Sarah Henderson, seen here while she was the federal member for Corangamite, will be elected to the Senate. Photo: PETER MARSHALL

Sarah Henderson wins Senate preselection

September 12, 2019 BY

SARAH Henderson has made a rapid return to federal politics, emerging as the winner of a tightly-fought contest to fill a casual Senate vacancy in Victoria.

The former Liberal member for Corangamite was defeated by Labor’s Libby Coker at May’s federal election but announced within weeks that she would be a candidate to replace Mitch Fifield, who has been appointed as Australia’s ambassador to the United Nations.

The preselection vote took place on Sunday, with Ms Henderson finishing ahead of second-placed Greg Mirabella by a reported margin of less than 40 votes.

In a statement, Ms Henderson said she was incredibly humbled to have been preselected.

“As I have committed, I will be establishing my principal Senate office in Geelong.

I look forward to hitting the ground running and being a strong Liberal voice for all of Victoria.

“I thank Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Leader Josh Frydenberg for all their support.

“I pay tribute to the other preselection candidates. The Liberal Party is a great grassroots democratic organisation where members choose their candidates based on merit.

“Finally, thank you to my family for their incredible and unwavering support and encouragement. I could not have done it without them.”

Mr Morrison backed Ms Henderson to win the preselection and sent out a letter endorsing her that included the handwritten postscript “without Sarah, we would not have won!”. This is yet to be fully explained, given Ms Henderson lost her seat at the May 18 federal election.