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it was their turn.

The front-runner in the contest for preselection was an up-and-coming young executive called Tony Selmes. He was the new president of the Liberal Party's State Electoral Conference (the equivalent of our SEC), and an active member of the Harbord Liberal Branch. For the last few elections he had worked all day opposite us at the Harbord Literary Institute. While doing vigorous battle there, he and I had developed a cordial personal relationship.

At the end of 1979, Selmes confirmed in the Daily that he would be standing for preselection. He was prompted to do so by a report that the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Nelson Meers was thinking of running.  

The Manly Daily had run the story on pages one and three:


"Local Liberal Party sources confirmed yesterday that the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Ald Nelson Meers, would be a 'highly probable' candidate for the seat of Manly at the next state elections...

"He has announced that he will try to gain preselection for a 'winnable' State seat which was lost to Labor in last year's election.  

"Manly, which Labor holds by a narrow margin, matches this discription.

"Ald Meers, 41, a solicitor and land investor by

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