Dick Smith 'Very Hard To Beat' In Mackellar: Poll

26/03/2016 2:27 PM AEDT | Updated 26/03/2016 2:27 PM AEDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Embattled Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop would lose her NSW seat of Mackellar in a landslide if challenged at the election by businessman Dick Smith, a new poll shows.

The poll, conducted on Monday for News Corp Australia, found 21 percent of respondents would give their primary vote for Ms Bishop, while 69 percent thought she should retire.

In positive news for Smith, 54 percent of those polled said they would give him their primary vote if he ran for the seat, according to the MediaReach poll of 877 people in Mackellar.

Bishop was previously the federal parliamentary speaker but resigned in the wake of the so-called "choppergate" scandal sparked by her $5000 taxpayer-funded helicopter flight from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a Liberal Party event.

Smith has been touted as a potential independent candidate for Bishop's blue-ribbon electorate in Sydney's north.

According to the poll, 52 percent of respondents said they would vote Liberal if Bishop didn't contest the seat, while 18 percent said they would be less likely to vote Liberal without her.

Smith would reportedly be “very hard to beat” in the electorate and his high profile would make it “very hard to structure a campaign against him”.

Bishop is due to face a preselection ballot in Mackellar on April 16.

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