Liberal Party will not contest Blacktown state by-election

RETIRED: Former Blacktown MP John Robertson, pictured talking to UGL workers in August 2014. Picture: Ryan Osland

RETIRED: Former Blacktown MP John Robertson, pictured talking to UGL workers in August 2014. Picture: Ryan Osland

The Liberal Party has decided not to put its hat in the ring for the Blacktown by-election, the Sun can reveal.

According to a source within the party, the state executive is expected to pass the motion tonight.

It would confirm suspicions held by many local branches after the party did not field a candidate in the Blacktown Council ward two by-election earlier this year.

Should the party decide to contest the upcoming election, Blacktown councillor Jess Diaz would have the numbers in local branches to choose the candidate.

The claim follows a bruising weekend for the party, in which it suffered heavy defeats in local government elections at most newly-amalgamated councils across Sydney.

Former NSW Labor leader John Robertson triggered an October 14 by-election by announcing his retirement from politics on August 3.

The safe Labor seat has only been won by the Liberals once, in 1959, and Mr Robertson retained it with 53 per cent of the first preference vote in 2015.

The Liberal Party reportedly does not wish to contest a fight it cannot win in Blacktown, preferring instead to focus resources on the 2019 federal election.