Labor’s Kristy McBain has claimed victory in the Eden-Monaro byelection, in a tight battle for the federal seat in regional NSW, home to many bushfire damaged communities.
The Australian Electoral Commission says McBain has secured 50.4 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, with Kotvojs trailing behind on 49.6 per cent. With postal votes still to be counted, Kotvojs has not yet conceded defeat.
Despite a small swing away from Labor, McBain, the former Mayor of Bega Valley, held a narrow lead over Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs since vote counting began on Saturday.
So Labor looks to have won the #EdenMonaro by-election. With 5,000 postals included, and with the preferences counts for the Queanbeyan pre-polls reported, Labor has 51.2% with only the Narooma and Jindabyne PPVCs plus remaining postals to come. #auspol https://t.co/eDMGb2Uezc— Antony Green (@AntonyGreenABC) July 4, 2020
McBain rose to national prominence for her leadership during the summer bushfire crisis, when she held emergency meetings across Bega Valley, Eden and Bermagui, providing critical information and assuring families they would not be forgotten.
At the time, Women’s Agenda listed her as one of a number of key female leaders to watch as cause for hope.
On Sunday night, before she had claimed victory, McBain assured Eden-Monaro constituents that when the spotlight fades, her resolve will not.
“I will continue to stand up for these regions that I know and love,” she said.
“I will continue to stand up for people effected by bushfires, I’ll continue to stand up for farmers, I’ll continue to stand up for mothers who need maternity services. I’ll continue to stand up for roads, better access to healthcare and education.”
I’m pleased and honoured to be elected the next Member for Eden-Monaro.— Kristy McBain (@KristyMcBain) July 5, 2020
To the people of Eden-Monaro – thank you.
I won’t let you down. pic.twitter.com/tTpIZguggB
On Monday, McBain said she would work with local leaders from all sides of politics to get outcomes for the electorate.
“I know there is a lot of work to do across this electorate and I’ll be required to work with everyone and anyone to make sure we get outcomes for our community. That’s what I’ve done as the Mayor of Bega Valley and that’s what I’ll continue to do as the member for Eden-Monaro.
“There are many state members across the Eden-Monaro electorate. Andrew Constance, John Barilaro, Wendy Tuckerman and Joe McGirr, and I look forward to working with them all.”
“I’m really pleased to be able to represent the people of Eden-Monaro, both the ones that voted for me and the ones that didn’t because I am now elected to represent everybody in this area and I’ll do my best to do that.”