New South Wales election 2015


Margin: Nationals 2.0%
Region: Regional South-East
Federal: Eden-Monaro (94%)/Hume(6%)

Candidates in ballot paper order



Labor (bottom)


Nationals (top)

No Land Tax

Christian Democratic Party




Two-party preferred booth results from 2011 state election showing Nationals majority in green and Labor in red. New boundaries in thicker blue lines, old ones in thinner red lines. Boundary data courtesy of Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

Covering territory to the east and south of the Australian Capital Territory, from which it extends eastwards as far as the Great Dividing Range and southwards to the Victorian border, the seat of Monaro looms as a re-match at the coming election between Labor’s Steve Whan and the Nationals candidate who defeated him 2011, John Barilaro. Whan returned to parliament as a member for the Legislative Council shortly after his defeat, and was spoken of as a leadership candidate following John Robertson’s resignation in December, but withdrew as cross-factional support solidified behind Luke Foley. The electorate’s main population centres are Queanbeyan, Bungendore and Braidwood in the east, and Thredbo, Jindabyne and Cooma in the south. Labor’s greatest source of strength is Queanbeyan, home to about 45% of the electorate’s voters, with the remainder of the electorate combining a conservative rural base with a Greens-leaning tree-changer element. The redistribution has made only minor changes to its northern boundary with Goulburn and eastern boundary with Bega.

Like the corresponding federal seat of Eden-Monaro, Monaro has a good record as a bellwether, having been won by Labor from the Country Party when the McKell government came to power in 1941; by the Liberals when Labor finally lost office in 1965; by Labor when Neville Wran came to power in 1976; and by the Nationals when the Greiner government was elected in 1988. However, the run was broken when it stayed with the Nationals in 1995 and 1999, before finally going Labor’s way with Whan’s win in 2003. Whan’s father Bob had been member for Eden-Monaro during the Whitlam years, and Whan himself contested Eden-Monaro unsuccessfully at the federal elections in 1998 and 2001. He gained a further swing against the trend of the 2007 election, and served as Rural Affairs Minister for the last year-and-a-half of Labor’s period in office. It was widely thought that his personal support would save him from the shellacking Labor had coming its way in 2011, and while the 8.4% swing was modest by the standards of the election, it was nonetheless sufficient to account for the 6.3% margin. Whan’s upper house berth was secured just three months after the election upon the retirement of Tony Kelly, who would shortly be embroiled in an investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

The seat has since been held for the Nationals by John Barilaro, who prior to entering parliament had been a factory owner and Queanbeyan councillor. Barilaro won promotion to Small Business and Regional Tourism Minister in October 2014, filling a Nationals vacancy created by the resignation of Andrew Stoner from the ministry and the party leadership.

Corrections, complaints and feedback to William Bowe at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.

Back to Crikey’s New South Wales election guide

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