Tim Smith drink-driving offence likely to end his political career, says Ted Baillieu

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Earlier on Tuesday, former premier Ted Baillieu called on senior Liberal MP Tim Smith to consider whether he is too much of a liability to contest the election.

“He’s got a pretty tough choice to make. It’s been a fairly spectacular implosion for somebody who, let’s say, has been a controversial figure on the Coalition side of politics,” Mr Baillieu said on ABC’s Mornings with Virginia Trioli.

“But he has imploded. Fortunately, hasn’t hurt anybody, but I think his reputation is very much shattered. He now has to reflect on his own position. The question he has to ask himself is whether he’s now a liability to the Coalition team, whether he’s a liability to the parliamentary party, whether he’s a liability to the Liberal Party.

“And I think the chances are, he will determine that that liability is unlikely to be lifted. He may go to the next election, but whether he recontests I think is a legitimate question.”

Mr Baillieu, who was premier from 2010 to 2013, said Mr Smith was “somebody who’s played hard on the front line”.

“And it’s come full circle.”

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Mr Smith is believed to have gone to his family’s holiday home in Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula, but Mr Guy said he expected the former frontbencher to front the public “within days” once he reached a decision about his future.

Mr Smith released a statement on Sunday afternoon in which he made no mention of the car crash, but said: “After dinner with friends, I believed I was under the legal limit to drive home. This was not the case.

“I apologise to my constituents, my colleagues, my family and the people of Victoria who expect their elected representatives to uphold the highest standards of behaviour.”

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Mr Guy said Mr Smith would pay for any repairs to the Hawthorn property damaged as a result of the crash, and would also have to cover the cost of any taxis, Ubers or public transport used for his work in the next 12 months while his licence was suspended.

Preselection for the safe Liberal seat of Kew opened on Friday. Nominations are to close on November 12.

Even if Mr Smith chooses to recontest the seat, his application will have to be approved by the Liberal Party’s administrative committee. One Liberal Party official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the committee agreed to discuss Mr Smith’s future at a meeting on Saturday.

Discussions have already started about who might nominate for Kew if Mr Smith resigns. Upper house Liberal MPs Matt Bach and Georgie Crozier loom as possible replacements.

City of Melbourne councillor Roshena Campbell and Boroondara deputy mayor Cynthia Watson have also been touted as potential candidates.

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