A key supporter of former prime minister Tony Abbott should be returned to Malcolm Turnbull's ministry after the election, according to a pair of Tasmanian Liberal candidates.
Senator Eric Abetz, who was the Workplace Relations minister under Mr Abbott, was dumped to the backbench when Mr Turnbull snatched the prime ministership in September.
But the former minister and Liberal veteran maintains a vice-like grip on the branches of the Liberal Party in Tasmania and was recently preselected as the state's top Senate candidate, despite languishing on the backbench.
Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck is Tasmania's only MP in Mr Turnbull's ministry and, in a snub to the prime minister, he was relegated to fifth on the state's Senate ticket, behind Senator Abetz, Senate President Stephen Parry, new candidate Jonathon Duniam and Senator David Bushby.
Senator Abetz is understood to want to return to the frontbench after the election, too, though Mr Turnbull has signalled he is unlikely to make major changes to his line-up if he is reelected.
And in comments that will potentially create a political headache for Mr Turnbull on the second day of the federal election campaign, Liberal candidate for the seat of Denison Marcus Allan said Mr Turnbull should promote Senator Abetz after the election.
The candidate, who is hoping to win the seat held by independent Andrew Wilkie in a three-cornered contest with Labor's Jane Austin, said: "I would like to see Eric back on the frontbench".
" Eric has been a warrior for Tasmania and while he can polarise opinion, Tasmania owes Eric a massive debt. He is one of the hardest-working pollies from Tasmania," he told Fairfax Media.
"I have no doubt that when the time is right, Eric's skills and talents will be recognised."
Mr Allan added that any of the state's three current lower house MPs - Eric Hutchinson, Andrew Nikolic and Brett Whiteley - would also make a valuable contribution to the Turnbull frontbench.
And the party's sixth Senate candidate, John Tucker, has also backed a promotion for Senator Abetz if the Turnbull government is returned on July 2.
" He would very much be a valuable addition to Mr Turnbull's frontbench," Mr Tucker told Fairfax Media.
"I'm very supportive of Eric Abetz. He does a good job, like all our MPs.
"We need more representation down here, but that [the ministerial line-up] is something for the party."
Franklin candidate Amanda-Sue Markham told Fairfax Media she would "absolutely" like to see more Tasmanians in Mr Turnbull's frontbench line-up after the election.
" The cabinet is entirely the prerogative of the Prime Minister, who he chooses to be most eligible for the frontbench, it's entirely up to him," she said.
"There are some amazing, hard-working Liberal senators and members and any one of them could step into a role."
Asked directly if Senator Abetz should be returned to the frontbench, Ms Markham said: " I'd like to see any one of them [current Tasmanian MPs] on the frontbench".
" It would be fantastic to have more ministers and that would put us in a stronger position."
Comment has been sought from Senator Abetz.