Eden-Monaro By-election – Regional and Vote Type Breakdown of the 2019 Result

To help in analysing the Eden-Monaro by-election results on Saturday night, I’ve broken down the 2019 results by region and by vote type.

In summary, the electorate has three broad regions. The largest by population is the Queanbeyan-Palerang council area with 32.0% of votes taken in 2019. The rural areas surrounding the ACT including Yass, Tumut and Cooma took 28.1%, while voting centres on the NSW far south coast took 25.9%.

Labor’s two-party vote versus the Liberal Party was strongest in Queanbeyan-Palerang (54.6% to 45.4%), then the South Coast (52.5% to 47.5%) and weakest in the rural areas (46.1% to 53.9%). The Liberal Party’s two-party vote was strongest in the reverse order to Labor’s, shown as the second figure in the bracketed numbers above.

Of first preferences support for minor parties, National support was weakest on the South Coast (2.5%) and strongest in the Yass-Tumut-Cooma area (11.1%).  Green support was strongest on the South Coast (10.0%).

Of all votes cast in 2019, only 50.6% were ordinary votes cast in polling places on election day. Another 35.4% were pre-poll ordinary votes cast during the campaign. There were another 5.8% of votes cast as pre-poll absent votes, 5.6% as postal votes, 1.9% as absent votes, and 0.7% as others including provisional and special hospital votes.

In descending order of Labor two-party preferred percent versus the Liberal Party, the results were absent (54.6% to 45.4%), polling places (52.8% to 47.2%), pre-poll absent (52.3% to 47.7%), pre-poll ordinary (48.9% to 51.1%)  and postal votes (42.9% to 57.1%). In summary, Labor won polling day, the Liberal Party won the pre-poll period, with Labor winning narrowly overall.

More detail can be found in this post below, with much more detail on the by-election, the candidates and polling place results at my ABC Eden-Monaro by-election guide.

Regional Breakdown

The electorate can be broken into three broad regions –

  • South Coast – includes the Bega Valley Shire and those parts of Eurobodalla Shire in Eden-Monaro. Major centres include Narooma, Bermagui, Bega, Merimbula and Eden.
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang – part of NSW but right next door to urban Canberra. The council was formed in 2016 by the merger of the former City of Queanbeyan and the surrounding Palerang Shire. Palerang includes Braidwood and Bungendore.
  • Yass-Tumut-Cooma – rural areas to the north, west and south of the ACT including the newly merged Snowy Mountains, Snowy Valleys and part of Yass Valley Councils.

The totals by region include both polling day and pre-poll votes cast at centres in the region. The final entry for “Declaration/Other” includes votes not identifiable against a region, including postal votes, absent votes, pre-poll absent votes, hospital, provisional and a small number of other votes.

As Table 1 shows, Queanbeyan-Palerang is the largest part of the electorate with 32.0% of votes cast, the rural areas surrounding the ACT with 28.1%, and the South Coast 25.9%.

Labor’s strongest two-party preferred vote was recorded in the Queenbeyan-Palerang council area, followed by the South Coast.

Table 1 – Two-Party Preferred Percent by Region

2019 Election % of Two-Party %
Region/Vote Vote Labor Liberal
South Coast 25.9 52.5 47.5
Queanbeyan-Palerang 32.0 54.6 45.4
Yass-Tumut-Cooma 28.1 46.1 53.9
Declaration/Other 14.0 48.9 51.1
Total 50.8 49.2


Table 2 shows the same data for first preferences. The National vote was very weak on the South Coast, always the party’s problem in contesting Eden-Monaro. Green support was strongest on the South Coast.

Table 2 – Party First Preference Percent by Region

2019 Election First Preference %
South Coast 40.5 40.4 2.5 10.1 6.5
Queanbeyan-Palerang 43.5 33.8 7.3 8.6 6.8
Yass Tumut Cooma 34.9 36.9 11.1 6.6 10.4
Declaration/Other 35.3 38.3 6.0 11.0 9.4
Total 39.2 37.0 7.0 8.8 8.1

There is a map of polling place results at the bottom of this post. The map for pre-polls plus more on the by-election can be found at my ABC Eden-Monaro by-election guide.


Results by Vote Type

Table 3 below breaks down the 2019 Eden-Monaro result by time and place of vote. The percentage of vote by type, as well as Labor and Liberal two-party preferred is shown in the table.

Table 3 – Two-Party Preferred Percent by Vote Type

2019 Election % of Two-Party %
Region/Vote Vote Labor Liberal
Polling Day Ordinary 50.6 52.8 47.2
Pre-Poll Ordinary 35.4 48.9 51.1
Absent 1.9 54.6 45.4
Pre-Poll Absent 5.8 52.3 47.7
Postal 5.6 42.9 57.1
Other 0.7 56.7 43.3
Total 50.8 49.2

At Federal elections, only polling day and pre-poll ordinary votes are counted on election night. The size of pre-poll centres often means that pre-poll results are reported later than polling day votes.

At Federal elections, postal votes and the two types of absent votes are added in the week after polling day. At by-elections, there are very few absent votes, and postal votes already received will be included in the count.

Postal votes may display a different lean in party support at the by-election as Labor has mounted a much more serious postal vote campaign. In 2019 there were only 41 postal vote applications returned to the AEC via Labor’s clearing house compared to more than 4,300 at the by-election. There are more than twice as many postal votes at the by-election compared to 2019. Some of this increase may be driven by the lack of absent voting at by-elections.

(See my post tracking by-election pre-poll and absent votes.)

Table four shows the first preference percentages by party. One of the great oddities of Australian elections is the very high vote for the Greens with pre-poll votes. Are Green voters more likely to be outside of their electorate when voting? I’ve never managed to work out a good explanation.

Table 4 – Party First Preference Percent by Vote Type

2019 Election First Preference %
Polling Day Ordinary 40.3 35.7 6.7 9.8 7.5
Pre-Poll Ordinary 39.0 38.4 7.7 6.4 8.4
Absent 36.9 32.2 5.3 15.6 10.0
Pre-Poll Absent 36.9 35.9 5.1 13.0 9.0
Postal 31.9 43.1 7.5 7.8 9.7
Other 47.0 33.4 4.1 7.7 7.7
Total 39.2 37.0 7.0 8.8 8.1

2019 Polling Place Results

1 thought on “Eden-Monaro By-election – Regional and Vote Type Breakdown of the 2019 Result”

  1. Hi Antony,
    Regarding your comment on the high absent vote count for the Greens – is there any data on the age distribution of absent voters? I understand that the Greens have higher support with younger voters, so if younger voters are more likely to vote absent that would explain the higher percentage.

    COMMENT: No there isn’t. In Tasmania they used to talk about the bushwalking vote.

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