Incumbent Wannon MP Dan Tehan appears to have flagged independent Alex Dyson as his biggest threat in the federal election.
Candidates' preferences were revealed on how-to-vote cards on Monday as pre-polling sites opened.
Liberal member Mr Tehan placed Mr Dyson last on his voting ticket.
The trade minister preferenced Liberal Democrats' Amanda Mead, United Australia Party's Craige Kensen and One Nation's Ronnie Graham.
UAP candidate Craige Kensen had Mr Dyson, Labor's Gilbert Wilson and the Greens' Hilary McAllister as the last three selections on his voting guide.
Despite Mr Kensen's earlier comment to The Standard that he would preference Liberal, Labor and the Greens last, he said the UAP's decision to preference Mr Tehan above Mr Dyson came after they found out about the independent's Climate 200 funding.
"Alex, we don't consider to be a true independent," he said.
"The party decided to do that, and I was quite happy with it."
Climate 200 is a political funding group backed by climate activist Simon Holmes a Court who has supported independent candidates running on climate action, political anti-corruption and women's policies.
Mr Dyson said he had received a $30,000 donation from the group but stressed it had no influence on his campaign or policies.
Mr Dyson had not made any recommendations on his how-to-vote card.
His card read: "As an independent I'm not telling you how to preference, but you must number every box for your vote to count."
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Ms Mead split her ticket giving voters a guide if they chose to vote Labor or Liberal.
On both tickets, Ms Mead preferenced UAP second, One Nation third, and independent Graham Garner fourth, while Mr Dyson was seventh, and the Greens last.
The recommendations differed with her fifth and sixth preferences swapped between Labor's Gilbert Wilson and Liberal's Dan Tehan.
Ms Mead said she had done this to emphasise that preference allocation was "completely up to the individual".
"How to vote cards are only a guide. The voter controls where their vote goes, not the party or independent," she said.
Labor's Mr Wilson recommended his supporters put the Greens second, Mr Dyson third, and Mr Garner fourth.
For the Greens' Ms McAllister, Mr Dyson was second followed by Labor, Liberal and the Liberal Democrats.
Independent Mr Garner told The Standard he would finalise his vote card on Thursday, May 12.
One Nation's Ronnie Graham was contacted for his preferences but failed to respond.
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