The West

Trenorden team eye National heartland

Former WA Nationals leader Max Trenorden has revealed his collective of "rural independents" will likely run a candidate in Parliament's Lower House with the aim of robbing his former party of its spiritual home - Central Wheatbelt.

And in a move that threatens to cause major friction between the partners in Government, Mr Trenorden said he would ask Liberal State director Ben Morton to preference his candidate ahead of the Nationals.

The veteran MP was "90 per cent sure" the candidate would run but would not reveal their identity.

Mr Trenorden said the candidate would have a "very, very real chance" of beating the Nationals' Mia Davies, who is switching from the Upper House to contest the seat vacated by leader Brendon Grylls.

Ms Davies would attract less than the 48 per cent of the primary vote Mr Grylls got in 2008, Mr Trenorden predicted.

This would give the rural independent - likely to secure Labor and Green preferences - a chance to win with Liberal and Christian Democrat preferences.

Mr Trenorden will top a five-strong ticket contesting the Upper House's Agricultural Region.

The ticket will include fellow former National Phil Gardiner and third will be Bill Cowan, brother of WA Nationals founder and former deputy premier Hendy Cowan.

He will be followed by Rob Kestel and Lindsay Tuckwell.

Labor State secretary Simon Mead said the party would reveal its preferences next month. Mr Morton could not be contacted.

The West Australian

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