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.


  • Kieran Drabsch (Labor)
  • Dean Moss (Greens)
  • Assessment
    Farrer is a safe Liberal 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.


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