Bega by-election, 2022

Cause of by-election
Sitting Liberal MP Andrew Constance announced his resignation to contest the federal seat of Eden-Monaro following the resignation of NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian in October 2021.

MarginLIB 6.9%

Geography
South-eastern NSW. Bega covers all of Eurobodalla and Bega Valley shires. The seat covers the towns of Bega, Eden, Batemans Bay and Moruya.

History
Bega in its current form has existed since 1988. It has always been held by the Liberal Party. A seat of the same name also existed from 1894 to 1920.

The seat was won in 1988 by the Liberal Party’s Russell Smith. He held the seat until his retirement in 2003.

Andrew Constance held Bega for the Liberal Party from 2003 until his retirement in 2021. Constance had served as a minister since 2011, and as Minister for Transport since the 2015 election.

Candidates
No information.

Assessment
Constance held Bega with a 6.9% margin in 2019. That margin could certainly be overturned at a by-election. It’s worth noting that Labor won most of the booths in the overlapping parts of Gilmore and Eden-Monaro at the last federal election, which shows potential for growth for state Labor here.

2019 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Andrew ConstanceLiberal24,79648.9-4.3
Leanne AtkinsonLabor15,50830.6-2.2
William DouglasGreens4,9459.8-0.3
Eric ThomasShooters, Fishers and Farmers3,2756.5+6.5
Coral AndersonAnimal Justice1,3712.7+2.7
Joshua ShoobridgeConservatives8061.6+1.6
Informal1,4722.8

2019 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Andrew ConstanceLiberal26,21056.9-1.3
Leanne AtkinsonLabor19,83043.1+1.3

Booth breakdown

Booths in Bega have been split into four parts. Each local government area in the electorate was split into north and south halves. The town of Bega is contained in Bega Valley North, and Batemans Bay is contained in Eurobodalla North.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from just 50.5% in Bega Valley North to 59.5% in Bega Valley South.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 8.8% in northern Eurobodalla to 14.2% in northern Bega Valley.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Eurobodalla North8.857.58,62817.0
Bega Valley South9.259.57,26814.3
Bega Valley North14.250.56,65413.1
Eurobodalla South11.255.33,2266.4
Pre-poll7.958.019,07637.6
Other votes12.157.45,84911.5

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

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Labor gain likely if Perrottet is premier, He is too conservative and is a member of the religious right of the liberal party, This will prove toxic and they will lose this. They may hold onto Monaro as that has a more conservative nature but the departure of 2 high profile ministers and the way Glady’s premiership ended and the unpopularity of Morrison will cost them government at both state and federal. and these seats.

    Anyone who seriously thinks the Liberal party has any chance of victory under Perrotet doesn’t know anything about NSW politics.

  2. As an open seat, this will be competitive and it could be a Labor gain if the party chooses a strong enough candidate.

    I hadn’t heard much about Perrottet before but based on new media reports if he is from the right faction (especially in one speech to parliament endorsing/supporting Trump) he will be a drag on the state Liberal Party. Suprisingly he is the state member for Epping, which is the district I originally lived in prior to moving into Brisbane this year and where my family still lives in.

  3. I think Constance has a large personal vote, and this is the only one of the three Labor have a chance in.

  4. @Ryan Spencer?

    What about Monaro? Was a 2% margin pre-2019. I would think the 9% swing was mostly attributable to a personal vote for Barilaro.

  5. Daniel seriously. No-one is listening to you anymore.

    This will come down to whoever the Liberal Party decides to endorse. Constance was immensely popular in the seat and, if Constance gives a solid enough endorsement of the candidate, this might be enough to hang on.

    Expect SFF to mount a serious challenge for the seat.

  6. Sorry Hawkeye but you’re biased if you think the Liberal party will win under Perrottet.

    Name the last occasion a NSW liberal leader from the right faction won a NSW election, as far as I’m aware it was Askin but the political climate was much different in the 1970s than it was today

    It might be close in 2023 as 1976 and 1995 which were both years the coalition lost government in NSW it was close, however going through 4 premiers, the same as what the last Labor government went through, voters are sick and tired of NSW changing premiers every term of parliament.

    I’ll remind you Nick Greiner was the last Liberal leader to fight more than 1 consecutive election in NSW

    If you alienate moderates you don’t win elections, they are always won from the centre ground. Sure my predictions have been wrong before as has many people’s on this board before however NSW has never had a religious right premier, and we all know how “popular” people like Tony Abbott and Donald Trump became didn’t we.

    Local candidates do not matter as much as they used to, voters have become increasingly partisan these days and will vote for which party they want in government. There obviously is some personal vote that Constance enjoyed but it won’t be 7%, but regardless I am tipping a Labor gain because of the factors I mentioned before.

    Unless you can convince me that Perrottet can win over swing voters, I still stand by a Labor victory in 2023

    And if endorsements were that much of a factor then why have other seats flipped at by-elections then, some of the seats has high profile ministers who went onto endorsing their hand-picked successor.

  7. Daniel, it is such folly to assume that Perrottett has no chance just because he is conservative. By the way, Abbott won the TPP twice in NSW so I reject your idea that he was widely unpopular. That said, if we accept the (possibly suspect) midterm polling, Abbott’s dislike would much more likely be attributed to swinging cuts rather than his religious conservatism.

    How does this relate to Perrottet? Well, state elections are not so much about ideology, but SERVICE DELIVERY, crime, local issues and so on. His religious beliefs will probably feature very little although if you and others in the media continue to bang on about it, you may provoke a hostile backlash in the religious communities around Western Sydney.

    On Bega, I note that Labor has never won the seat in its current configuration. I think there will be some anger at Constance’s sudden departure, though 7% is not that easy to overcome.

  8. Would have to agree with some of the comments Wreathy made, that state elections are more focussed on service delivery and hence why parties suffer large swings when the public observes them not performing this role (best examples being NSW 2011 and also Queensland 2015 against Campbell Newman).

    It is best to wait at least another year, until end of 2022 to see how well Perrottet is continuing with ongoing infrastructure and other plans for NSW.

  9. one point as well optional preferential means usually benefita the main party that polls the higher primary vote in any given seat… who is the premier is effected by….. do they seem competent…… includes mistakes in administration unfair policy decisions…. eg mistreating those in lgas of concern, does the other side seem capable to do the job…. natural erosion of support after 10 years……..of the byelections in both bega and Monaro sitting mps have personal votes which will be lost to their parties……..also demographic changes especially in Bega

  10. Daniel – Your predictions aren’t wrong some of the time. They are wrong at least 90% of the time. You make ridiculously sweeping generalisations with no specific localised data to back it up. No-one pays attention to your opinion as well because you don’t back them up properly.

    This issue isn’t what my opinion is. The issue is that you still think that you are relevant here.

    You have just been schooled by 3 people prior to me posting here. I don’t need to add anything more.

  11. Based on what exactly Jess? For all you know, he may just have pulled a master-stroke. It is too early to make that call yet.

  12. It is far too early to make any judgement call as to whether the NSW re-opening is a good or bad thing. Wait a few weeks to see the impact in terms of new cases and their severity. Countries around the world are all re-opening after lockdowns and all states will soon have to follow in NSW’s lead.

  13. I am waiting for my new home state of Queensland to allow all interstate travel by Christmas so I can fly back to Sydney and visit family who I have not seen for several months.

  14. Don’t understand the hate Daniel gets. His posts are fine. I don’t agree that Perrotet’s factional allegiances are putting this seat at serious risk, at least not yet, but I also don’t agree that Berejiklian’s popularity has anything to do with ‘service delivery’, or rather, that the idea that she exemplifies that in any way isn’t just a function of an utterly servile press gallery and a lack of an effective opposition counter-narrative. Daniel isn’t really spitting much more in the wind than anyone else and he manages to mostly express his opinions respectfully, so he deserves at least that much in return.

  15. As unprecedented as it may sound what if Kristy Mcbain resigned her federal seat and ran here? she is popular in the Bega shire so she could win this seat. It won’t happen but it never hurts to explore the ”what if”?

  16. Constance says he’s resigning on Nov 26 which therefore means the by-election will be after Christmas. Also during bushfire season so hopefully nothing flares up.

  17. Longer term Labor should target this. Labor at a federal level does well in this area so they have the demographics to support this. This is especially important as seats like Drummoyne, Bathurst and Riverstone are increasingly out of reach and the demographic shifts in East Hills and Oatley are trending away from Labor along the Georges River (all seats they held until 2011).

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