Prominent conservative commentator and former prime ministerial chief-of-staff Peta Credlin is waiting to see who her opponent would be before deciding whether the plum Victorian seat of Mallee could be her vehicle into federal politics.
State Liberal Party officials are eager to recruit Ms Credlin, who they believe could wrestle the rural-based seat in dry north-western Victoria from the Nationals' grip.
Sources who know the former top aide to ex-prime minister Tony Abbott say she is likely to run if the Nationals choose a weak candidate to replace Andrew Broad, who plans to retire at the federal election over his "Sugar Daddy" dating escapades.
Ms Credlin, who became famous for her tough personal style towards ministers, backbenchers and political advisers during Mr Abbott's government, is overseas and declined to comment on Sunday.
Although she lives in Canberra now with her husband, former Liberal Party director Brian Loughnane, Ms Credlin grew up in the electorate in the town of Wycheproof, population 600. Her family reportedly settled in the district in 1873.