Australian Elections

2020 Eden-Monaro By-Election Results, Predictions

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2020 Eden-Monaro By-Election

When it comes to the 2020 Eden-Monaro by-election on 4 July, we’ve got you covered.

For websites in the political prediction business, Australian politics over the last few years have been wild. First, there are the successes, like the last Tasmanian state election, which we called exactly right. Then there was the 2019 Australian federal election, in which we were pretty far off, but in fairness, so was everybody else, including almost every opinion poll.

So, can anyone predict the happenings in Australian elections in the modern day with any degree of confidence? We can try, anyway.

Check out the latest predictions for the Eden-Monaro federal by-election here, and following the 4th of July, we’ll have the results.

Eden-Monaro Election Results

2020 Eden-Monaro By-Election Results

Kristy McBain won the by-election, holding the seat for Labor. The electorate is even more marginal now, with the ALP retaining on a margin of 0.42% on a two-party preferred basis. The vote gap was less than 800 between McBain and Fiona Kotvojs, the Liberal candidate.

Meanwhile, the National Party finished in a distant third while the Greens placed fourth. The Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers Party rounded out the top five. Preferences ultimately flowed in McBain’s direction, giving her a narrow victory. It is quite rare for a government to flip a seat at a by-election, and divisions between Coalition partners may not have helped, but in the end, it was Labor’s to lose from the start – they did not.

Background of the 2020 Eden-Monaro By-Election

Eden-Monaro was held by Mike Kelly of the Australian Labor Party from 2007 to 2013 and again from 2016 until earlier this year. Kelly served on the Labor frontbench during the closing days of the Gillard and second Rudd governments.

For decades, Eden-Monaro was heralded as a bellwether seat. For over 40 years, it voted with the party that ultimately won the Australian federal election. It broke from this in 2016, when Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition won a narrow victory but Eden-Monaro went back to Kelly and Labor. The Coalition has won another victory since then, the inexplicable 2019 vote, but Eden-Monaro has stayed on the opposition benches.

Kelly resigned in April 2020 for personal reasons. With his departure, the House of Representatives standings are: Coalition 77, Labor 67, Others 6; the government’s majority is four.

Map of the Division of Eden-Monaro

Eden-Monaro Map

Eden-Monaro is located in the southeastern-most part of New South Wales, completely surrounding the Australian Capital Territory. One can find the Snowy Mountains in this electorate, including the resorts at Thredbo. The division connects with the Pacific Ocean to the east and runs down to the Victoria border.

Prior Eden-Monaro Results

In the 2019 federal election, Mike Kelly was re-elected. He won 50.85% of the two-party preferred vote, representing a swing to Liberal of just over two percent.

2020 Eden-Monaro By-Election Candidates

This list will be updated with all parties’ candidates following the close of nominations on 9 June.1

Kristy McBain (ALP)
Fiona Kotvojs (Lib)
Trevor Hicks (Nat)

By-Election Prediction, 4 June 2020

Labor Hold

The Eden-Monaro Breakdown, 4 June 2020

What’s changed since the 2019 Australian federal election? A better question might be what hasn’t changed in the world?

The last Newspoll showed a Liberal/National 2PP lead of 51 to 49 over Labor, which is about where they were in the last election.2 Does it therefore make sense that the situation in Eden-Monaro is about the same from an electoral standpoint? There is evidence, however thin and unreliable, that this could be the case. Not that we should believe everything an opinion poll tells us anymore, a May poll showed that Labor was ahead by almost the exact margin by which Kelly won in 2019.3

While the Liberals are going with their 2019 candidate, Fiona Kotvojs, Labor has selected Kristy McBain, a former local mayor. The Nationals are going to stand here but have to select a candidate, and there are expected to be a number of smaller parties bidding for this seat.

Eden-Monaro may not be a bellwether anymore in the technical sense, but it does reflect the political situation in Australia: close.

Eden-Monaro References

1: AEC, “Eden-Monaro by-election,” Australian Electoral Commission, 4 June 2020, AEC link)

2: “Newspoll,” The Australian, 4 June 2020, The Australian link)

3: Tom McIlroy, “Labor ahead in early Eden-Monaro poll,” Australian Financial Review, 15 May 2020, AFR Link)

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