Fenner – Australia 2019

ALP 11.8%

Incumbent MP
Andrew Leigh, since 2016. Previously member for Fraser 2010-2016.

Fenner covers the northern suburbs of Canberra. Fenner covers the entirety of Gungahlin, and the Belconnen suburbs of Belconnen, Dunlop, Evatt, Flynn, Fraser, Higgins, Holt, Macgregor, Macnamara, Page, Scullin, Spence and Strathnairn. Fenner also covers the Jervis Bay Territory.

Fenner previously covered most suburbs north of Lake Burley Griffin but retracted into the northern end of Canberra due to the creation of a third ACT electorate. Fenner lost the remainder of the inner north (including Ainslie, O’Connor, Dickson, Downer, Hackett, Watson and Lyneham) as well as the Belconnen suburbs of Aranda, Bruce, Cook, Hawker, Kaleen, Lawson, Macquarie and Weetangera to the new seat of Canberra. These changes reduced the Labor margin from 13.9% to 11.8%.

The Australian Capital Territory first elected an MP from 1949 onwards, although this MP was only given full voting rights in 1968.

Fraser was created in 1974 when the ACT gained a second seat, and the existing electorate was divided into Fraser and Canberra. The ACT gained a third electorate, Namadgi, at the 1996 election

Fraser was held by John Langmore from 1984 to 1996. Langmore resigned in late 1996 and was replaced by Steve Dargavel at a 1997 by-election.

Dargavel’s parliamentary career was short-lived, with Namadgi being abolished at the 1998 election. Dargavel was defeated for preselection by Bob McMullan, then member for the neighbouring seat of Canberra.

Bob McMullan served four terms in Fraser in addition to his one term in Canberra, and retired in 2010.

The seat was won in 2010 by ANU economics professor Andrew Leigh, running for the Labor Party. Leigh was re-elected in 2013 and 2016. The seat was renamed ‘Fenner’ in 2016.


  • Glen J Hodgson (United Australia)
  • Kagiso Ratlhagane (Australian Progressives)
  • Andrew Braddock (Greens)
  • Andrew Leigh (Labor)
  • Leanne Castley (Liberal)
  • Assessment
    Fenner is a safe Labor seat.

    2016 result

    Andrew Keith Leigh Labor 56,79645.8+1.046.0
    Robert Gunning Liberal 38,93031.4-0.333.3
    Carly Saeedi Greens 18,92915.3+1.513.0
    Andrew WoodmanIndependent4,7073.8+3.84.0
    Tim BohmBullet Train For Australia4,6603.8-0.23.7

    2016 two-party-preferred result

    Andrew Keith Leigh Labor 79,24263.9+1.461.8
    Robert Gunning Liberal 44,78036.1-1.438.2

    Booth breakdown

    Polling places in Fenner have been divided into three areas: Belconnen North, Belconnen South and Gungahlin.

    The Labor two-party-preferred vote ranged from 57.8% in Gungahlin to 67.3% in Belconnen South.

    The Greens vote ranged from 10.9% in Gungahlin to 14.5% in Belconnen South.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Belconnen South14.567.314,07517.5
    Belconnen North13.164.911,36914.1
    Other votes17.264.07,6559.5

    Election results in Fenner at the 2016 federal election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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    1. Leigh will be reelected and this time it won’t even go to preferences. Gungahlin changed from a marginal mortgage belt area to Labor’s strongest seat at the last ACT election.

      It won’t go to preferences as I expect the Greens vote to collapse here, now that their best chance is a lower house seat. At least Bean has areas the Greens will need to defend in the 2020 ACT election. The Greens Ginninderra vote is very concentrated around the areas that are now in the seat of Canberra.

      I expect this seat to look like the safe Labor seats in Melbourne and Sydney’s outer suburbs as both Liberals and Greens pull out.

    2. ^ I think the increased Labor vote in Gungahlin at the last ACT election was mostly because of the light rail. That said, i do agree that neither the Liberals or the Greens will likely make much ground here. The Liberals didn’t win a single booth here last time and I can’t see them ever overcoming the very pro-Labor vote in Belconnen. The Greens vote would improve a bit if the southern and eastern parts of Belconnen eventually get redistributed from Canberra to Fenner, but even then I don’t think they’ll have much of a shot because they do surprisingly badly in Gungahlin. Additionally, Andrew Leigh seems to appeal enough to both moderate and progressive Labor voters to prevent an insurgency of either party.

    3. It would be interesting to see the Jervis Bay booth(s) included on the maps to see the difference between them and those in the rest of the seat in the ACT.

    4. Part of the reason this is a safe seat is that the local branch of the Liberal Party mostly seems to consist of more conservative types, rather than the “small L” Liberals you’d see in places like Higgins in Melbourne or Wentworth in Sydney.

      While Andrew Leigh is a decent member, the ACT Labor Government has been in power here for nearly 20 years and is increasingly on the nose, many people in Fenner cannot bring themselves to vote for the conservative option. This is to the point where there is an active campaign to unseat the ACT’s Federal Liberal Senator Zed Seselja.

      Until the Liberal Party offer candidates and policies closer to the centre, they will remain out in the cold in Fenner and indeed across the ACT.


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