Labor’s Kristy McBain claims Eden-Monaro by-election victory against Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs

Labor’s Kristy McBain has officially claimed victory in the Eden-Monaro by-election, saying her party has clinched the marginal seat after preference flows secured her lead.

Late last night, ABC’s chief election Antony Green called the by-election result for Labor, but up until now, the Opposition was yet to officially claim victory.

About 80 per cent of the votes in the by-election have been counted, slowed by more than 44,000 pre-poll and postal votes.

A Liberal Party spokesperson told the ABC that Ms Kotvojs was not ready to call the election and noted there were many postal votes still arriving to be counted.

This afternoon, Ms McBain said her lead of more than 1,000 votes over opponent Fiona Kotvojs meant the Liberal Party would need a 63 per cent vote on a two-party preferred basis to win.

The count at the time showed Ms Kotvojs still ahead on first preferences, but falling just short on a two-party preferred basis at 49.1 per cent.

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Liberals have exceeded historical by-election expectations: Fiona Kotvojs

Whilst the result of the Eden-Monaro by-election remains unclear, the Coalition has been capable to break the regular trend in opposition to governments in by-elections according to Liberal candidate for Eden-Monaro Dr Fiona Kotvojs.

The Eden-Monaro by-election continues to be on knife’s edge right after the Liberals have exceeded expectations, forcing the election outcome down to pre-polls and postal votes.

Dr Kotvojs stated preferably it would be satisfying to declare a victory on the evening, but provided the average swing from governments has been 3.5 per cent at by-elections, “so much, we’re going the other way”.

Bushfires played a significant function in the discussion in the direct-up to the by-election, with equally candidates owning a personalized relationship to the devastation brought on in excess of the summertime.

“This has been a hard year,” Dr Kotvojs declared.

“It’s seriously significant that we operate with each other as a neighborhood, and that we deal with these issues”.

Dr Kotvojs concluded by praising all 14 candidates in the election who she reported “all needed to do the ideal for our community”.

“Whoever gets the profitable prospect to turn out to be the member, I would really like to provide them my most effective.”

Graphic: Getty

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Fiona Kotvojs ‘an amazing local candidate’: Henderson

Fiona Kotvojs 'an amazing local candidate': Henderson

Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson says if the people of Eden-Monaro “want stability and want to be part of the government which is focused on jobs and economic certainty, then please vote one Fiona Kotvojs”.

“She’s an amazing local candidate, a great businesswoman, she’s a doer,” she told Sky News host Chris Kenny.

New polling has revealed Labor candidate Kristy McBain has drawn slightly ahead of Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs in the lead-up to the Eden-Monaro by-election on Saturday.

Image: News Corp Australia

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Fiona Kotvojs named Liberal nominee for Eden-Monaro by-election already marred in controversy

Fiona Kotvojs will become the Liberal Party’s candidate for the upcoming by-election in Eden Monaro after winning a vote Saturday evening.

The beef farmer from Dignams Creek on the NSW South Coast beat out local councillor Mark Schweikert by a comfortable margin.

Dr Kotvojs, who was narrowly defeated at the 2019 Federal Election, is expected to be formally endorsed by the party overnight Saturday.

Labor’s Mike Kelly held the seat on a 0.9 per cent margin but resigned in May for health reasons, sparking the by-election.

The seat gained national attention after state cabinet colleagues Andrew Constance and John Barilaro came to loggerheads after both pulled out of the race for Eden Monaro.

Mr Constance, the NSW Transport Minister, abandoned his bid less than 24 hours after preselection after a newspaper quoted Mr Barilaro, the Deputy Premier, using vulgar language to describe him to colleagues.

Labor has endorsed Bega Mayor Kristy McBain as their candidate.

Constance and Barilaro bow out of the running

Mr Constance, whose state electorate of Bega overlaps the federal division of Eden-Monaro, was seen as a strong candidate.

He has held his seat of Bega for 17 years but rose to national prominence last summer for his regular public appearances during the bushfire crisis.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro confirmed he would not contest the by-election for the Nationals, paving the way for Mr Constance.

But Mr Constance abandoned his bid, initially pointing to unfinished business with bushfire recovery and transport as his reasons.

The Deputy Premier was also quoted using vulgar language to describe Coalition colleague Mr Constance for entering the race.

When prodded about his reasons behind the withdrawal, Mr Constance said he “hadn’t signed up to, you know, contest federally to be called that type of smear”.

Mr Barilaro maintained he would not run for the seat, despite Mr Constance’s change of heart.

A composite image of two men, faces pointing away from each other
Andrew Constance and John Barilaro have been at loggerheads over the seat of Eden-Monaro.(AAP: Joel Carrett, Bianca De Marchi)

The Deputy Premier faced a second leak after a series of damaging text messages from Mr Barilaro to the party’s federal leader Michael McCormack became public.

“Don’t hide behind the ‘members will choose the candidate’ rubbish, as you were the only one saying such lines,” Mr Barilaro wrote.

“Don’t you think my branches would have backed me in?

“To feel threatened by me clearly shows you have failed your team and failed as a leader.

“You will never be acknowledged by me as our leader. You aren’t. You never will be.

“The Nats had a chance to create history, to change momentum, and you had a candidate that was prepared to risk everything to make it happen.

“What did you risk? Nothing. Hope you are proud of yourself.”

The following week, a senior member of the NSW Nationals called for leader John Barilaro to quit after a series of leaks showing his fury about standing for the seat of Eden-Monaro left his party “embarrassed”.

NSW Deputy Speaker Leslie Williams said she was left feeling “frustrated” and “disappointed” by Mr Barilaro after his spat with Liberal MP Andrew Constance last week.

Mr Barilaro has said he would not contest the 2023 state election and Ms Williams called on him to indicate his intentions “in either vacating the leadership or providing a timeline as to when that will happen”.

Labor has endorsed Bega Valley Mayor Kristy McBain as its candidate.

Bega Valley Mayor Kristy McBain stands outside the Bega bushfire recovery centre
Ms McBain is expected to receive strong support from Labor powerbrokers.(ABC South East NSW: Claire Wheaton)

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