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.


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. Does anyone know why almost zero attention is getting paid to EM in this campaign?
    2.9% is a marginal seat….

  2. Karl
    The same thought has been crossing my mind !. The absolute lack of noise is remarkable. I feel the NAT will play a big part here, particularly in the west. MAINTAIN my view LIB WIN.

  3. There is expected to be a small swing nationally to the ALP and in this seat so has not got much attention.

  4. Watch all those red numbers in the west turn green. The question is how many red ones in the SE turn blue ? Still think this has as much of a chance of flipping as the Tassie seats.

  5. Eden Monaro is a safe labor seat as Queanbeyan grows and self serving Canberra politicians move down the coast. It was bell weather seat no more and it will suffer as all Urban Labor seats should suffer… See the high percentages west of Eden for Labour. That’s my Baby Boomer Uncle and his corrupt self serving Canberra mates…

  6. Incredibly Pornstar Mike is rumoured to be considering a job offer from Silicon Valley !!. Who would want this useless drone ?.& WHY!?. Apparently he is unhappy. Boo Hoo !!. It seems he wants to endorse John Barilaro to replace him. Sounds completely unbelievable.

  7. Confirmation from Renee Viallaris on Credlin Little Mikey is very sooky about not getting the defence shadow. Telling anybody that cares, or listens about his job offer. Good to see the filthy lucre wins again !!. What a lightweight.

  8. Article in Canberra Times by Michelle Grattan today about Kelly’s imminent departure. Rumours now extending beyond the DREADED MURDOCH PRESS !!. It is getting real.

  9. WD
    It is now public Kelly has resigned. He was one of few ALP members in Federal Parliament who one could actually support.

    Not only were Murdoch Press right they were scooping Fairfax and ABC. Remarkable how little actual contact the left wing press has with Left wing parties.

  10. I’ve always held Mike Kelly in high regard. He has proven himself to be a capable grassroots constituent by holding onto this seat given the unfavourable redistribution in 2016.

    That said, I’m not totally sold that the Coalition will win the seat. They’re definitely in with a good shot, but I think it will be extremely tricky to campaign given Covid. It will also tough to cash in on the PM’s popularity considering this area is still affected by bushfires.

    The Coalition parties would be nuts to run against each other here. I think I saw Kevin Bonham say that the last time there was a three-cornered contest, ~95% of preferences flowed between the Libs/Nats but the seat was so close that this preference leakage was enough to cost them the seat.

  11. So it is ON !!. E-M IS IN PLAY. If the voters were logical they would vote for the coalition. The only relevant question is really, who will engender MASSIVE Govt spending in E-M ? Any dill can work out the relativities between an opposition backbencher, & a govt MP holding the most marginal federal electorate.
    Keating famously said that “in the political race, back the horse named self interest”. However this is a by-election so i’d expect voters to behave altruistically. In this case St Paul might be Wrrrrrroooooooo (wrong)…!

    So here are the main issues
    1/ Kelly’s allegedly large personal vote. The ALP are about to find out whether this was a reality, or conflation.
    2/ Will Barilaro run ?
    3/ Will the Libs contest (against the Nats) as Scomo has decreed. A massive blunder if they do. One could argue that the Nats contesting E-M in 2019, sufficiently split the right vote to hand E-M to Kelly. A 12% preference leakage to Labor (900 prefs) was greater than the winning margin (800 votes) If Barilaro stands & the Libs oppose him by contesting, they are as good as guaranteeing a Labor win.
    4/ Labor supposedly got the “donkey vote” by heading the ticket in 2019
    5/ What will happen to the Green vote ?. Will bushfire victims blame Scomo, the govt (s), or the Greens for obstructing hazard reduction burns, & locking up National Parks ? Kelly was elected on 7000+ Green preferences.
    6/ Labor will put everything behind Kristy McBain, (Bega Mayor) the likely ALP candidate. If she fails to win Labor will redeploy her profile/gravitas, in the senate, or the state parliament.
    7/ Albanese will have his weaknesses further exposed (whilst campaigning) Under stress he (Albo) becomes glib, facile, & says weird stuff, that is supposed to sound funny, or ironic. Frequently it is also incomprehensible double speak, & gibberish. A fine example a low functioning, highly fixated (enneagram)Type 5. (investigator personality type)
    8/ PM Morrison would be well advised to be very very busy elsewhere for the whole by election !!. To avoid going anywhere near Cobargo at all costs !! The PM’s discomfort & inability to deal with any emotional situation was cruelly exposed during the fires. His propagandising, & posturing impressed no one, & will be still fresh in everyone’s memory. A fine example of a high functioning, but nevertheless highly fixated (enneagram) Type 3 (achiever personality type)

  12. A Jacket
    Not really. The left wing press aren’t much interested in information from whatever source, just their own self important opinions, & views.

  13. Wreathy of Sydney mate you really are just too kind. Saying such nice things about Dr Kelly. i won’t argue…..today.
    As for 2016. No redistribution could outweigh an opponent like Peter Hendy !. Milton Orkopoulos would have had a chance against Hendy !!.
    Clearly i agree with you completely on the Coalition running against each other
    cheers WD

  14. this seat is a true toss up…… 4% personal vote for Mike Kelly and a 1% margin in 2019…….. what is the political climate now? when will the byelection be held 2 to 3 months? Will the natural disasters in the area and the govt responses be a negative for the anti labor forces. Candidate is everything………. if you add the non labor votes in Monaro and Bega at the state level as a rough approximation of the state vote translated to Eden Monaro then the margin is about 7%……………. but this will not be the result in Eden Monaro


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