Farrer – Australia 2019

LIB 20.5%

Incumbent MP
Sussan Ley, since 2001.

Farrer covers a great expanse of southwestern NSW. The seat covers most of the NSW-Victorian border, stretching from the Greater Hume area around Albury all the way along the Murray River, and further north to cover areas along the Murrumbidgee River. Main towns include Albury, Griffith, Leeton, Deniliquin and Corowa.

Farrer was created at the 1949 election as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives. In its time it has always been held by conservative parties, primarily the Liberal Party, although it was held by the Nationals from 1984 until 2001.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Liberal candidate David Fairbairn. He was included in the Menzies ministry from 1962 until 1969, when he challenged John Gorton for the leadership and moved to the backbench. He returned to cabinet for one year in 1971 after William McMahon became Prime Minister, and retired from Parliament in 1975.

He was succeeded by Wal Fife, who had been a minister in the Liberal state government of New South Wales since 1967. Fife went on to serve as a minister in the Fraser government from 1977 until its defeat in 1983. He moved to the seat of Hume following the 1984 redistribution, which had moved Wagga Wagga from Farrer into Hume, and he retired in 1993.

The seat was won in a three-cornered contest in 1984 by Nationals state MP Tim Fischer, with the Liberal coming third. Fischer became leader of the National Party in 1990 after then-leader Charles Blunt lost his seat.

Fischer went on to serve as Deputy Prime Minister from 1996 to 1999, retiring at the 2001 election. Another three-cornered contest in 2001 saw the Liberal Party’s Sussan Ley win the seat back from the Nationals.

Sussan Ley has been re-elected five times.


Farrer is normally considered a safe Liberal seat, but independent candidate Kevin Mack appears to be making a serious bid for the seat.

2016 result

Sussan Ley Liberal 55,89357.9+13.9
Christian Kunde Labor 17,48618.1-2.1
Amanda Cohn Greens 7,9368.2+4.3
Ron PikeLiberty Alliance5,8746.1+6.1
Brian MillsIndependent4,1334.3+4.3
Paul RossettoChristian Democratic Party3,4743.6+2.4
Trevor O’BrienMature Australia1,7831.8+1.9

2016 two-party-preferred result

Sussan Ley Liberal 68,11470.5-1.2
Christian Kunde Labor 28,46529.5+1.2

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into seven parts. Polling places in the towns of Albury, Griffith and Deniliquin have been grouped together, and the remainder of the seat’s population has been split into north-east, north-west, south-east and south-west.

The Liberal Party won a large majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all seven areas, ranging from 63.5% in Albury to 78.4% in the south-west.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes73.19,78910.1

Two-party-preferred votes in Farrer at the 2016 federal election

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  1. Ah the number one “protected species”!. It is such, that there is a wonder, the Greens don’t have (an environmental) position on Susan LEY !. The only reason Ley draws breath, is that she occupies a seat that the Nats, would, & should hold.
    Nevertheless she ought to be gone.

  2. Really not sure why this is a Liberal seat and not a National seat. When a seat is this safe for the conservative side of politics, surely there’d be no harm in an intra-coalition challenge.

  3. John – as per the seat history, Sussan Ley won it in 2001 against the Nats.

    The Coalition don’t run against sitting MPs. It’d cost them resources, focus and about $10K/seat in election funding.

  4. Also – given that this seat has had three Liberal members and only one National, and that that National was Tim Fischer who was already well-known as a state MP, and that it includes the Liberal stronghold of Albury, I’m not sure I’d agree that this is necessarily a Nationals seat.

  5. @Daniel – Sussan Ley was reinstated to a ministry (not sure where) in the most recent reshuffle, so…

    By the way Ben, why are the comments bold on this page…

  6. Sussan Ley is a good MHR having won 5 elections in a row as stated above and its great to see here back in the minister after a minor slip up with her travel costs to Queensland. What I like about her is that she is not the usual candidate with a legal, union or staffer background. She has been an air traffic controller, shearers cook and has a pilots licence to get he around here vast electorate. She was a good Health Minister too.

  7. Sussan Ley was promoted as Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories in Aug 2018. She has also been a commercial pilot and a wool and beef farmer in her varied careers and has a number of tertiary qualifications.

  8. Adrian “MINOR” slip up! Surely you jest !?. Susan Ley made Bronwyn Bishop’s heli ride look like an Uber jaunt. Sorry there ought to be zero tolerance of this kind of tax payer funded bullshit

  9. Wine Diamond
    In this day and age we should have come up with solutions that can solve travel funding problems. Possibly cashless welfare cards for MP travel expenses. Any breach would then be fraud and result not in a pay back but a prosecution.
    Most MPs are diligent and it is only a small percentage that are abusers.
    Andrew Jackson

  10. I would prefer Ley and many other women MP’s, both Coalition and Labor, to all those men in grey suit in Parliament who are most lawyers, union hacks or former office clerks called staffers. As Keating would say “unrepresentative swill”.

  11. Adrian
    Hear, hear. However i don’t think salvation wears a skirt !!.
    i completely agree with you. Sorry for my tardy response

  12. I am amazed that ALA haven’t got a candidate running in Farrer in the May election.
    In 2016, Ron Pike was only second to Ley with a 6.1 swing…We handed out flyers on the day and ever so many people were interested in the party.Trouble was that ALA were not able to do enough advertising.They were stopped by the media…papers and tv let them down badly…advertising paid for , was not done.The left could see ALA was a threat to them.

  13. I’ve seen talk around the place of this seat being at risk from the independent, and it’s reflected in the betting odds with Ley and the Independent at $1.80 and $1.90 respectively. Anyone know if this seat is a genuine chance of changing hands?

  14. I spoke to the Independent and he said he would not be putting his hand up if he wasn’t a chance. Having worked with him – he does not appear to be a risk taker – so he must think he is a good chance.

  15. Looks like a very serious chance for Kevin Mack the independent Albury mayor to win here – the odds on many sites are in favour, given the grassroots support and the credentials in the biggest population centre, against an unpopular (nationally and increasingly locally) Liberal.

  16. Looks like the punters, at least, think this is going to go to Mack. Now at 1.55 to Mack, 2.10 to Coalition.

    Amazing. I haven’t heard anything about this, up here in Queensland. When they talk about independents, it’s usually Phelps, Oakeshott, Yates, Steggall, Wilkie, Banks, and the one in Indi running in place of McGowan. Haven’t heard one mention of Ley being on trouble.

  17. Agreed
    Mack appears to be even a better chance than neighbour Haines over the border (Indi).

  18. I’ve just seen Barry Cassidy has tweeted that Morrison is in Albury tomorrow to campaign. Clearly Mack must be doing well if Morrison is campaigning in Farrer of all places with 2 weeks to go. Libs must be worried

    Also interesting how the coalition’s limited resources and money are being spent in normally safe as rock seats like Farrer, Warringah, Wentworth, Kooyong etc. It must be affecting their ability to compete with labor in the usual marginals.

  19. think all rural seats except maybe Riverina are a danger to the Nationals because of the water issue…….. and
    Barnaby is a special case…. think Labor only has. a chance of picking up Page extra

  20. Sportsbet now has Mack ahead, Im not so convinced but i wouldn’t be surprised if Ley loses, If she does, Then i suspect the Nationals will win this next time this becomes a Coalition seat.

  21. The woman who threw an egg today has done ALP a great disservice. Decent Australians will be disgusted and as a result will retaliate by convincing people to support Morrison.

  22. Mick Ask Tanya Plibisek br
    Ecauuse she said the same thing. Voting behaviour is not rational. I for one have not made up my mind if in endeavouring to knock off neo-liberalism I can afford 3 years of ALP/ Green moral deggeneracy or not. This woman pushes me towards supporting Liberals just as most Liberal attack adds do the opposite of what they want to do. Hopefully woman has spent an uncomfortable night in Watch House and gets a few weeks jail as a penalty.

  23. Mick
    IT is NOT one crazy action. It is in fact a pattern, & constant repetition of offensive behaviour. Australia is a tolerant, & compassionate society . Incidents such as this are eroding, & threatening the very ethos of what we value in our country.
    During the plebiscite the behaviour of the Yes supporters was so offensive that they managed to make a lot of people vote NO. I did something i would have sworn i’d never do 18 months before. So yeah offensive behaviour does change votes.

    Just to be clear iv’e always believed that everyone is free to love who they love, & i always will.
    cheers WD

  24. I think that’s a bit over the top. Someone threw an egg, it’s not that big a deal. Julia Gillard got egged, so did John Hewson and even Billy Hughes way back when. I’m not supporting it but to declare it a vote changer seems pretty irrational.

  25. Another comment to add re egg lady – whether or not it moves votes away from the left, she’s done the nation a disservice by reminding everyone (everyone paying attention anyway) of Fraser Anning.

  26. I remember Keating getting egged as well, in Newcastle I think it was. Schwarzenegger got egged in California once, he laughed it off and said “you still owe me bacon”. Politicians have been egged many times over the years. Not that it makes it ok, but it never used to have this much media noise made about it.

  27. SG
    How was i not clear ? The issue is obviously NOT a bloody egg, or some stupid, young greenie, stoner chick. The issue is the decline in the civility of our public discourse, & an increasingly abusive, if not violent tone.
    Just today that incredibly offensive, moronic zealot Di Natalie has refused to condemn two of his execrable candidates for comments that would have them dis endorsed from major parties. That little grub Dessie thought there was something funny about pedophilia, & child pornography, necrophilia, etc. i wonder how Luke Creasy felt when he found out about that.?

    On a more positive note Who doesn’t think that in this country we can go to the local supermarket & bump into the PREMIER OF THE STATE, & have a little informal chat, & she is comfortable, & unafraid. Is this not the most wonderful indictment of the values, & grace of our society, our country. It has happened to me several times

  28. I have handed out at Banks prepoll… the liberals there are pleasant and you can have conversations with them in a reasonable manner…at a personal level they are nice people. Of course I support the alp…. union forces
    I have disagreed with people on this blog but have argued my case and not engaged in personal abuse or used expelitives… excuse spelling?

  29. Farrer is interesting in that there is now a danger Susan Ley could lose… I would normally count this of a liberal party win and move on. There could be surprises in seats Labor CANNOT win??

  30. Kevin Mack is now odds on to win the seat of Farrer. At last we will be rid of this Punk who wore the nose ring & chain when she lived in Canberra. Good luck Kevin you will be a great member for farrer.

  31. I was going to give Mack second place to Ley, but after reading Mack’s policies, and the fact he is giving preferences to the Greens, and vice versa, he will go to bottom of my list, No. 8.
    Greens are last.
    Another Clayton’s Independent!
    I wonder how many people are aware of this?

  32. Annie Mac, I’ve seen Kevin Mack’s how to vote card and he doesn’t preference anyone

  33. Simon Barnhill
    Ok fine. However does he support, or condemn Greens policies. It is the job of politicians to express views ,& policies. Does Mack expect to get the job without doing or saying much ? I’d have though with water as the No 1 issue that repudiating insane Green policy would be pretty important. am i wrong ?

  34. Kevin Mack has stated he will support the Coalition in the event of a hung parliament so long as they hold a RC into the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and water buybacks.


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