Ben Small, a former WA senator and owner of Bunbury’s Small Bar could be set to return to Parliament after being the only candidate to replace Nola Marino in the Liberal party’s Forrest preselection. The Liberal Party preselection process closed last Wednesday with the businessman and former politician the only one to put his hand up for the role. The bid follows his unsuccessful efforts in 2016 to challenge Ms Marino which was shot down by then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull stepping in to support the incumbent. Mr Small was previously a senator for WA, replacing Mathias Cormann in 2020, but resigned in 2022 due to being a dual citizen with New Zealand. He was then reselected by the WA Parliament to retake his seat but lost it at the 2022 election. Ms Marino has held the safe seat since 2007 and won six elections in the electorate before announcing her retirement late last year. The seat has been held by the Liberals for more than 50 years, since 1972. It now sits at a margin of 4.3 per cent, the lowest split from an election since the 1987 vote when Bob Hawke beat John Howard for the Labor government’s third term.