The process for choosing between Barnaby Joyce and challenger Alex Rubin to be the next National party candidate for the Division of New England is the fairest of any party in the country.
That's according to Nationals' New England Federal Electorate Council chair Russell Webb, who will preside over the contest in Armidale on Saturday afternoon.
Since then-Senator for Queensland Barnaby Joyce won a contested preselection for the lower house seat before the 2013 election, the MP has not been challenged.
But on Saturday he will face down his first preselection opponent in eight years, former soldier Alex Rubin.
Mr Webb said the vote is unusual, and he expects a lot of interest from party members.
"It's unusual that we've got a contested preselection in an electorate where a member is very popular and is performing at a high level. But that's the due process," he said.
"If somebody wants to put their hand up ... it's very open and transparent and I have to say a lot more open and transparent than any of the other political parties."
Unlike the Labor and Liberal parties, every paid-up member of the National party in the electorate is entitled a direct vote to choose their representative, Mr Webb said.
He said there are several hundred members in the Division of New England, which has an adult population above 110,000.
Office holders expect about 100 Nationals members or so to attend the Armidale meeting, some of them traveling up to two hours one way to get there.
Both candidates will have an opportunity to address the members for about ten minutes depending on the mood of the room, and will take questions.
Then members will cast a physical vote in person - there are no proxy votes, and no Zoom votes - in accordance with the constitution of the party.
Mr Webb said it's a system that is impossible to branch stack, partly because preselectors could change their mind after hearing the candidates and because the vote is conducted in person.
"The beauty of the process is that it's open to all members," he said.
"If a person puts themselves forward and they are considered by the people in that room and members in that room say gee whiz this fellow's displaying some great attributes, they make their choice on who they want. It could be anybody."
The room will also select a returning officer and two people to count the vote. Both candidates are entitled to select a scrutineer.
The Nationals have unusually open preselection contest rules, Mr Wedd said. Anyone can ask the party to be a candidate if they've been a member for a year and are a fit and proper person. Other parties have intensive probity checks or even formal restrictions on preselections.
"The fellow that's going for preselection in the seat of New England against Barnaby has every right to do so," he said.
"The Nationals is probably the only party where anybody at any time, leading up to an election, can contest a preselection against a sitting member."
The preselection contest will take place from 2pm on Saturday, at Armidale's Tattersall's hotel.
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