Monaro – NSW 2019

NAT 2.5%

Incumbent MP
John Barilaro, since 2011.

Geography
Southeastern NSW. Monaro covers inland parts of southeastern NSW to the south and east of the ACT. The seat includes Queanbeyan, Cooma and the Snowy Mountains. It covers all of Queanbeyan, Bombala, Cooma-Monaro, Palerang and Snowy River local government areas.

History
The seat of Monaro was first creating in 1858, and apart from three terms in the 1920s, Monaro has existed as an electoral district ever since.

The seat was abolished in 1920 when proportional representation was introduced, and Monaro was included in the three-member Goulburn district.

When Monaro was introduced in 1927 it was won by the Country Party’s William Hedges. Hedges held the seat until 1941, when he lost to the ALP’s John Seiffert by 181 votes.

Prior to the 1950 election, Seiffert was disendorsed by the ALP after he voted against the party’s candidate for a Legislative Council vacancy. He was re-elected in Monaro without an official Labor opponent, and was eventually readmitted to the party. He continued to serve in Monaro until his retirement in 1965.

In 1965, Seiffert retired, and his son ran as the Labor candidate, losing to the Liberal candidate Steve Mauger in a three-cornered contest, with Country Party preferences electing the Liberal by only 268 votes. Mauger held the seat until his retirement in 1976, serving as a junior minister for the final year of his term.

In 1976, another three-cornered contest saw Labor candidate John Akister win despite the combined Country Party and Liberal Party vote adding up to a majority. Akister held the seat until 1988, serving as a minister from 1984 to 1988. In 1988, he lost his seat in the anti-Labor landslide to the National Party’s Peter Cochran.

Cochran held the seat until 1999, when he retired. He was succeeded by fellow National Peter Webb. Webb held the seat for one term, and lost to the ALP’s Steve Whan in 2003.

Whan was re-elected in 2007, and served as a minister in the Labor government from 2009 to 2011.

In 2011, Whan lost Monaro to Nationals candidate John Barilaro with an 8.4% swing. Whan was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Legislative Council in June 2011. Whan subsequently resigned from his upper house seat to recontest Monaro in 2015, but again lost to Barilaro.

Barilaro was appointed to the ministry in 2014, and he was elected Nationals leader (and deputy premier) in 2016.

Candidates

  • John Barilaro (Nationals)
  • Mick Holton (Shooters, Fishers & Farmers)
  • Bryce Wilson (Labor)

Assessment
Monaro is a very marginal seat. Barilaro may benefit from a higher profile as party leader.

2015 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
John Barilaro Nationals 22,51848.7+1.7
Steve Whan Labor 18,76140.6-0.5
Peter Marshall Greens 3,6207.8+0.1
Leslie DinhamNo Land Tax6911.5+1.5
Joy HortonChristian Democrats6131.3FALSE
Informal1,2372.6

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
John Barilaro Nationals 23,31452.5+0.5
Steve Whan Labor 21,07147.5-0.5

Booth breakdown

Booths in Monaro have been split into four areas. Polling places in the former Queanbeyan, Palerang and Cooma-Monaro council areas have been grouped together. Polling places in the former Bombala and Snowy River council areas have been grouped as “South”. A majority of the seat’s population lives in the former City of Queanbeyan.

The Nationals won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in three out of four areas, ranging from 51.9% in Palerang to 63.3% in the south.

Labor won a slim 51.4% majority in the populous Queanbeyan area.

Voter groupNAT 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Queanbeyan48.615,63233.8
Palerang51.95,55412.0
South63.33,2237.0
Cooma-Monaro56.73,2327.0
Other votes54.77,78316.8
Pre-poll52.610,77923.3

Two-party-preferred votes in Monaro at the 2015 NSW state election

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