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Liberals 'training' independents to run in Vic election - and Dan Andrews' seat is a target

The Victorian state election is less than 150 days away.

Only a couple of months ago, independent candidates were picking up seats across the country in the federal election.

10 independents, many of them known as 'teal independents,' taking a number of key seats from Liberal MPs.

And now, with the Victorian election fast approaching - we may be about to see more independent MPs.

It's suspected the seats where independents may be able to claim victory are all in inner-city Melbourne: Brighton, Hawthorn & Kew.

The seat of Bulleen, held by Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, is also another possible target.

Hawthorn is held by first-term Labor MP John Kennedy. The state district is included in the federal Kooyong electorate, which was won by Monique Ryan.

Many polling booths in Hawthorn saw a high vote for Dr Ryan compared to Josh Frydenberg.

It's also been reported in The Age that in addition to Hawthorn & Kew, the Voices of Kooyong group is looking for candidates in Ashwood & Box Hill.

Today, two groups - Hawthorn Independents & Kew Independents - put out call-outs for possible candidates.

The independents backed by Climate 200 at the federal election mainly focused their campaigns on issues like women's rights, climate change & a federal anti-corruption commission - issues some people doubt will play a key role in the Victorian election.

Now, The Age is also reporting that the Victorian Liberals are providing support to independent candidates in Labor-held seats, with 3 sources claiming that for 18 months, the party has been training well-known locals to run in a number of seats.

Premier Dan Andrews' seat of Mulgrave is a likely target. He's held it since 2002 and was re-elected in 2018 with a swing over more than 8 percent towards him.

4 other candidates contested the seat last election - the Liberal's Maree Davenport, The Greens' Ovi Rajasinghe, the DLP's Des Kelly & Nadeem Malik from the Transport Matters Party.

On a two-party preferred basis, he sits at more than 62 percent.

Watch the full report here.

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