Coalition's heavy hitters march on Griffith by-election

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has described the LNP's candidate for next weekend's Griffith by-election as "absolutely outstanding".

Mr Abbott joined a series of high-profile Liberal and LNP figures to launch Dr Bill Glasson's campaign official on the weekend, with Mr Abbott backing him as "the most extraordinary candidate".

His appearance on the hustings follows Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's visit of almost a week a fortnight ago to support the party's candidate Terri Butler.

But the by-election, being touted as an early indication of the success of the Abbott Government, has been complicated by a field of 11 candidates.

Apart from the major parties, The Greens, the Bullet Train for Australia and a raft of other smaller parties have endorsed candidates for next Saturday's poll.

But despite questions over preference flows, particularly from The Greens, Dr Glasson called on the party's supporters to put him second on their ballot paper.

"Look, preferences are always an issue don't get me wrong and we've got 11 starters in this Melbourne Cup field," he said.

"So I say to the people in the Greens, if you want to put Green one so be it, but where you put number two is really important and then ask the question 'do you want Bill Glasson or do you want his Labor Opponent' because a Green candidate is not going to get up."

Topics:  bill glasson coalition prime minister tony abbott

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