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Labor's Mike Kelly confirms Eden-Monaro lost to Liberal Peter Hendy

Former member for Eden Monaro Mike Kelly with his wife Rachelle Sakker-Kelly  after announcing his defeat to the Federal Election at Queanbeyan Park.

Former member for Eden Monaro Mike Kelly with his wife Rachelle Sakker-Kelly after announcing his defeat to the Federal Election at Queanbeyan Park. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Mike Kelly has conceded the seat of Eden-Monaro, citing leadership instability and media influence as partial causes of the loss.

Addressing the media in Queanbeyan, the Labor incumbent said he would be stepping aside in the bellwether seat, despite ongoing uncertainty over the final result.

“I felt it was important to end that uncertainty this morning, given that we feel the trend does not look good for us,” he said.

Liberal candidate for Eden-Monaro, Peter Hendy.

Liberal candidate for Eden-Monaro, Peter Hendy. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

The concession comes almost one week after the federal vote, with the latest figures showing the former Labor member 633 votes behind his Liberal challenger Peter Hendy.

Despite taking full responsibility for losing the seat, Mr Kelly said the “leadership and instability stuff” had impacted on his chances.

“That issue began back in 2010,” he said.

“That was the mistake that gave us the difficulties from then after… I thought 2010 was a major mistake.”

Mr Kelly said the Coalition’s campaign and its “debt and deficit narrative” had increased anxiety within the electorate, while the media had also impacted negatively on Labor’s chances nationally.

“There’s no secret there on the war that was being waged by certain elements of the media,” he said,

“That makes it tough.”

Speaking earlier to Fairfax Media, Mr Kelly acknowledged that key postal votes had been trending against him as the count entered its sixth day

“I thought a little while back, we might be able to scrape home,” he said.

“But at the end of the day, on Saturday, the feeling was we were going to fall a bit short.”

Having held the seat since 2007, Mr Kelly said he was proud of what Labor achieved and was sure either “Bill or Albo” would do an outstanding job leading the party in Opposition.

“I would just like to urge them all to hold true to defend the clean energy policy,” he said.

“It’s important, it’s important for our children’s future … I would actually ask the Coalition to revisit their position on both the NBN and the clean energy package.”

Mr Kelly said said he hoped Rudd would serve a full term, stating “I don’t think we should be having a by-election right now”.

Meanwhile, he hasn’t ruled out running for the “knife edge” seat of Eden-Monaro again.

“Because the vote was so close and because of the personal support I had, I’ll keep all my options open,” he said.

Mr Kelly is yet to contact Mr Hendy, though has congratulated him publicly.

Despite acknowledging Mr Kelly's "gracious" concession, Mr Hendy told Fairfax Media he would not claim the seat until the counting had been finalised.

"I haven't actually claimed the win yet, but I have seen he's conceded," he said.

"I was invited to the Liberal Party meeting. So, the party is quite confident that I'm going to win."

Mr Hendy said once officially appointed, his focus would be on ensuring no federal government jobs were cut from Eden-Monaro, as well as abolishing the carbon tax.

"One of the biggest issues that came up was the carbon tax and electricity prices," he said.

"I will be backing Tony Abbott to the hilt to get that abolished, hopefully by the end of the year."

Until then, Mr Hendy said he would enjoy a "quiet, congratulatory time" with his family.

49 comments

  • Even if Mike Kelly had won the seat of Eden Monaro in opposition he would hav ebeen completly useless.

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    Batemans Bay
    Date and time
    September 13, 2013, 7:56AM
    • "...he would hav ebeen completly useless."

      Rather like your spelling checker!

      Commenter
      Robert
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      September 13, 2013, 12:33PM
    • I think your comment is grossly unfair. Mike Kelly didn't get to be the member for Eden-Monaro by being "completely useless" and the fact that many of the voters in the constituency thought he was worth voting for is in itself ample testimony to the man.

      Commenter
      Ian
      Location
      Fremantle
      Date and time
      September 14, 2013, 1:07PM
  • hahaha!... How the weak have fallen...

    Commenter
    Shogunmatty
    Location
    Reality
    Date and time
    September 13, 2013, 7:57AM
    • there is nothing uglier than a gloating conservative, though great to see the ugliest of all is getting her wings clipped by the voters of Indi. Great start by Abbot - his Indonesian solution to the refugee issue is in tatters already. "stop the boats" -what a laugh!!

      Commenter
      Mulrob
      Date and time
      September 13, 2013, 1:05PM
  • Well well well Mike. That is what you get for being a Rudd supporter.

    Commenter
    Liberal time
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    September 13, 2013, 8:05AM
    • No tears here. Glad to see him go - he's nothing like the image he projects.

      Commenter
      RamRod - ACT
      Date and time
      September 13, 2013, 8:19AM
      • Now I understand what it is like for kiwis. Losing can still be fun when sophie sinks.

        Commenter
        peter
        Date and time
        September 13, 2013, 8:25AM
        • Good fight Mr Kelly.

          Commenter
          Beetle007
          Date and time
          September 13, 2013, 8:38AM
          • Well done Hendy. He wore out about three pairs of shoes during the campaign and now can offer all that private sector and industry experience within government to present the business perspective.

            Commenter
            Hacka
            Location
            Canberra
            Date and time
            September 13, 2013, 8:53AM

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