But there is a widespread view in the NSW division that it needs to send more women to federal parliament. Only 19 of the 68 Liberal MPs in the new parliament are women, and eight Liberal men were beaten by a Labor, green or teal candidate.
Loop, Capterian and Ancient New and Seven Journalist Kellie Sloane, who missed shortlisting for the Willoughby state seat, is also being discussed as possible candidates to take on the newly elected Turquoise Independent MPs who won the Sydney seats in Wentworth, North Sydney and Mackellar.
Payne’s next career move – which could see him offered a job with an international organisation, given his experience as both foreign and defense secretary – is complicated by the fact that his partner, NSW Deputy First Minister Stuart Ayres, is seeking re-election in his marginal Penrith seat.
A spokesman for Morrison said the former prime minister “is proud to represent Cook voters and is deeply grateful for their support. Having left the post of Prime Minister, Mr Morrison is now focused on his local electorate”.
Shortly after his election defeat, Morrison told 2GB that “I have no intention of going anywhere, I’m going back to the Shire and getting our life back there and getting the girls back to their routine.”
However, people close to the former prime minister, who asked not to be named so they could discuss his future plans, said he was likely to ask if he should continue in politics from now on. the end of 2022 – and a new career was on the horizon for the 54-year-old.
Current NSW State Attorney General Mark Speakman, whose Cronulla seat is in Cook, Sutherland Shire Mayor Carmelo Pesce and Councilor Louise Sullivan are all in discussion if Morrison decides to leave his seat federal.
Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, opinion and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up for our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.