Mike Kelly confident of return as Eden-Monaro MP

Mike Kelly had claimed victory in the marginal seat of Eden-Monaro, promising to represent all voters.

"No matter how you voted, I will be a member for everyone," the returned MP said after claiming the seat for Labor on Monday, May 20.

WIN CLAIMED: Labor candidate for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly, with his supporters at the Queanbeyan Leagues Club. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

WIN CLAIMED: Labor candidate for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly, with his supporters at the Queanbeyan Leagues Club. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

His win comes despite a tight race against Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs, and a national swing against Labor at the May 18 Federal Election.

However, with 83.29 per cent of ballots counted, Dr Kelly was happy to claim the win on 50.96 per cent of the two-candidate preferred vote.

"It's beyond a doubt now," Dr Kelly said.

Dr Kelly has held the seat since 2016 and had remained confident of re-election over the weekend.

Dr Kotvojs, with 49.04 per cent of votes, is yet to concede defeat and could not be contacted for comment.

Eden-Monaro has traditionally been a bellwether seat, with the party claiming it expected to form government; however that trend was broken in 2016 and again this election.

Dr Kelly said he was particularly keen to start work on establishing a high-tech space hub at Jerrabomberra and duplicating the Barton Highway, but with the Coalition to form government, the former soldier and army lawyer will sit another term in Opposition.

However, Dr Kelly said he was proud of his campaign and would continue to help constituents with every day tasks.

"I have written over 60,000 letters in my time and I will continue to support the community with things like Centrelink," he said.

"Another part of my job is to bring people together for projects ... and, outside of the election, we should all be working together.

"I have great relationships with John Barilaro (NSW Deputy Premier), Linda Reynolds (likely to be defence minister) and Michael McCormack (Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister)," he said.

Dr Kelly said one of his first plans was to lobby Ms Reynolds to support the space hub.

Dr Kelly said he'd been able to "force the opposition's hand on issues that were previously ignored" including on funding for the Barton Hwy, a primary school in Murrumbateman and construction of Dunns Creek Road in Queanbeyan.

"I will try and have success with the new maternity ward at Yass Hospital and more funding for TAFE again, but the current government isn't pro-TAFE and we may have to wait until the next election," Dr Kelly said.

The federal Labor Party had committed $2 million to create renewable energy and sustainable development TAFE courses to provide skilled workers for projects such as Snowy Hydro 2.0.

Dr Kelly feared the Coalition's promised $1.5 billion public service cuts and the effect on public servants living in Yass, Murrumbateman, Bungendore and Queanbeyan.

"I will be campaigning against that," Dr Kelly said.

He said he had not expected Labor to lose the federal election.

This story Mike Kelly claims victory for Labor in Eden-Monaro first appeared on Yass Tribune.