Eden-Monaro – Australia 2019

ALP 2.9%

Incumbent MP
Mike Kelly, since 2016. Previously 2007-2013.

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.

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 was considered a ‘bellwether seat’ from 1972 until 2016, having always been won by the party of government for the last four decades until it swung to Labor in 2016.

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. Kelly returned to win the seat back in 2016.

Candidates
No information.

Assessment
Eden-Monaro is a very marginal seat, even if Labor’s win has deprived it of bellwether status. A likely swing to Labor may deprive this seat of attention, but it would be silly to assume that Kelly will win re-election easily.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Mike Kelly Labor 39,56541.9+5.9
Peter Hendy Liberal 39,04941.3+0.1
Tamara Ryan Greens 7,1777.6+0.2
Frankie SeymourAnimal Justice1,9862.1+2.1
Ursula BennettChristian Democratic Party1,7631.9+0.9
Daniel GrosmaireIndependent1,6831.8+1.8
Don FriendVeterans Party1,4481.5+1.5
Andrew Evan ThalerIndependent9811.0-0.1
Ray BuckleyIndependent8170.9+0.9
Informal6,3996.3

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Mike Kelly Labor 50,00352.9+5.8
Peter Hendy Liberal 44,46647.1-5.8

Booth breakdown

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

  • East – Bega Valley and Eurobodalla council areas
  • North – Queanbeyan-Palerang and Yass Valley council areas
  • South – Snowy Monaro council area
  • West – Snowy Valleys council area

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in four of these five areas, ranging from 51.2% in the north to 58% in Queanbeyan. The Liberal Party polled 52% in the south.

Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
East56.517,18018.2
Queanbeyan58.014,85015.7
North51.211,66412.3
South48.06,0066.4
West53.85,1055.4
Other votes47.39,65610.2
Pre-poll51.730,00831.8

Two-party-preferred votes in Eden-Monaro at the 2016 federal election

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