9 July 2020

UPDATED: Fiona Kotvojs concedes defeat in Eden-Monaro

| Dominic Giannini
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Placards for Eden-Monaro

Placards for the 14 candidates in the Eden-Monaro by-election at an early polling centre in Queanbeyan. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

UPDATED: JULY 9 9pm: Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs has conceded defeat in the Eden Monaro by-election. In a statement, Dr Kotvojs says that “with only 1,000 to 2,000 votes still to count, the result for Eden-Monaro is now clear.

“I have spoken with Kristy McBain and congratulated her on being elected as the Member for Eden-Monaro. I wish Kristy and her family all the best as she takes on this new role”.

Describing 2020 as “a horrific year for all of us”, Dr Kotvojs thanked her supporters and called for unity across the electorate as communities struggle to recover from multiple disasters.

“To each person who took the time to consider and cast an informed vote (regardless of who it was for), you have contributed to our democratic process. May we never take it for granted, may we continue to value and uphold it, and may we always do the same for each other.

“As you can appreciate, I put much on hold for the campaign, so I’m looking forward to returning to some normality and spending time with my husband, family and friends. As I said, this community shaped who I am and I will always fight for it, but right now I have some fencing to do”, she said.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has now completed its counting of all the postal votes in its possession, putting Labor’s Kristy McBain ahead of the Liberals’ Fiona Kotvojs by 719 votes.

However, the AEC has not officially declared the election – despite McBain claiming victory the following day – as the number of postal votes that have not been returned exceeds the current margin between the top two candidates.

Around 5,000 postal ballots were counted on the night, but an additional 7,000 postal votes have been received by the AEC since election night.

More postal ballots are sent out that are returned at each election and residents have 13 days after the election to return their postal ballots, meaning an official result may not be known until next Friday (17 July) at the latest.

Anthony Albanese and Kristy McBain

Labor leader Anthony Albanese with Kristy McBain, who has claimed victory in the Eden-Monaro by-election. Photo: Anthony Albanese Twitter.

Australian Electoral Officer for NSW, Warwick Austin, said it was normal to be waiting for votes this late into the count.

“We will count the new postal votes that we receive in batches as they arrive but it is fair to expect that there won’t be movement on the tally room every day,” he said.

AEC counting teams have almost finished the mandatory second counts of ballots.

It is expected that postal votes will be received progressively over the next week but at a slower rate than in the first few days after polling day, the AEC said.

A full breakdown of the votes can be found on the AEC Tally Room website.

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Labor deciding to accept victory and accept the preference votes from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party would imply or give the impression that Labor supports the policies of relaxing gun control.

That’s a long bow there. Are you should know preferences in house of reps are made by the voter and there is no concept of accepting preferences.

But if you believe that then I guess you thought that because the Libs got in with One Nation preferences that then Libs support One Nation policies. As well as all the other right wing fringe parties.

And as it was announced before the election that the S,F&F Party would be sending their preferences to Labor, by extension the Greens also support those policies.

If not they could have sent their preferences elsewhere.

It’s amazing how flexibly morality is for political parties.

But all boxes had to be numbered, so it was the voters who determined the preferences, not the parties. This is not the same as when we voted on the tablecloth and vote above the line – the latter case is where the party preferences come into play.

” you should know preferences in house of reps are made by the voter and there is no concept of accepting preferences”

They do know, but it suits their narrative to distort the truth.

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