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Vic Libs: want women but preselecting men

AAP logoAAP 5/12/2016 Angus Livingston

It's raining men in Victorian Liberal party preselections but leader Matthew Guy is confident women candidates will soon start flooding in.

Former Liberal staffers Russell Joseph and James Newbury won preselection in two safe state seats on the weekend, defeating a number of qualified women.

Mr Guy has publicly pushed for more women to be preselected but Liberal branch members have other ideas.

"The Liberal party is a democracy, it makes its decisions as a democratic institution should," Mr Guy told reporters on Monday.

"Russell Joseph and James Newbury have my full support."

Mr Newbury won preselection in the seat of former deputy leader Louise Asher, who supported his candidacy, while Mr Joseph is set to replace Martin Dixon.

Ms Asher is retiring from her seat of Brighton at the 2018 election while Mr Dixon will vacate the seat of Nepean.

"There are a number of preselections to come, so I'd just say it's not where you start, it's where you finish," Mr Guy said.

But the signs aren't good. Former speaker Christine Fyffe is supporting her son to take over in Evelyn, while Sandringham MP Murray Thompson's seat looks set to go to another former Liberal staffer in Brad Rowswell.

One senior Liberal source said it didn't help when retiring women MPs were supporting men to replace them.

Mr Guy pointed to the October 2015 preselection of Roma Britnell to replace former premier Denis Napthine as evidence the party was serious about promoting women.

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