Nick Xenophon to field pro-subs candidates

Independent senator Nick Xenophon will field South Australian candidates who support locally-built submarines in the next federal election.

As AAP reports, it appears that the job will go to an overseas manufacturer (most likely Japan) but Xenophon wants to have as much of the work as possible done in South Australia.

"I’m working very hard to get a number of really credible, strong lower house candidates," he told Sky News on Tuesday.

As the ABC reports, the next generation submarine project is a big issue in South Australia, a state still coming to terms with the approaching death of the local car manufacturing industry.

One Liberal MP told the ABC that if the contract goes overseas Liberal seats would come under great threat.

"The easiest option [politically] would be for it to be done in South Australia,” he said.

A Liberal MP told Sky News that if the German or French bid were to win the submarine project more of the build would be done in South Australia than if the Japanese bid won.

'If the Japanese get it, we'll lose every seat in South Australia and we'll lose the election', the MP said.