Eden-Monaro – Election 2010

ALP 2.3%

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 previously covered Tumut and Tumbarumba local government areas, to the west of the Snowy Mountains.  The recent redistribution saw these areas transferred to Riverina. In exchange, Batemans Bay was transferred from Gilmore to Eden-Monaro, to join the rest of Eurobodalla LGA.

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.


  • Olga Quilty (Liberal Democrats)
  • Mike Kelly (Labor) – Member for Eden-Monaro since 2007.
  • David Gazard (Liberal)
  • Frank Fragiacomo (Independent)
  • Ray Buckley (Independent)
  • Ursula Bennett (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Catherine Moore (Greens)

Political situation
Eden-Monaro has long gone with the party of government, and it seems extremely unlikely that will change in 2010. Kelly would be the favourite to win while the Rudd government remains strong.

2007 result

Mike KellyALP37,72444.56+6.64
Gary NairnLIB36,86343.55-5.85
Keith HughesGRN6,3037.45+0.53
Acacia RoseIND1,9242.27+2.27
Matthew ChiversCDP9111.08-0.30
Peter Robert HarrisFF6570.78+0.58
Tim QuiltyLDP2720.32+0.32

2007 two-candidate-preferred result

Mike KellyALP45,20753.40+6.67
Gary NairnLIB39,44746.60-6.67

Results do not take into account effects of the redistribution.

Booth breakdown
Eden-Monaro covers seven local government areas: all of Queanbeyan, Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Snowy River, Cooma-Monaro and Bombala. Eden-Monaro also covers most of Palerang LGA.

The ALP won a sizeable majority in Queanbeyan and Palerang and smaller majorities along the coast. The Liberal Party won a 53% majority in the Monaro region (Cooma-Monaro, Snowy River and Bombala LGAs).

There is substantial variation within these areas, with the ALP winning most Cooma booths and the Liberals winning in Batemans Bay, Merimbula and Eden.

Polling booths in Eden-Monaro. Monaro in red, Bega Valley in blue, Eurobodalla in orange, Palerang in green and Queanbeyan in yellow.
Voter groupGRN %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Bega Valley8.8952.4816,97925.69
Other votes7.5150.7618,735
Polling booths in Eden-Monaro, showing results of the 2007 election.
Polling booths in Eden-Monaro, showing results of the 2007 election in Queanbeyan.
Polling booths in Eden-Monaro, showing results of the 2007 election in Batemans Bay and Moruya.


  1. There are three nominees for the Liberal preselection: sales rep Duncan Haskins, small business operator Benjamin Innes, and David Gazard, a consultant and former staffer to John Howard and Peter Costello.

  2. Dear Hamish Coffee,

    I think this will be a lot closer than 61-39 2PP I here in the town of Tumut that he closed his office as people were very upset with him. You may wish to revisit your comment after the election

  3. I was just reposting a poll result. I also doubt Kelly will win by that margin, but I do think he will win. I don’t know much about the man, but my contacts on the South Coast are generally pretty satisfied with him.

  4. Kelly was missing in action when the fires burnt through the Tinderry Mtns last December.
    Steve Whan (Labor Monaro) made the effort to meet everyone who lost their houses but Kelly got no further than the forward command centre.
    And when he was asked about the Federal Disaster Assist programme for people who have suffered loss he just flicked it off to Steve Whans office.
    This is just one example were he brushes off any inquiry to his office.
    He is not well liked in this area of the electorate.

  5. I agree with Allan that Mike Kelly is not really well liked in the electorate, as you don’t see him around all that much. I have been a ALP voter all my life and I still find it hard to vote for the guy. He is for the death penalty [The Sunday Telegraph, 21/10/07], took a lot of the credit (wrongly so ) for Major George O’Kane work on exposing the Abu Ghraib – ADF situation [SMH 27/5/04] and also while a member of the armed services he involved himself directly in political affairs, a big no-no – especially through secret communications. [The Australian 3/11/03] Eden-Monaro is the kind of electorate that I guess that you don’t need to be all that well liked because of the swing needed to unseat you in very small. The ALP know this. Not only does Kelly come across as a bit of a tool but he was ‘parachuted’ in to the seat when the local lad who was close to securing all of the ALP branches asking to step aside. Therefore there is no local connection with the area. If the ALP win then he’ll stay but if they loose then he’ll be gone. To tell you the truth I am going to put him last on the ballet paper and vote green first, which means that the Libs will get my 2PP vote.

  6. I’m hoping your friends do the same Bob. You should spread that word around because me thinks that the Lib candidate will actually outpoll the Labor candidate on primaries based on the redistribution. Again, I expect this to be very close. I understand internal ALP polling in the last 2 weeks has not been as positive as earlier in the campaign, which could put this on a knife-edge.

  7. I’ll take note of internal party polling when I see it – we have no idea of its sample size, validity , margin of error etc. Given that polling costs real money and sample sizes have to be fairly large to drop the MOE to the level at which it would get really helpful in a marginal seat you have to wonder..

    Eden Monaro would be a nightmare to poll anyway with three very different regions in terms of demographics and electoral leanings.

  8. Doug – ah yes. And I would suggest the areas that get polled the most are the centres which would favour the ALP.

  9. Doug & DB,

    The Greens will decide this seat. I heard today that there will more water allocation to the Snowy River which will help Mr Kelly and the ALP with their chances even though he is VERY unpopular.

  10. I wonder if Olga Quilty (LDP candidate in Eden-Monaro) is related to Tim Quilty (LDP candidate in Riverina)? The CDP in WA have a habit of throwing up people with the same surname in different electorates (presumably related), maybe the LDP do the same.

  11. As usual, I am sure, this will go with the elected government. I think Labor will win it but it will be closer than the polls suggest.

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