Labor's Mike Kelly has drawn top spot on the ballot paper for the forthcoming federal election in Eden-Monaro.
The ballot draw, conducted by divisional returning officer Vivienne Robertson on Wednesday, also revealed a new candidate in the May 18 contest for the seat, which Dr Kelly won in 2016 with a 52.93 per cent majority.
The Christian Democratic Party (CDP) has also thrown its hat in the ring. Before now, the party was not known to be running in the 2019 election. The order was:
- Mike Kelly, Labor
- Fiona Kotvojs, Liberal
- Pat McGinlay, The Greens
- David Sheldon, independent
- Sophie Wade, The Nationals
- Thomas Harris, Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
- Chandra Singh, United Australia Party
- James Holgate, independent
Dr Kelly said the top position was "good news".
"In these tough and tense campaigns, you always look for any bit of encouragement," he said. "The campaign is, however, about the battle of ideas and that is what I am focused on."
Dr Kelly cited a better future for children in Eden-Monaro, more renewables, cheaper power and more jobs among his top policies.
Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs said it was "always advantageous to be first on the ballot" but believed voters would be wary of a Shorten Labor government.
"I believe the people of Eden-Monaro recognise the damage that a Shorten-led government would do to the economy and the impact of a Shorten government's additional tax on people, and will vote accordingly," she said.
The Greens' candidate, Pat McGinlay, also thought it was hard to beat the top spot, but was pleased to be at the upper end of the ballot.
He listed climate change, homelessness and education as key priorities for the electorate.
Unlike the state election, voters in the federal election will need to number every box next to each candidate and party on their ballot paper in order of their preference.