No National runs for one-seat Vic election

The Victorian Nationals won't field a candidate for a single-seat state election delayed over the sudden death of its previous nominee.

The poll for the lower house seat of Narracan, in the West Gippsland region, was deferred five days out from the election in November last year when Nationals candidate Shaun Gilchrist died unexpectedly.

It was later revealed the 47-year-old was scheduled to appear in the County Court on sexual offence charges, with a trial date set for June 2023.

State Nationals leader Peter Walsh said at the time the party was not aware of the charges when Mr Gilchrist was endorsed.

Candidate nominations for Narracan closed at midday on Friday, with 11 people running as part of the rescheduled January 28 poll.

A Nationals-backed replacement for Mr Gilchrist was not among them.

Labor has also pulled its candidate after claiming 56 seats to secure a third successive term in office, building on its lower house majority by one.

The Liberals are expected to comfortably retain Narracan, with local construction business owner Wayne Farnham preselected to replace retired MP Gary Blackwood.

Mr Farnham was drawn 10th in Friday's ballot draw, meaning his name will appear second last on the voting slip.

A win in Narracan would give the coalition 28 members in the 88-seat lower house when parliament returns in early February.

Early voting opens on Monday.

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