Support for dumped federal MP Dennis Jensen was dwindling before controversial news reports about him were published, a defamation trial has heard.
Dr Jensen is suing News Corp's publishing arm Nationwide News and journalist Andrew Burrell over two articles in The Australian days before the 2016 pre-selection contest, arguing they were a major reason for his 57-7 loss.
The WA Supreme Court heard no pre-selectors for the safe Liberal seat of Tangney spoke in favour of Dr Jensen before they cast their vote.
One of them, Bruce McGregor, said Dr Jensen phoned him before the meeting, asking if he was a supporter in a brief, awkward conversation that ended with: "If you don't vote for me, it means you're going to give me the sack."
"I thought it was a bit rude, but that's the man," Mr McGregor said on Friday.
He said Dr Jensen talked about the articles in a speech at the meeting, suggesting they had been written to thwart his candidacy bid, but no one appeared to know about them.
Mr McGregor said he was aware of matters raised in the articles, including Dr Jensen's move out of the electorate, months before they hit headlines.
He said he did not vote for Dr Jensen, who had not progressed to cabinet despite being in office for 12 years.
Mr McGregor said he found Dr Jensen hard to converse with and was "not a people person".
"My personal view was that he was being less and less favoured as time went on," he said.
"He was finding it difficult to garner support."
Dr Jensen election results had been strong but voters in the blue-ribbon electorate "would vote Liberal whoever the candidate was", Mr McGregor said.
Another pre-selector who didn't back Dr Jensen, WA Young Liberals president Daniel Earle, said he would have liked to have seen Dr Jensen gracefully accept defeat and shake his successor's hand, not look like a sore loser.
Dr Jensen says only constituents should cast out a sitting member.