Bean – Australia 2022

ALP 7.5%

Incumbent MP
David Smith, since 2019. Previously senator for the Australian Capital Territory, 2018-2019.

Bean covers the southern suburbs of Canberra and the southern parts of the ACT. Canberra covers all of the Tuggeranong, Weston Creek and Molonglo Valley districts, as well as the Woden Valley suburbs Farrer, Isaacs, Pearce, Mawson and Phillip. Bean also covers Norfolk Island.

The Australian Capital Territory first elected an MP from 1949 onwards, although this MP was only given full voting rights in 1968. Canberra was created in 1974 when the ACT gained a second seat, and the existing electorate was divided into Fraser and Canberra, with Canberra covering the southern half of the city. The ACT gained a third electorate, Namadgi, at the 1996 election, which briefly pushed Canberra into the city centre, before it was abolished in 1998. Canberra has usually been a safe Labor seat, with a few exceptions.

The Liberal Party won the seat at the 1975 and 1977 elections, before it returned to the ALP under Ros Kelly in 1980. Kelly held the seat until 1995, when she resigned from Parliament. The by-election was won by Liberal candidate Brendan Smyth with a 16.2% swing.

The 1996 election saw a redistribution of the territory, with Canberra shifting from a southern electorate to a central electorate. Canberra was won by ACT Senator, and Minister for Trade, Bob McMullan. Smyth ran in the newly-created seat of Namadji, and was defeated by the ALP”s Annette Ellis.

The 1998 election saw the ACT’s seat entitlement return to two, and Canberra returned to the southern parts of the ACT. McMullan moved to Fraser, and sitting Member for Namadgi Annette Ellis was elected in Canberra. Ellis was re-elected in 2001, 2004 and 2007.

In 2010, Ellis retired and the seat was won by Gai Brodtmann. Brodtmann was re-elected in 2013 and 2016.

The redistribution prior to the 2019 election split the ACT into three seats. The name of “Canberra” was applied to a new inner-city electorate taking parts from both existing seats. The new name of “Bean” was applied to a southern seat which had more in common with the former seat of Canberra.

Brodtmann retired at the 2019 election, and Labor’s David Smith won the seat of Bean. Smith had previously served as a Senator for the ACT briefly in 2018-2019 after Katy Gallagher had been forced to resign due to her holding a dual citizenship.


Bean is a safe Labor seat.

2019 result

David Smith Labor 35,44738.1-6.3
Ed Cocks Liberal 29,22331.4-5.9
Johnathan Davis Greens 12,16813.1-0.6
Jamie ChristieIndependent7,6838.3+8.3
Therese FaulknerProgressives2,7222.9+2.9
Matt DonnellyLiberal Democrats2,5402.7+2.7
Tony HanleyUnited Australia Party2,2272.4+2.4
Ben RushtonGreat Australian Party9291.0+1.0

2019 two-party-preferred result

David Smith Labor 53,45557.5-1.3
Ed Cocks Liberal 39,48442.5+1.3

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Bean have been divided into three areas: central, north and south.

The Labor two-party-preferred vote ranged from 56.4% in the south to 63.7% in the north.

The Greens vote ranged from 11.9% in the south to 15.9% in the north.

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes14.556.17,1197.7

Election results in Bean at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party and the Greens.

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  1. Easy ALP retain.

    I used to imagine Liberals potentially winning here at a high tide election, but not even sure about that any more. The new suburbs in the Molonglo vote like Weston Creek (nearby), not Gungahlin (similar Iooking growth areas) which is very good news for Labor as Woden and Tuggeranong get older and wealthier.

    Greens are no longer on the nose in Tuggeranong and I can see them doing well here. Not winnable but >20% is very achievable (Greens got 17.8% 3 party preferred in 2019 with several other left-ish candidates on the ballot)

  2. My mistake, Labor did quite well in Gungahlin in 2019, with their only “weak” booth there being the more established and wealthier Nicholls (54% Labor 2PP instead of >60% elsewhere in Gungahlin).

    The “low 50s” booths here are suburbs (outer for Canberra but “middle ring” by other city standards) full of large houses, with middle class white collar workers and their families. Somewhat religious and even socially conservative in parts. Not all that different to safe Liberal parts of Sydney and Melbourne, except the public service influence puts people here at odds woth the “small government” philosophy of conservatives.

    A byelection here wouldn’t necessarily be a snoozefest, but this seat wont ve deciding any elections. Labor can safely park front benchers here.

    Nothing to see here

  3. Given he is on the AEC list of candidates as a One Nation candidate, that is how he will be the ballot paper. Of the One Nation ACT candidates, only the Fenner candidate is on their website

  4. Will be interested to see how Jamie Christie goes. He did a lot better than anybody expected in 2019 and had a very competent campaign. It was also encouraging to see that he did so well on a climate / health / integrity platform when the Greens maintained their vote. Maybe a forerunner of the teals.

    Definite Labor win (more’s the pity, he’s not much chop for anything and Savery would be an infinitely better MP) but will be encouraging to see that the southside is a progressive place.


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