Malcolm Turnbull’s by-election candidates face uncertain futures

Malcolm Turnbull has kick started his Super Saturday by-election blitz with an embarrassing cloud hanging over a likely Coalition candidate.
And, another female government MP faces a likely pre-selection challenge from a male.
The prime minister was in the Tasmanian seat of Braddon today, supporting the Liberals’ Brett Whiteley. But the favoured candidate for the Longman by-election, Trevor Ruthenberg, still hasn’t heard from Papua New Guinea on whether he’s still a dual citizen.
Mr Ruthenberg, a former Queensland State MP, was born in PNG and has yet to finalise paperwork clarifying his status.
“They’ve still got a bit of time to get their citizenship papers ready,” deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said about by-election candidates. No date has been set for the by-elections, and Mr Ruthenberg does still have time before nominating, but the uncertainty is delaying the Coalition choosing a candidate. And it is slightly embarrassing, with Mr Turnbull due to campaign in the seat, north of Brisbane, on Friday. He may have to do so on his own, without a candidate to push.
The issue was compounded in Tasmania, when Mr Turnbull attacked Bill Shorten over the citizenship fiasco, and told candidates to “get your act together and make sure you’re not a dual citizen”. “That applies to every candidate,” the Prime Minister said.
“I think it’s going to be, I hope, foremost in the minds of everyone who is planning to run for parliament, whether it’s in these five up-coming by-elections, or in the general election, next year.”
Meantime, following the dumping of Assistant Minister Jane Prentice from the Brisbane seat of Ryan, it’s emerged another sitting female MP might be under threat.
Ann Sudmalis, the member for the NSW south coast seat of Gilmore, is facing an uncertain future.
9NEWS understands Ms Sudmalis will face a challenge from Grant Schultz, son of former Liberal Alby Schultz.
The loss of another female from the coalition ranks would create further friction with the conservatives, with some calling for a quota and for more women MPs.