Eden-Monaro by-election: July 4

A date set for the Eden-Monaro by-election, as the Liberals confirm their candidate and a GetUp! poll suggests local concern about climate changes remains at a high in the wake of the summer bushfires.

Eden-Monaro will be celebrating American independence this year with a July 4 by-election, as announced yesterday by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tony Smith. The timeline for the by-election is as follows:

Issue of writ: Thursday, May 28
Close of rolls: Thursday, June 4
Close of nominations: Tuesday, June 9
Declaration of nominations: Wednesday, June 10
Date of polling: Saturday, July 4

Clearly there will be nothing radically different about the way the polling is conducted on account of coronavirus, as Smith noted that the Australian Electoral Commission unusually favoured a date at the start of school holidays, as it would allow ample time for sanitising to be conducted at schools used as polling booths.

The Liberals conducted their preselection on Saturday, and as expected chose Fiona Kotvojs, a beef farmer who narrowly failed to win the seat when she ran at last year’s federal election. Kotvojs reportedly won a 106-27 victory in the party ballot over Mark Schweikert, a Department of Defence official and deputy mayor of Queanbeyan-Palerang. According to Niki Savva in The Australian ($), “there is speculation, not denied, that the Liberals, with their formidable state and federal apparatuses, are prepared to spend up to $1m to win the seat, money Labor says it doesn’t have”.

The Guardian reports GetUp! commissioned uComms to conduct a poll of 879 respondents in the seat last Wednesday, but it seems they are being reticent with voting intention figures. However, we are told the poll found 59% holding that the government was not doing enough to address climate change, including 48% who strongly agreed, with only 27% disagreeing, 12% strongly. However, the government apparently scored better on its bushfire response, on which respondents were reportedly “evenly divided”.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

8 comments on “Eden-Monaro by-election: July 4”

  1. I have made a small donation, twice, to Kristy McBain’s Labor campaign, because who wants a Science-Denier (if Kotvojs will do it wrt Climate Change she’ll do it for other things scientific as well), in federal parliament?

  2. In the ACT the Liberals always run into the “problem” of a highly educated electorate….

    Oh, and I have just received this in my inbox from Kristy McBain’s campaign team:

    “As you might have seen, the polling date for the Eden-Monaro by-election has been announced as July 4 and the campaign is now officially underway.
    But you’ve already been helping Labor out in Eden-Monaro [= I donated to the campaign] so I wanted to take a moment to give you an update on how things are going and say thanks.
    Since I was announced as Labor’s candidate in early May, it’s been incredible to know how much support I’ve got from supporters around the country.
    Here’s what the campaign has done so far with your support.
    Already we’ve raised over $100,000 from thousands of small dollar grassroots online donations.
    104 volunteers have joined virtual phonebanks across NSW and made 3,624 calls to voters in the electorate. It’s going so well, we are ready to roll out the phonebanks across the country.
    And my content on social media has been seen over a million times.
    All of that has been accomplished before the starters gun was even fired – so thank you for being a part of that!”

  3. Commercial radio news this morning played a few seconds of a Morrison robocall in E-M. It invited people to call back. I wonder how many fire victims will call to give their opinion on Morrison’s conduct at Cobargo?

  4. “In the ACT the Liberals always run into the “problem” of a highly educated electorate….”
    This also applies to Eden-Monaro to an extent as Queanbeyan/Jerrabomberra, Bungendore, Burra, The ‘Flat, Gundaroo, Murrumbateman, Yass are home to a large number of federal public servants as well ie live outside the ACT.

  5. The race for the prized marginal NSW seat of Eden-Monaro is set to become a three-cornered contest after the Nationals opened nominations, in a move that has frustrated the Liberal Party.

    Local Nationals branches in the electorate have been keen to put forward a candidate amid divisions within the federal party as to whether a tilt for the seat would be worth the effort and money.

    There is also speculation a loss for the Nationals could agitate MPs unhappy with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack’s leadership.

    It will be the 12th time the Nationals have run a candidate in Eden-Monaro in the party’s 100-year history.

    Senior Nationals MPs including former leader Barnaby Joyce and former cabinet minister Matt Canavan have pushed for a candidate to run.

    While there is little expectation the party, which received just 6.95 per cent of the first preference count in last year’s federal election, will win the seat, Mr Joyce believes a Nationals candidate could help decide the winner and negotiate preference deals in the interest of the party.

  6. I was surprised to receive an email from Kristy McBain yesterday. She appears to be casting a wide net as my email was sourced from a register of sporting clubs. BTW Its 6 years since I lived in EM.


    I am writing to introduce myself as Labor’s candidate for Eden-Monaro in the upcoming by-election.

    Operating a small business with my husband and in my recent role as Mayor of the Bega Valley Shire I know that groups such as yours are the backbone of our community.

    Recent times have been tough for communities across Eden-Monaro, with drought, bushfires and now coronavirus.

    I would appreciate the time to meet with you and members of [club name] to introduce myself, learn about your organisation, and listen to your ideas for our region.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me at kristy.mcbain@nswlabor.org.au or get in touch on 0482 512 851.

    I look forward to speaking with you soon.

    Kind regards,

    Kristy McBain
    Labor for Eden-Monaro​”

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