New polls show that Liberals may be at risk of losing Malcolm Turnbull's Wentworth Main Seat, but the party could improve its chances by choosing a candidate.
The poll surveyed 1,000 people over the weekend and was commissioned by Andrew Bragg, who on Monday withdrew from the liberal preselection race and urged party loyalists to gather behind a woman.
"I think the Liberal Party should pre-select a woman and my withdrawal can pave the way," he said.
The poll shows that the party's main vote has dropped to 39 percent, matching a previous survey by a progressive think tank and placing the famous Liberal seat safely a short distance away from a quality independent candidate.
It puts support for Labor by 25 percent and support for Kerryn Phelps, a possible independent contender, by 20 percent.
But if the Liberals elected a woman, the primary vote of the party would increase four points to 43 percent.
Mr. Bragg, formerly a member of the Business Council of Australia, was considered one of the favorites in the position. His withdrawal has opened the contest, with a number of contenders still in the race.
Councilwoman Woollahra, Mary-Lou Jarvis, and the president of the East Chamber of Commerce of Sydney, Katherine O & # 39; Regan, have raised their hands for the Liberal position.
Jarvis, who is president of the Liberal Women's Council of New South Wales, was previously considered one of the biggest threats to Mr. Bragg's prescreening opportunities.
It is believed that Dave Sharma, former ambassador to Israel between 2013 and 2017, is still interested.
Bragg's decision to remain on the sidelines led to speculation that he could have made a deal to secure a high-ranking seat on the NSW Senate ballot in the next election.
"I believe in public service and I hope to serve the people of NSW in the future," he wrote on Facebook.
Conservative commentators such as Alan Jones of 2GB and Janet Albrechtsen of News Corp have questioned Bragg's calls for a female candidate.
Ms. Albrechtsen said that it was "condescending" and "sexist" for the previous business lobbyist to imply that a woman could only succeed in the seat if a man left.