Eden-Monaro – Australia 2019

ALP 2.9%

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

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.

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.


  • Patrick McGinlay (Greens)
  • Mike Kelly (Labor)
  • David Sheldon (Independent)
  • Andrew Thaler (Independent)
  • Fiona Kotvojs (Liberal)
  • Sophie Wade (Nationals)
  • 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

    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

    2016 two-party-preferred result

    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
    Other votes47.39,65610.2

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

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    1. Would it be worth the Nationals to contest this seat now? Either with or without the Liberals?

    2. BJA the Nats will undoubtedly contest E -M, as there is no sitting Lib. The polling figures from 2016 look very solid for labor, not at all like a marginal seat. Still Peter Henry was the world’s worst MP. We will see how the electorate rates Kelly, i don’t at all.

    3. WD – I don’t see why the Nats would. They didn’t contest in 2010 when Kelly held the seat, indeed, if Wikipedia is correct, the last time the Nats contested was in 1993 when they only managed seven percent.

      This should be a Labor hold. Kelly is well regarded as a hard working local member.

      That the Libs haven’t preselected a candidate yet speaks volumes of their low confidence about reclaiming the seat.

    4. PJ
      I must say i’m very surprised. I do find it inexplicable that the Nats would contest Whitlam, but not E-M.
      I have many friends, & acquaintances in E-M. None of them are impressed with him. In essence he is just a Public Service Lawyer who happened to be placed in the Army. On the simple basis that we need more lawyers like a hole in the head, i desperately want him gone.
      As for the libs not selecting a candidate, i just hope they don’t, as they have no chance. The Nets might, if they get rid of that idiot McCormack.

    5. This week ” Pornstar Mike ” illustrated why there is a case for disqualifying any Canberra resident from ever being an elected representative.

      These people are so completely removed from the rest of Australia, it is as if they are from another planet.

      Canberran’s income averages about 60% more than other Aussies. Their infrastructure ,services, & everything else is flawless. Housing is cheap, & they wouldn’t know an immigrant from a tourist.

      So P Mike gets out there rabbiting on about Emma Husar being a single mum. Apparently all her transgressions are fine, dandy, & OK because we need to support women in politics. So it’s ok that she turns one of her publicly paid staffers into a live in nanny !!??.

      This level of delusion i would expect from SHY or that nasty little cretin Bandt. It seems they have more insane & otherworldly company to add to their ranks.

      I doubt Kelly will pay for his spectacular lack of judgement. But he bloody well should. He is an absolute disgrace

    6. Even If Fiona Nash runs here, it isn’t the right environment for them, Labor hold. Just like how Peter Beattie, and Kennealy Lost their bids, However Nash might reduce the swing to Labor in this seat maybe just a 0.5 swing to Labor TPP here

    7. From SMH :”Internal Nationals polling in Eden Monaro, a swing seat near Canberra held by Labor MP Mike Kelly, show the party ahead 51.8 per cent on two-party terms (and with a sample size of 1708 voters, it’s no can and string effort either)”.
      The Nationals candidate is Sophie Wade.

    8. @Nick

      Where did the NATS poll? A National party state conference. I would be shocked if this seat wasn’t retained by Labor. The coalition are at $8.00 in this seat on Sportsbet not a lot of faith in them in the market in winning Eden-Monaro.

      Actually Mike Kelly is one of the most impressive members in Labor and a future senior frontbencher. Really not sure what’s winediamond hang up with this guy is. It actually looked like Kelly’s career could have flamed out before it peaked when he lost his seat just like when Labor rising star Michael Lee lost his seat of Dobell in the 2001 federal election. Fortunately for Labor Kelly hung around and was able to win back his seat.

    9. PN
      i Have been quite clear on Kelly. He is not a dummy. However he is a drone, mindlessly following BS, & all the execrable labor crew. A truly disgusting bunch of reprobates.
      Kelly has never ,i repeat never had one original thought, or taken one individual, let alone contentious position. He just drones on with party lines, truisms, & total errant nonsense. a truly useless lawyer turned politician. He adds absolutely nothing.

      This election he will not have the gift of that moron Peter Hendy. This seat is now in play, & i expect it to be extremely close, with the libs prevailing with less than 1000 votes

    10. winediamond the coalition will not win the election please wake up, Labor Hold this is a Bellwether seat, Voters don’t care about Medivac or Asylum seekers. Lookup the Coalition toxic brand and come back here, They will not win the election, They will lose in a landslide and a 30+ seat majority for Labor

    11. Daniel
      It is clear that you regard your generation as the most influential, important, informed, intellectual, etc, etc, etc. However i can assure you that my cellar will be significantly depleted on election night !!!.(due to QLD) Your hero BS may yet however gain the opportunity to become Australia’s worst ever, & least successful PM. So be it.
      Apart from failing in his intention to attempt to steal about $6000 in cash refunds from my SSMF he & his vile, & despicable comrades can actually do very little to harm me. However i DO have complete faith in his ability to cause immense, & immediate damage to the nation.
      I do hope that you & your incredibly gifted generation, are prepared to dedicate yourselves, to rectify all that damage for the next 2 decades. Just as my generation did after Australia was “Whitlamised”.!! Good luck with that !!
      cheers WD

      If BS does win it will be with tiny fraction of what you are dreaming of. He will of course never serve a full term.

    12. Good idea for the Liberals and Nationals to each stand a woman candidate against the blokes in Labor and Greens. As we know Kelly was in the Army, like me, and was a AALC legal officer who deployed to Somalia decades ago with an Australian infantry battalion were one soldier was shot accidentally returning to base. The battalion CO was the future Governor General David Hurley.

      The courts in Somalia were getting back to normal and a nasty type who had killed many people was sentence to death by the Somalia judge. A mob approached the court and a platoon of our solders was withdrawn, not sure why, however Kelly, who was in court, was concerned the convicted murderer would be freed so he took him outside to carry out the courts sentence and shot him dead as the story goes. Australia does not support the death penalty but this was in a country that does so it has been debated if Kelly should have go involved but nothing happened to him over it.

    13. Adrian
      Sensational !!. If the story is true, & it sounds like it was. Then the question begs what happened to Kelly’s backbone ?? There certainly has been no sign of it since. He has been a total pussy.

    14. Adrian, you are peddling malicious rumour. This was reported on several years ago, as a simple google search will show. Kelly apprehended the warlord and returned him to prison. According to the Daily Telegraph:

      > Mr Kelly said a rumour that he pulled the trigger at the execution of Gutaale had been dismissed by an Australian Defence Force investigation.

      > He said satellite imagery was even used to successfully dispute the claims that he was the executioner in 1993.

    15. This electorate used to be called a “Bell Whether” seat. Apparently a sheep wore a bell and lead the mindless flock. Some media outlets today are like the “Bell Whether”. Sounds like aspects of politics currently too.

    16. David Walsh – We can believe everything the Daily Telegraph and the ADF tells us, cant we? I know I spent 23 years in the ADF to 1995.

    17. It will be interesting to see how Labor fares on the South Coast in 2019.
      Shorten and Bowen’s attack on self funded retirees may well backfire here as there are many who don’t fit into his ‘mega-millionaire’ category. At a meeting in Narooma with thirty or so true believers last year there was quite a bit of discontent expressed, which surprised me as they all looked rusted on Laborites.

      The usual promises of thousands and thousands of jobs from renewable energy (at a wage structure of $80K per year for each what will that do to the price of electricity when the blackouts ever stop?) and destroying the timber and fishing industry to allow eco-tourism it just sounded like hyperbole heaped on hyperbole.

      Of course Kelly’s minders, who all looked as though they had graduated from a political science course of some no-name university a few years previously, obviously thought we should accept our lot for the betterment of schools, hospitals and so forth.

      Not many bought the message as many retirees down here actually worked in micro and small business and realised that this money grab was coming off their ‘after all other expenses income’ so were not mightily pleased.

    18. I’m not sure how MK will go on the south coast (eastern) at this election. In 2016 he was facing the worst ever MP in Peter Hendy (who we NEVER saw in Narooma in 3 years), so he had a dream run.
      The Liberal candidate, a local from Dignam’s Creek seems pretty switched n and has a fair bit of travelling to the Yass district. Seems a big electorate in that it would take me 4 hours to get to Tumut from here.

      The franking credits issue is getting a fair bit of air play down here and just lately has appeared in quite a few letters in the Canberra Times. I think Kelly will find that there are MANY retired folk down here who don’t fit Shorten and Bowen’s demographic of ‘multi-millionaire rorters’. Many who I have spoken to are really p**sed off, as am I.

      Kelly had a meeting in Narooma in November 2018 and after crucifying the timber and fishing industry on the South Coast to garner the leftie Laborites and suck in a few greens as well as promises for renewable energy providing ‘thousands of jobs’ – god only knows what thousands of jobs at $80K/year is going to do to the price of electricity and reliability here.
      The subsequent questions regarding franking credits from the 40 or so apparently ‘rusted on’ supporters were interesting. I thought a bit of WD40 had been sprayed around. His minders were ‘wet behind the ears’, recent graduates with a political science degree from some no-name University who couldn’t believe the temerity of questioning this ‘rort’.

      Unfortunately for them most self-funded retirees down here are just above the part-pension level, retired small business people and can read a profit and loss statement. They know that knocking five to six thousand dollars off the TOP of your income is the cream and their NOT happy.

    19. I apologize for two posts very similar – I thought the first post was in the internet ‘ether’ as I hadn’t ‘joined up’.

    20. Phillip
      i have a cousin in Narooma, George Aitkin do you know him ?. Really interesting posts. Thank you.

      I’ve posted extensively on Labor’s expropriation policy on cash refunds. I agree this biting, however whether i will hurt enough, or quickly enough remains to be seen. Retiree seats like EM, Gilmore, Longman, & other QLD seats are the fulcrum, for this issue.

      What you said about “pornstar Mike” just confirms things for me. The poor sad bloke does not possess the intellectual capacity , flexibility or insight to comprehend that Labor talking points, virtue signalling, & Grennie idealogical causes will not resonate in EM. Renewables are very freaking far from free, & the costs are beginning to become very evident in the ways, & places you describe. Pornstar Mike” is so totally fixed on (securing) “investment” that he is completely blind to cost, & liability. Any kind of cost-benefit analysis is dismissed with extreme prejudice .” He reminds me constantly of Steven Fry’s character General Melchard in “Blackadder goes Forth !!” ( a not so inaccurate parody of a WW1 General).

      i’LL add more on the McMahon thread as Ben might find what i’m about to say about Bowen offensive
      cheers WD


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