Eden-Monaro by-election minus four days

More reports of alleged party internal polling, plus other developments on the by-election front.

As the campaign enters its final week, I have given my Eden-Monaro by-election guide an overdue overhaul, such that it now offers a thorough account of the Coalition’s preselection tangles and full detail on the various reports of opinion polling that have emerged, along with the usual charts, results map and historical detail. Other news worth noting:

The Australian ($) reports the Nationals are hawking internal polling showing a surge in their own support potentially great enough to push the Liberals over the line. Their candidate, Trevor Hicks, was said to have risen from 6% a fortnight ago to 11.5%, clipping Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs from 36% to 34.3% and Shooters Fishers and Farmers from 7% to 4.6%. Labor’s Kristy McBain was said to have slumped from 36% to 29.3%, with the Greens up slightly from 7% to 8.7%. The more recent poll was conducted on Thursday from a sample of 630; the sample for the earlier poll was said to be rather larger.

• A borderline comical spam email attacking Labor candidate Kristy McBain is the subject of an Australian Federal Police investigation. Purporting to be from McBain’s campaign manager, the email claimed she had withdrawn as a candidate after being hospitalised with COVID-19, before holding her largely responsible for fabricating the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. Complaints under the “misleading or deceptive publications” provision under the Electoral Act are ten a penny, and invariably fall foul of the limitation that the falsehood must be “in relation to the casting of a vote”, (which the Australian Electoral Commission contentiously determined did not apply to Chinese language Liberal Party advertising in Melbourne at last year’s election). In this case though, the material clearly crosses the line in asserting that votes for McBain will be invalid.

• The Australian Electoral Commission has so far processed 16,098 postal vote applications, compared with a total of 7426 at the 2019 election. The thirteen pre-poll voting centres now in operation have already received more than 21,000 votes; last time a total of 35,114 votes were cast at eight locations.

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.

60 comments on “Eden-Monaro by-election minus four days”

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  1. The Australian ($) reports the Nationals are hawking internal polling showing a surge in their own support potentially great enough to push the Liberals over the line


    Is this the same internal polling which claim the nationals would be enough to get Mundine over the line in the seat of gilmore ?

  2. From The Tally Room:

    We’ve entered the last week of early voting before this Saturday’s by-election in the south-east NSW seat of Eden-Monaro. We have quite a bit of data about who is casting an early vote, and it tells us that there has been a big increase in postal votes, but it looks like the increase in pre-poll votes will only be slight.

    The AEC publishes daily statistics on the number of postal vote applications received per day (not the number of actual postal votes which have been returned: many of these votes won’t arrive until after the election, and voters are not obliged to use a postal vote after making an application). They also publish statistics on the number of votes cast at each pre-poll centre per day. These statistics cover up to the end of Friday 25 June.

    By this point in the 2019 election, most postal vote applications (PVAs) had been received, and so far in this by-election more than twice as many PVAs have been received.


  3. A well written summary of the two campaigns written by Paul Bongiorno is here. The Liberals aren’t promising much, relying on another scare campaign, and some emails of dubious legality. I remember those golden days when the law would be enforced in Australia. Labor is focusing on the unknown future of Jobkeeper and Job seeker.

  4. Our great LNP will win the eden Monaro by 55/45 and our great PM Morrison will be PM for another 10 years and that will take the LNP to a 3 seat majority……

  5. Oakeshott Country says:
    Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 12:00 pm
    “If McBain ends up with a 2 in front of her primary vote, the age of Albo will surely be coming to an end”

    I doubt that (the 2) will happen but if it did do you really think the ALP would be that stupid? Before the next election?

    Individual seat polling has generally been unreliable whether for General Elections or for By Elections so I’m expecting an ALP win.

  6. “Labor’s Kristy McBain was said to have slumped from 36% to 29.3%”…

    A case of polling-as-propaganda?…. We shall see on by-election night….. If Kristy wins, wait for: “Oh but polling for by-elections is notoriously affected by a much higher sampling error”… and so let’s all move on until the next election…

  7. Thanks to Socrates for the link to Paul Bongiorno’s article, from which I quote:

    “That’s right Bill Shorten – Liberal strategists clearly think that a reprise of their successful tax and spend campaign against Labor last year is worth another shot at snatching victory.”

    Oh my, the “geniuses” in the Liberal Propaganda Unit lost the battle for Eden-Monaro last year, when the real Shorten was running, and now they hope to win against his ghost?… But wait, there is more… The Liberals have plunged the country into recession (which on a per capita basis was already with us before COVID….), a skyrocketing debt and a deficit that’s shooting out of the galaxy, but they want to win the by-election on a “tax and spend campaign against Labor”?…. Ha, ha, ha…. oh dear, that’s hilarious…..

  8. Scott commenting about the Nationals internal polling for the seat:
    “Is this the same internal polling which claim the nationals would be enough to get Mundine over the line in the seat of gilmore ?”…

    It’s probably worse, Scott. Polling for the seat gives a margin of 6-7.3% primary vote for the Nationals…. and then there is that internal poll of theirs which apparently skyrockets the support for the party to 30% (1 May 2020)….

    I mean, if you are gonna lie, at least be subtle and somewhat credible…. rather than ridiculous….

  9. like another person who has commented, I suspect the 600 plus sample opinion poll in Eden Monaro, was a bit of propaganda…..to encourage the diehard Libs/Nats and to try and put the wind up Labor. I hope the good people of Eden Monaro have not forgotten the initial Morrison response to last summer’s catastrophic fires within the electorate was to proceed on a preplanned family holiday in Hawaii, instead of being on the ground as any real national leader would do in such a situation. Further, why would more people vote in Eden Monaro for the Nationals – the party that has sold its soul to the fossil fuel industry and should really call itself the Party of Coal? Science is telling us that the burning of fossil fuels like coal is impacting on our environment and that the bushfires of last summer were not an aberration but likely to be far more frequent as the earth continues to get warmer and drier. It is almost a sure winning bet that the Morrison government = after the Eden Monaro byelection will wind back some of the corona virus pandemic financial support and as per a typical conservative government in Australia we will see serious austerity measures brought in under the guise of “living within our budget” that will see massive unemployment, more failed businesses and people losing their homes. Given historical precedent and the double speak and lying that seems endemic amongst many within the Morrison government (Paul Fletcher and his lies about ABC funding are just the most recent example of such deplorable conduct). my guess (and hope ) is that Labor wins on Saturday with an increased primary vote as well greater support for environmentally/socially progressive candidates – the Greens, Science Party resulting in a 53-47 2PP for ALP vs Liberal.

  10. Wayne Carter says:
    Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 12:04 pm
    Our great LNP will win the eden Monaro by 55/45 and our great PM Morrison will be PM for another 10 years and that will take the LNP to a 3 seat majority……

    I hope that you quickly rise to a senior position within the LNP.

    The future would look so much better.

    I think that the LNP will win Eden-Monaro because of the lack of the “Kelly factor”, but 55/45 I doubt.

  11. Wayne Cartersays:
    Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 12:04 pm
    Our great LNP will win the eden Monaro by 55/45 and our great PM Morrison will be PM for another 10 years and that will take the LNP to a 3 seat majority……

    Back again, I see.

    With another moniker, but the same schtick.

  12. Good on you OL.
    Best wishes.
    Unfortunately we rated it as too risky.
    We are in our seventies and we have co-morbidities.

  13. Hello Boer, Don and Outside Left,
    A very diverse electorate on many levels, so many external factors, so much pork barrelling from the non-delivering, untrustworthy Morrison and plenty invested in the result from all parties.
    I’m no longer prepared to predict results.

  14. Upgrading the Barton Highway for the benefit of expecting mothers should have made the by-election a no contest.
    Very strange responses in strange times!

  15. Paultu

    So you agree with me that our great coalition will win the seat of Eden Monaro By 55/45 and our great PM Morrison will be PM for 10 years and the coalition will have a 3 seat majority and ALP will ever be in government again while Scott Morrison is PM

  16. Individual seat polls in Australia are just not reliable – dirty tricks that have been directed at the ALP candidate suggest a degree of anxiety on the conservative side of politics – anyone who is confident about the outcome either way is in the world of predicting what they want to happen. The national polls suggest that at that level it is basically status quo so there is no strong background current pulling one way or the other. The result will be down to local factors

  17. The National Party quite likely is surging. Firstly John Barilaro is extremely popular here after saving the brumbies, calling on Turnbull to resign, calling for nuclear power and excellent grass roots campaigning. He received a 6% swing to him at the State election! Trevor Hicks is no party hack, is well known in Queanbeyan, and is campaigning very strongly with Barilaro, Barnaby Joyce here and also McCormack. They had a very late start though. They are seeking a presence and also aiming to get some of that Shooters, Fishers and Farmers vote back. I have also been invited by phone to join in an online forum with Scott Morrison more than once so they are working hard as well.

    Some of the commentators on this thread need to realise that Labor is generally out of touch with mainstream voters although not with the public servants probably. Sure go for the woke policies but pay the price.

    On the other hand it’s a very diverse electorate and a tradesman at our place today doesn’t even know the election is on, so it’s very uncertain all round.

  18. ‘Helen Kuiper says:
    Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    The National Party quite likely is surging. Firstly John Barilaro is extremely popular here after saving the brumbies, calling on Turnbull to resign, calling for nuclear power and excellent grass roots campaigning. ‘

    It is simply amazing that he did not run! What was he afraid of?
    Barilaro: big mouth but no guts.

  19. The second tranch of the $750s (borrowed money to be paid back by future taxpayers) is due to start leaking out to lucky dippers on the 5th of July. Someone must pay.
    Not a cent of HomeBuilder has found a home by 4th of July. Usual Scotty thing: blaze of publicity but the dinero trickles out miserably. Dudding.
    Plus $50 million in Federal disaster money is being rolled over. Living in a tent or a caravan in Eden Monaro six months after the fire is not, according to Daddy Scotty, a disaster. Dudding.
    Plus all the Eden-Monaro peeps on JobKeeper are probably slackarses who can’t be bothered to get themselves a job. Dudding.
    Plus the Snowy Hydro 2 Announcement is the usual Scotty from Marketing snow sob. $100 million of real money will not scratch the surface of the many billions required. Dudding.
    I wonder whether the Eden-Monaro electorate is getting wise to Scotty from Marketing?

  20. As for the focus group research, Labor should win easily after the fires, coronavirus and the usual anti-government protest vote in by-elections. So we’ll see. And in reply to ‘boerwar’ (going under a pseudonym I assume, talking about courage), we’re all aware that the Nationals are undergoing a fight back against the left wing people who have moved into the Party in disguise. And McCormack’s insecurity led to lack of support for Barilaro. Barilaro would have walked the seat in and it’s to his credit that he’s still out there fighting for the Nats.

    At least the Nats are fighting back for their Party whereas the Labor Party isn’t game to stand up to the radicals who have taken over their Party. All good.

  21. Barilaro is a mouth almighty.
    He has the world’s biggest feral horse national park to his credit. What a shocking environmental shambles that is!
    He is trying to destroy the existing water rights in the MDB Plan in favour of his pals.
    Barilaro is even dumb enough to think that nuclear power is cheaper than renewables!
    He played divisive politics with his colleagues in the NSW coalition. He said some very, very rude things about them.
    He shoots his mouth off at the drop of a hat.
    The best thing is that Barilaro is considering retirement, aka, he is spitting the dummy because his pals MickMack and Bere worked together to knock off his chance at the Big Time, and he is thinking about quitting politics.

  22. Hundreds of Eden Monaro people were sleeping in tents and caravans while Barilaro spent time in his second? third? property during the lock down. Turns out that he was not breaking the lockdown rules, at all, at all. But take a gander at that mansion. Lucky fella!

    Meanwhile, the Morrison Government tried to hide $50 million in disaster money that could have housed the homeless in Eden Monaro! Where has it gone? Ask Kotvojs!


  23. Boerwar So politicians can’t have expensive houses? Visit areas like Hunters Hill in Sydney and see how many Labor pollies live there. Better someone who’s open about it and not a total hypocrite. Barilaro is a successful businessman not a party hack who has worked his way up through the party backrooms. And not only that most Australians couldn’t care anyway. If you think that renewables are as cheap per unit as nuclear power you are straight out misinformed and they certainly are not as reliable 24/7.

    I love brumbies and every time they are near the road cars stop everywhere so plenty of others do to. I might add too that I use my own name.

  24. HK

    Who said politicians can’t have expensive houses or three houses or four houses.

    The point was that the Coalition had $50 million in disaster money, he is staying in a mansion, and hundreds of Eden Monaro people are living in tents and houses.

    If you can’t get that point, andif Barilaro can’t get that point either, then you are both completely out of touch with the suffering of people from Eden Monaro.

    And please don’t try to bullshit me, or your Eden Monaro climate victims, about nuclear power.
    You can’t get private sector capital to invest in nuclear power. They are not fools. Why? Unit costs for nuclear are three times unit costs for onshore wind.

    As for loving brumbies. Fine. No worries. Buy yourself a horse paddock. Stop wrecking what was once one of the world’s premier national parks.

  25. Boerwar I have a number of horse paddocks and I would rather have horses than pigs, deer, goats and foxes. And I assure you that they are everywhere in the Monaro especially the National Park. Our own neighbor rounded up $22,000 worth of goats two weeks ago and he has a farm.

    Barilaro only flagged nuclear but we have plenty of coal.

    We had fires around us for 5 weeks and were almost burnt out but I’m not going to live in a tent as some sort of penance for not losing my home.

  26. You are basically admitting that flagging nuclear is a cynical political ploy. Barilaro’s own Government in its official documentation, admits that nuclear power is three times as expensive as wind power. Is it not cynical of the Deputy Premier of the NSW Government to ‘flag’ nuclear? Who is he trying to fool? The voters of Eden Monaro? Cheap stunt?

    Coal is a major driver of global warming and of the bushfires that are getting worse, and worse and worse. The science is in.

    I agree with you that it is high time that the NSW Government, including Barilaro as Deputy Premier, properly funded national park management. The lack of funding for management of feral animals in NSW national parks is a total disgrace. Where is Barilaro when you need him to shout about something useful?

    But that is no justification for turning one of the world’s premier national park into a giant feral horse paddock and an international laughing stock.

    Who is asking you to live in a tent?

    No-one is. You are living in a nice dry, warm home. Barilaro is living in a mansion. As the result of a climate disaster, people are living in tents in the freezing cold. The Liberal/National Government in Canberra had $50 million set aside for disaster. The OBVIOUS way to spend that money is to get people OUT of tents.

    But I guess Barilaro is warm and comfy in his choice of mansion(s). So he is out of touch. So he has not put the hard word on Mick Mack to deploy that $50 million to get people out of tents. That $50 million is not dream money. It is in the Federal Budget. And Morrison and Mick Mack are rolling it over. Not needed to get people out of tents, apparently.

    I imagine that Morrison in Kirribilli OR the Lodge (he has a pick of two nice big mansions plus his private residence) is nice and warm and dry as well. No tents for him!

  27. My wife has been watching PRIME (Ch 7) and WIN (Ch 10) in Canberra which also are viewed in much of E-M.

    There has been a flood of Liberal party advertisements, about 2/3 positive and 1/3 anti-Labor using rehashed “they’ll tax you until death” type material. I can’t recall seeing a Labor advert at the same times.

    I’m not sure what that means in terms of Liberal and Labor internal polling as to which party is more confident of victory.

    I’m not looking forward to seeing the same type of Liberal party advertising for the ACT elections in October. Negative messages is all they have in the ACT as even friendly media like 2CC (which rebroadcasts Sydney shock jocks) are fairly hard on the hapless opposition leader Alistair Coe.

  28. 270 billion wasted on warmongering, when there is so many problems in society that this could help fix. Then they give bushfire victims 2 billion. Shows where the bastards priorities lie.

  29. Boerwar The second part is simply not true. Labor has the unions and they have millions. Labor is also very experienced at funneling money. We’ll see on Saturday if Labor are actually saving their money because they don’t think that they have much chance or because they are very confident. I suspect that Trevor Hicks has made a huge difference but we’ll see.

  30. Steve Davis Do some research on the attitude of The Netherlands government before World War 2. They savagely cut back on their military for some years because of their absurd belief that people are good and that their country wouldn’t be attacked. When Hitler attacked them and invaded they still had a cavalry for goodness sake. Hitler had the panzas. The Netherlands opposition lasted a few days. Then Hitler bombed Rotterdam just to put them in their place and years of terrible suffering followed. Or just study history and see how many invasions and military attacks there have been. Why wouldn’t we at least try to defend ourselves. We have a huge nation openly arming, taking other nations’ land, and being aggressive just up to the north. It all sounds very familiar to the late 1930’s.

  31. Chinese are attacking with electronic warfare.
    Bucket of money for cyber war.
    Bigger bucket of money for expensive but likely 2nd rate weaponry like most Defence spending.
    Incident in the Gulf of Tonkin next week?

    I wonder if we consulted with regional allies before the announcement. Did we chat with Indonesia and assure them this was just about keeping the Yanks sweet by buying a bunch of their crap for ridiculous prices.

    Absolutely China needs to be dissauded from a unilateral and expansionist policy. Sure the are just following the Yank example, but maybe they don’t think they too are the ‘exceptional nation’. Nah, not much chance hey.

    We need to engage with neighbours in South, SE and North Asia to build a co-operative defence posture, work with China to acknowledge their rise but also establish an understanding of the limits of their sphere of influence AND not be a lackey of the US in trying to deny China as we move from the one imperial power back to multiple grand powers.

    Simple really ;).

  32. HK
    I agree with you on your point about how the interwar european pacifists gutted the democracies’ capacity to deter Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo from starting their various wars.
    The interesting thing is that today’s pacifists still don’t get it.

  33. A cursory read of C20 history would surely convince any rational person that appeasement is a coward’s game with self-defeating consequences. But 270 bills??? We need an anti-China front amongst Asian countries, but I don’t hold out much hope of that. The Chinese grip on our collective short-and-curlies is tight.

    On E-M, I had one ear on RN’s Geraldine and the other doing my tax. Did someone mention Barilaro urging Nat voters to preference Labor over Libs? If true, game over. Source please anyone.

  34. In the annuls of Australian political rodentry, Barilaro’s treachery would have to rate highly. In just a few months, he has destroyed the political careers of himself, Constance and possibly Kot-case Kotvojs. He has prolonged the career of the hapless and hopeless MickMack and strained the marriage vows of the coalition – all for his own amusement. How could anyone place any trust in such a King Rat?

  35. BW: “Forget Plimer. Forget Moncton. Forget Lomborg.
    The Fossileer Climate Wreckers have a new darling: Shellenberger.”

    Gee, I hadn’t caught up with this dude. What stupid, self-serving arguments he is putting forward. He must realise how stupid they are, so I suspect his is a case of attention-seeking or worse.

    He raises some important points, but they’d be appropriately covered in the following statements:
    “climate change isn’t the only catastrophic environmental threat we are facing” and “climate change is a symptom of broader problems such as population growth and increasingly rapacious consumption of natural resources at a level beyond which they can be sustained”.

  36. As for Barilaro, people on the left can call him all the names in the world but he got a 6% swing to him in the last NSW State election when as far as I know, no-one else did. Obviously a good majority of voters do not share the views of many of those commenting above. He’s now in a very safe seat after being marginal. But go ahead with the personal attacks rather than serious policy discussion because if you can’t look at your opponents objectively you find it very hard to succeed in politics. Hence Morrison’s victory and the shock on the left.

  37. HK
    Serious policy discussion?
    1. The Coalition badly stuffed up global warming and then the consequences: drought and fires.
    2. There are hundreds of people living in tents and caravans while the Coalition is tucking away $50 million.
    3. The voters of Eden Monaro need to know that their Jobkeeper will be killed off as soon as possible AFTER the Eden Monaro election.
    4. Morrison keeps making grand announcements. These announcements are followed by dribs and drabs and frustration in the real world for real people. Remember the grand HOMEBUILDER announcement in Queanbeyan for the Eden Monaro election? Not a red cent spent.
    5. Kotvojs is a serial climate science denier. How very dopey is that?
    6. The Liberals and the Nationals sooled Robocop onto hundreds of thousands of ordinary Aussies. It was a nightmare for them. Hundreds suicided. Now the courts have told the Kotvojs of this world that it was ILLEGAL. Pay it back! Classic Morrison/Kotvojs response: delays in paying back the stolen money. And who from the Coalition is going to jail or to resign for this truly massive theft? No-one.
    7. Morrison, wanting to bag the Eden Monaro defence vote announces a massive spending increase. Only, in classic Morrison style, it is not a massive increase. It was what everyone was planning all along.
    8. Perrotet has a new plan. Stamp duty is to be lifted! But every single voter in NSW will have to pay more for everything else to pay for it. When the Liberals and the Nationals talk about tax ‘reform’ beware!. Take from ordinary Aussies and give it mansion owners like… like… well you know who!

  38. Barliaro we know. All you have to do is listen to the shouting.

    He is now urging Nationals voters to preference AGAINST the Liberals, presumably because he is still spitting the dummy cos he was finagled out of running for Eden Monaro.

    Kotvojs? Climate science? Bushfire science? Pah!


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