Eden-Monaro – Australia 2016

LIB 2.9%

Incumbent MP
Peter Hendy, since 2013.

Geography
South-Eastern NSW. Eden-Monaro covers parts of south-eastern New South Wales surrounding the ACT, along the south coast and in the Snowy Mountains. Major centres include Bega, Yass, Tumut, Queanbeyan and Cooma.

Map of Eden-Monaro's 2013 and 2016 boundaries. 2013 boundaries marked as red lines, 2016 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.

Map of Eden-Monaro’s 2013 and 2016 boundaries. 2013 boundaries marked as red lines, 2016 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.

Redistribution
Eden-Monaro gained Tumut and Tumbaraumba council areas from Riverina, and gained Yass Valley council area and the remainder of Palerang from Hume. Eden-Monaro also lost northern parts of Eurobodalla council area to Gilmore, including Moruya and Batemans Bay. These changes increased the Liberal margin from 0.6% to 2.9%.

History
Eden-Monaro is an original federation seat, and because of its position in the corner of the state, it has always covered mostly the same area. The seat was a safe conservative seat for the first few decades, but it has been a marginal seat since the Second World War, and has been considered a ‘bellwether seat’ since 1972, having always been won by the party of government for the last four decades.

The seat was first won by Austin Chapman of the Protectionist Party in 1901. Chapman held the seat until 1926, during which time he served as a Minister in Alfred Deakin’s governments. He later returned to the ministry under Stanley Bruce from 1923 to 1924. Chapman died in 1926, and John Perkins won the seat in a by-election.

Perkins was defeated by John Cusack (ALP) in 1929, but won it back for the United Australia Party in 1931. Perkins served in a number of ministerial roles under Joe Lyons, and was defeated in 1943 by Allan Fraser of the ALP.

Fraser served in the seat for over twenty years, including a period as a senior Labor member in opposition. Fraser was defeated by Dugald Munro in the 1966 landslide but regained the seat in 1969. He retired from Eden-Monaro in 1972.

Bob Whan (ALP) held the seat from 1972 to 1975, which was the beginning of Eden-Monaro’s period as a bellwether seat. Whan was defeated in 1975 by Murray Sainsbury (LIB). Jim Snow (ALP) defeated Sainsbury in 1983, and he was defeated by Gary Nairn (LIB) in 1996.

Nairn became a Parliamentary Secretary in the final term of the Howard government and then served as Special Minister of State. Despite the seat being held by a government MP for so long, Nairn was the first member for Eden-Monaro to be a minister since John Perkins in the 1930s.

Nairn was defeated in 2007 by Mike Kelly (ALP), a former senior lawyer with the Australian Army.

Kelly was re-elected in 2010 but lost in 2013 to Liberal candidate Peter Hendy.

Candidates

  • Daniel Grosmaire (Independent)
  • Ursula Bennett (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Don Friend (Veterans Party)
  • Ray Buckley (Independent)
  • Peter Hendy (Liberal)
  • Tamara Ryan (Greens)
  • Frankie Seymour (Animal Justice)
  • Andrew Thaler (Independent)
  • Mike Kelly (Labor)

Assessment
Eden-Monaro is a key marginal seat, although it leans more towards the Coalition with the addition of Yass and Tumut. Mike Kelly will be a strong challenger, and we should expect the seat to be fiercely competitive.

Polls

  • 51% to Liberal – Reachtel commissioned by NSW Teachers Federation, 19 April 2016
  • 55% to Labor – Reachtel commissioned by AEU, 13 June 2016
  • 55% to Labor – Reachtel commissioned by NSW Teachers Federation, 20 June 2016

2013 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Peter Hendy Liberal 40,431 45.3 +3.4 46.8
Mike Kelly Labor 34,638 38.8 -4.8 35.9
Catherine Moore Greens 6,725 7.5 -2.2 7.4
Dean Lynch Palmer United Party 4,655 5.2 +5.2 5.0
Andrew Thaler Independent 1,223 1.4 +1.4 1.1
Warren Catton Christian Democratic Party 861 1.0 +0.2 1.0
Martin Tye Stable Population Party 601 0.7 +0.7 0.5
Costas Goumas Citizens Electoral Council 179 0.2 +0.2 0.3
Others 1.9
Informal 5,240 5.9

2013 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Peter Hendy Liberal 45,199 50.6 +4.9 52.9
Mike Kelly Labor 44,114 49.4 -4.9 47.1
Polling places in Eden-Monaro at the 2013 federal election. Central in blue, East in orange, North in green, Queanbeyan in orange, West in yellow.

Polling places in Eden-Monaro at the 2013 federal election. Central in blue, East in orange, North in green, Queanbeyan in orange, West in yellow.

Booth breakdown
Booths in Eden-Monaro have been split into five parts. Polling places in Queanbyean City have been grouped together, and the rest has been split between:

  • Central – Bombala, Cooma-Monaro and Snowy River council areas
  • East – Bega Valley and Eurobodalla council areas
  • North – Palerang and Yass Valley council areas
  • West – Tumbarumba and Tumut council areas

The Nationals won a large 64% majority in the west, which was previously entirely contained in the safe Nationals seat of Riverina (for this purpose these votes are treated as Liberal votes). The Liberals also won a solid 59% majority in the centre, and a 53% majority in the north. The west and centre, however, have small populations.

On the other hand, Labor won a 55% majority in Queanbeyan, the seat’s biggest town, and a 51% majority along the east coast.

Voter group GRN % LIB 2PP % Total votes % of votes
East 8.6 49.0 19,733 21.1
Queanbeyan 6.9 45.1 15,430 16.5
North 10.9 53.0 11,944 12.8
West 3.5 64.3 5,980 6.4
Central 6.2 58.8 6,053 6.5
Other votes 6.5 56.0 34,254 36.7
Two-party-preferred votes in Eden-Monaro at the 2013 federal election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Eden-Monaro at the 2013 federal election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Queanbeyan at the 2013 federal election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Queanbeyan at the 2013 federal election.

About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room. If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.