Eden-Monaro – Australia 2013

ALP 4.2%

Incumbent MP
Mike Kelly, since 2007.

South-Eastern NSW. Eden-Monaro covers parts of New South Wales including the south coast, areas near the ACT and the Snowy Mountains. Major centres include Bega, Moruya, Batemans Bay, 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 has been considered a ‘bellwether seat’ since 1972, having always been won by the party of government for the last four decades.

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.


  • Peter Hendy (Liberal)
  • Martin Tye (Stable Population Party)
  • Mike Kelly (Labor)
  • Dean Lynch (Palmer United Party)
  • Catherine Moore (Greens)
  • Costas Goumas (Citizens Electoral Council)
  • Andrew Thaler (Independent)
  • Warren Catton (Christian Democratic Party)

Eden-Monaro is a marginal seat with a history of switching at a time of change of government. If there is a significant swing to the Liberal Party it will be difficult for Kelly to hold on.

2010 result

Mike KellyALP37,22543.61+0.30
David GazardLIB35,71441.84-2.87
Catherine MooreGRN8,2969.72+1.91
Olga QuiltyLDP1,1521.35+1.11
Ray BuckleyIND1,0191.19+1.19
Tom GradwellFF7610.89+0.18
Ursula BennettCDP6370.75-0.36
Frank FragiacomoIND5590.65+0.65

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Mike KellyALP46,30054.24+1.95
David GazardLIB39,06345.76-1.95
Polling places in Eden-Monaro at the 2010 federal election. Bega Valley in orange, Eurobodalla in blue, Monaro in green, Queanbeyan in red, Palerange in purple. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Eden-Monaro at the 2010 federal election. Bega Valley in orange, Eurobodalla in blue, Monaro in green, Queanbeyan in red, Palerange in purple. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into five areas. Four of these areas follow local government boundaries: Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Palerang, Queanbeyan. The fifth area of “Monaro” covers Cooma-Monaro, Snowy River and Bombala councils.

Most of the population is divided reasonably evenly between Queanbeyan, Bega Valley and Eurobodalla.

The ALP won a two-party majority in four of five areas, ranging from 61% in Queanbeyan to 52.9% in Bega Valley. The Liberal Party won 52.8% in Monaro.

The Greens vote varied from 15.3% in Palerang to 7.1% in Monaro.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Bega Valley10.3152.8815,45018.10
Other votes10.2952.4624,57728.79
Two-party-preferred votes in Eden-Monaro at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Eden-Monaro at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Queanbeyan at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Queanbeyan at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in the Batemans Bay area at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in the Batemans Bay area at the 2010 federal election.


  1. Dr Mike Kelly is running again for Labor, The Liberal Party is running Peter Hendy and The Greens are running Catherine Moore again. This seat should be a close contest, but I’d expect the Liberal Party to just win.

  2. Probably the marginal seat in NSW where Labor has its best chance of retaining. Kelly is a good candidate – no sophomore surge however – and I don’t see the south-west of the State moving as much as outer metro and northern regional areas.

  3. Mike Kelly got an excellent result last time……I would not be surprised if he retained the seat

  4. Do you have some polling here DB? The bookies have Mike Kelly as a rank outsider ($2.75), but I would tend to think it would be much closer than that.

  5. There are 2 coastal booths with very strong results for the ALP (80% and 89% on a 2PP basis). Does anyone know if there are any peculiarities in the demographics of these areas?

  6. Those could be small booths with an indigenous population – there are a couple of communities like that on the coast – Wallaga Lake could be one

  7. PJ
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Not for a while, but it is closer than that. I think the Libs should be favourites at the moment, but it shouldn’t be more than $1.75/$2.30.

    Queenbeyan traditionally is Labor favourable while the beachside towns tend to swing more such as Moruya, Batemans Bay, Tura Beach, Merimbula, although Eden is traditionally Liberal. The inland areas are more Liberal but small booths. Wagalla Lake was 88% 2PP to Labor at the last election but there were only 36 voters.

    Everything tells me that this will go back to the Libs at the next election, however, if the overall voter is close, Labor could retain. This will not be the bell-weather in the future given media coverage in many parts of the seat is traditionally from the ACT.

    If the Libs win, it won’t be by a hugh margin.

    Last poll I have seen here was in November with 52/48 to the Coalition on small sample of 300.

  8. I’d say the bookie price is being pushed out by bettors taking libs in Eden-Monaro simply because it’s always gone to the winning side.

  9. The winning side theory odd when it was Labor seat all through Menzies years for same reasons Labor might hold on this time: personal vote & favourable local trends in 50s Snowy Mts scheme & today Canberra overspill.

  10. Internal polling shows Labor set to retain Eden-Monaro but possibly lose the election. That would be the first time since 1969.

  11. I wonder what the Greens vote is in that 89% booth. Might be an Aboriginal commune though.

    Think Kelly will hold on, there seem to be better bets for the LNP this election than here.

  12. Yep, the Wallaga Lake Koori Village booth. 36 formal votes, 24 Labor, 6 Green, 2 Lib and Family First and one each for an Indi and the LDP.

  13. I agree DB. Labor should hold this unless there’s a big nation-wide swing, which is looking less likely now. Just like last time, there are a lot of public servants living in Quenbeyan who fear for their jobs under the liberals. And Mike Kelly has done a damn fine job too.

  14. Lachlan, Eden-Monaro have been very lucky with high quality candidates. Gary Nairn was also very good and would have gone earlier if not for a very high personal vote.

  15. I agree that this may be the first election since 69′ where a party wins Eden-Monaro and not Government. Dr Mike Kelly is a good strong local member who I think will hold on against the swing this time. Peter Hendy is also a decent candidate from what I can see.

  16. Kelly must be benefiting from recent events. Touted as the next Defence Minister should the ALP win, the trip to Afghanistan with the PM on the weekend and today’s defence super pension indexation announcement. Appears more likely to hold EM now but anything can happen before election day….

  17. Eden Monaro will see a lot of Mr Abbott and Mr Rudd, over the next few weeks.

    The Greens, Catherine Moore’s vote will be crucial for Mr Kelly and the result in EM.
    at this stage Mr Kelly is in front as a strong local member.

  18. I am the new independent candidate for EM. I can tell you from the very warm reception I received at the CEFE candidate Q&A forum hosted in Bermagui Saturday night that this race is going to be tight between me and Mike Kelly. I think if Peter Hendy keeps on track offending those he wishes to vote for him, he’ll knock himself out of the running early.
    Keep an eye on the local papers for the unfolding story and ABC Southeast Q&A sessions.

  19. A warm reception at a single event doesn’t change the entire dynamic of an election. Good luck to you though.

  20. QO, it may help the Libs a touch (via preferences) in Cooma, but it won’t have any effect outside and Cooma is a very small party of Eden-Monaro.

    Kelly should be a slight favourite at this time.

  21. Isn’t that PUP mayor the one talked about as a possible Nationals candidate when there was talk of a 3-cornered contest?

  22. I suspect, but can’t say with any great certainty, that the betting in EM is reflective of a view that the swing is on in NSW (as well as the belief that it’s a bell weather) rather than the specific goings on in the area.

  23. I would suggest that if the Liberals do just squeak across the line here, that it would be in the ALPs interest to try to talk Mike Kelly into running again at the next election.

  24. MDMConnell,

    Based on current trends, Eden-Monaro might be a safer option than the Senate for ALP candidates.

  25. I think sticking with Eden-Monaro is the best option for him, because it’s on a miniscule margin either way, and there’s a good chance that there’ll be a swing to Labor at the next election whether Labor wins or not (and probably independent of how well Tony Abbott runs his government). And the swing against him was quite small, suggesting that he’s well-liked in the seat.

  26. Coalition did not get a vote at the WALLAGA LAKE KOORI VILLAGE booth. Any other booth in Australia where the Coalition did not get a vote?

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