Back at Josh Frydenberg’s press conference in Sydney, the treasurer was asked about his party members being challenged by senior independents backed by the Climate 200 funding group.

As regular readers of this blog will know, Liberal MPs like Dave Sharma and Tim Wilson are being challenged by so-called ‘teal’ independents who are running on a bigger climate change action platform.

Josh Frydenberg targeted independent candidates backed by the Climate 200 funding group. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Frydenberg himself is challenged by an independent candidate in the May 21 election (Dr Monique Ryan, director of neurology at Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne).

During his press conference, the treasurer accused the teals of operating like a political party in all but name.

“The strings are pulled elsewhere,” he said in reference to the funding provided by Climate 200.

“[They’re] treat the community like cups. The reality is that these bogus independents are not telling their communities how they would vote in a hung parliament. And a suspended parliament is a real possibility.

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Independents backed by Climate 200, such as Kylea Tink, say that in the event of a hung parliament, they will meet with the leaders of the two main parties and determine which party is most willing to tackle climate change faster and do more for integrity in politics.

In Tink’s case, she acknowledged that her electorate leans economically conservative and therefore the majority of her supporters would lean towards the Coalition. Others, like incumbent Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, say their communities lean more towards Labour.

At today’s press conference, Frydenberg accused climate independents of ‘running on a Labor platform’, referring specifically to his challenger for the Kooyong seat (who was briefly a Labor Party member although he initially told reporters she was a “political clean skin”.

While Ryan was at one time a member of the Labor Party, that is no longer the case. As for Goldstein’s seat in Melbourne, independent candidate Zoe Daniel has never been a member of any party and was previously an ABC correspondent (and says she has been a top voter). In Wentworth, independent candidate Allegra Spender is the daughter of former Liberal MP John Spender.