The polls are now open for an election that looks set to offer some relief to Victoria’s beleaguered Liberal Party.

Voters across the northeast Melbourne seat of Warrandyte will file into polls from 8am to 6pm today to select a new candidate for the seat, with Liberal contender Nicole Werner the dominant frontrunner in the contest.

The Victorian Liberal Party has held the suburban seat since 1988.

In July, the Victorian Labor Party announced it would not field a candidate.

Victorian Labor did not respond to a NCA NewsWire request for comment on their reasons for not fielding a candidate in Warrandyte.

Ms Werner, a charity manager and daughter of Malaysian-Chinese migrants, said on social media she would work to “restore integrity” to Victoria’s finances in an apparent swipe at the state pulling out of hosting the Commonwealth Games.

With no Labor opposition, Ms Werner fronts up against minor party contenders and independents, including Greens candidate Tomas Lightbody and Family First Victoria candidate Richard Griffith-Jones.

The by-election was triggered in July when Liberal MP Ryan Smith resigned to take up a corporate job.

Mr Smith retained the seat with a 4.3 per cent margin in 2022.

Labor’s decision not to challenge for the seat will come as a relief for Victorian Liberal leader John Pesutto, as it all but guarantees his party will win on Saturday.

Mr Pesutto has been under pressure from within his own party since May over his decision to expel controversial MP Moira Deeming from the Victorian Liberal Party room.

More to come.

Read related topics:Melbourne

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By Rahul

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