Embattled independent Lyons candidate Jessica Whelan will remain at the number two spot on the Nationals' how-to-vote card, even though the party's deputy leader said just four days ago that the views expressed by Ms Whelan "don't reflect the views of the National Party".
The Tasmanian Nationals' latest statement comes after Deputy Leader Bridget McKenzie reportedly said on Thursday that the party would be making an announcement on its Lyons preferences "by the end of the week".
"We want to make sure that whoever we preference second reflects the values of the National Party and the views expressed by Jessica don't reflect the views of the National Party," Ms McKenzie was reported to have said.
On Sunday, however, the Nationals revealed they would be leaving Ms Whelan at number two on their Lyons how-to-vote card.
Ms Whelan was disendorsed as the Liberal candidate earlier this month, following reports of her past Islamophobic social media posts. She says her views are no longer the same as those expressed in the posts.
She insists one particular post was "doctored".
On Friday, Ms Whelan, who has announced a tilt at the seat as an independent, liked a picture on Facebook featuring a banner reading 'VOTE 1 FRASER ANNING'.
Senator Anning has provoked a storm of controversy for his offensive comments on Muslim immigration.
Tasmanian Nationals campaign director Christine Ferguson said the party was not aware of Ms Whelan's recent social media activity and wouldn't be changing its preferences in Lyons due to the fact that its election materials had already been printed.
Ms Whelan previously told The Examiner that the fact she liked the post didn't amount to an "endorsement" of the senator's views.
"If [people] look a little closer they will see that I like posts from most of the political parties," she has said.
"There is no endorsement from me to any political party.
"I'm an independent and will remain an independent and my views remain my own, not that of any other party."
Lyons Labor MHR Brian Mitchell is urging the National Party - whose Lyons candidate Deanna Hutchinson is now being backed by the Liberals - to show "moral leadership" by putting Ms Whelan near the bottom of its how-to-vote cards.
Mr Mitchell argued that Senator Anning was "the poster boy for the neo-Nazi movement in Australia".
"If [Ms] Whelan is liking posts associated with [Senator Anning], then she belongs down the bottom [of the Nationals' how-to-vote cards]," he said.
Mr Mitchell said he was disappointed that the election campaign in Lyons had been subsumed by the controversy around Ms Whelan.
"I've tried to shy away from all this," he said.
"I've not been in the press talking about it for the last couple of weeks.
"But people are talking to me and they are just aghast at what's been said. Because they feel that it's an unfair reflection on them as the people of country Tasmania."
If [Ms] Whelan is liking posts associated with [Senator Anning], then she belongs down the bottom [of the Nationals' how-to-vote cards].Brian Mitchell
Ms Ferguson hit back at Mr Mitchell, saying he'd been "silent on his plan for Lyons" for "too long".
"Instead Brian Mitchell feels his time is better spent reading the Nationals' how-to-vote cards," she said.
"While we are glad that it appears Mr Mitchell is considering giving Deanna his vote, we think his time would be much better spent advocating for members of our community.
"The voters deserve better than this contempt."
Mr Mitchell also said the Liberals needed to "do a better job" of removing Liberal-branded election corflutes featuring Ms Whelan's name and image, some of which are still up across the electorate.
Liberal Party state director Sam McQuestin said the party had already stated that it would "take some time to remove all the signs".
"Mr Mitchell would be better off explaining [why] he supports cutting $85 million in regional grants than worrying about somebody else's signs," he said.