intends to run for Liberal pre-selection in Wentworth after being encouraged by several people within the party to replace the ousted prime minister.

Ms Forster also has the backing of her brother, who said she would be a good competitor in the impending by-election.

"She and I famously have had our differences but she is an outstanding individual," Mr Abbott told reporters in Sydney.

"If she does put her hand up for Wentworth and if she is successful, I know she will be a wonderful, wonderful competitor in any by-election and she'd be a great local member if she were elected."

Mr Turnbull is yet to announce his resignation from the harbourside seat but told reporters last week it won't be long.

"It's a difficult situation and I don't want to be seen to be disrespecting Malcolm - who I do respect," Ms Forster told AAP.

Mr Abbott, was last week accused of being a "wrecker" by fellow Liberal MPs for laying the groundwork for the sudden move by the party's conservative wing against Mr Turnbull.

He had backed fellow conservative Peter Dutton who lost his chance at the top job when he was overtaken by Scott Morrison, who was sworn in as prime minister on Friday.

Ms Forster who is a City of Sydney councillor said she had a strong record of championing Liberal Party values at a local government level.

"I think as someone with local credentials and a strong track record of strong liberalism, I feel they are the types of candidates we want in any seat," Ms Forster said.

"I've been strong in espousing and representing Liberal values in the city of Sydney."

Businessman and former Australian ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma is said to be the frontrunner to replace Mr Turnbull as the Liberal candidate.

NSW MP Alex Greenwich and GP Kerryn Phelps are also both considering running as independents.

Waverley Deputy Mayor Dominic Wy Kanak has been announced as the Greens candidate for the seat.

Tamarama Surf Lifesaving Club president and local businessman Tim Murray will run as Labor's candidate.

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