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Collier to recontest key post

Liberal powerbroker Peter Collier is coming under internal pressure to not recontest his position as party leader in the Upper House as recriminations over Labor’s thumping election win spill over into the Legislative Council.

Upper House Liberals will meet today to elect a leader after a partyroom meeting where Mike Nahan is expected to be elevated to Opposition Leader.

The West Australian has learned former minister Helen Morton, who lost her East Metropolitan seat and won’t return when the new Legislative Council convenes in May, has told Mr Collier not to stand again for the leadership.

Mr Collier was the only parliamentary party representative on the Liberals’ “Team Blue” election campaign committee, which included staffers from the offices of the then premier and deputy premier, and Liberal State director Andrew Cox.

Some in the party believe it would be untenable for Mr Collier to return to a leadership position as the party rebuilds.

Others believe he wields too much power over preselections and the party would have a better chance of attracting well-credentialed candidates with Mr Collier leaving Parliament altogether.

Mr Collier indicated in a Facebook post after the election he may take a step back from his workload after the big loss, however he appears to have had a change of heart and plans to contest the leadership today.

Other Liberals rumoured to have been interested or considered capable of attracting enough votes, including Michael Mischin, Mr Collier’s factional ally Nick Goiran and Donna Faragher, are understood to be unwilling to run against him.

Mrs Morton, who dropped from No.1 to No.3 on the Liberals’ East Metro ticket during last year’s preselections, said she did not want to discuss partyroom matters before the meeting.

Mr Collier said he was aware of Mrs Morton’s views.

“I have received strong support from my colleagues to stay on as leader and so I will be putting my name forward,” he said.

“Ultimately it will be the will of the Legislative Council party room.”

Mrs Faragher, Mr Mischin and Mr Goiran were contacted for comment.

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