It’s the by-election being watched by a nation, and the field of candidates is the size of the Melbourne Cup. But what do actual voters think are the key issues in Eden-Monaro? About Regional is asking you to nominate the issue that matters most to you, and we’ll give the candidates an opportunity to respond.
The Federal electorate is famed for its diversity and size, stretching across much of South Eastern NSW. Long the nation’s bellwether, it’s now the focus of intense national scrutiny following the resignation of former ALP member Mike Kelly.
There’s plenty at play at a national level: the by-election is a litmus test for the Government, especially in bushfire-devastated areas where Prime Minister Scott Morrison withstood heavy criticism over summer.
On the political chessboard, a Labor win won’t change anything but will be a feather in the cap for Anthony Albanese’s leadership. Securing the seat in the long term would be a solid achievement, moving the electoral dynamics beyond Dr Kelly’s personal popularity.
For the Coalition government, however, there’s much more at stake.
While the Prime Minister has resurrected his political fortunes on the back of an effective COVID-19 response, Eden-Monaro has always been highly unpredictable and anything could happen on 4 July.
It’s been a century since a federal government won a seat from the opposition at a by-election, but the government sits on a frighteningly thin majority of just two seats, and a third is well worth fighting for.
Preferences from the Greens, the Nationals, as well as the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers could also play a significant role and there may well be prices to be paid for that support in a very tight race, even without the influence of a large field of small parties and independents.
But in the end, it’s the Eden-Monaro voters who will decide, no matter what the inducements offered by major parties desperate to claim a win or minor parties seeking to exercise their influence.
As the media circus focusses on the federal chess pieces, what will influence voters everywhere from Eden to Tumut, from Yass to Jindabyne?
We’re asking you to complete a poll and nominate your major concern for this election. We’ll give the top three issues collectively to the candidates and ask them to respond.
We’re able to have a close look at where the responses come from across the electorate, so it’s in your interests to participate and make sure your friends and contacts do, too. This isn’t a scientific poll, it’s a straw in the wind and a useful way to get candidates to think outside their pre-prepared policy pack.
You can also respond in the comments and tell us more about your choice, or perhaps what we’ve left out that matters to you. And if you’re a candidate, you can contact us via [email protected] to ensure you get a chance to respond.
Our question is: