THE marginal seat of Buninyong has been thrown into turmoil over a Coalition split on abortion views.
The Courier can reveal Nationals candidate Sonia Smith will not preference Liberal candidate Ben Taylor on how to vote cards, which could be the difference in winning one of the closest election battle seats in the state.
Ms Smith said she felt "sick" after an Australian Christian Lobby candidates forum on Friday night in which Mr Taylor revealed views to roll back abortion laws.
She said Mr Taylor had not clearly revealed his views on this issue, focusing on sticking to party lines on other topics.
"He has just been a salesman for the party," she said.
"These views need to be brought to light.
"For me it was very disturbing, even though it was a Christian view, but not everyone agrees with that view."
Ms Smith said she would leave it up to voters to decide who to preference and would not commit to saying voters should preference Labor over Mr Taylor.
She described the situation as a "dilemma", however, given the marginal nature of the seat it could throw Mr Taylor's campaign completely into turmoil.
Furthermore, the Liberals has spent a huge amount of time and resources in the seat hoping it could counteract losses in Melbourne.
"I can't live with myself, that we are going to put someone in who is going to be as divisive on that issue," Ms Smith said.
"I am seeking to win I should make that point.
"It is a serious issue, he should be running for Family First."
Mr Taylor wouldn't comment on preferences and the impact it could have on his campaign.
When asked if he planned to campaign within the Coalition to roll back abortion laws, he refused to answer only saying: "one thing is very clear, the Premier has made it clear he will not change the laws in place."
A spokesperson from the Nationals would not enter into the debate releasing a short statement.
"Decisions on preferences are made by the president of the Nationals and the state director," he said.
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