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Kelly an unbackable favourite in Eden-Monaro

The bookies have Mike Kelly as the short-priced favourite to win the seat of Eden-Monaro at the May 18

Voters will go to the polls on May 18, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison triggered the federal election yesterday.

The PM said the election would offer a clear choice for voters.

“Keeping our economy strong is how we secure your future and your family’s future,” Mr Morrison said.

“Keeping our economy strong ensures that we can secure your wage, your job, your business and, importantly, the business you are going to work for today.”

“Now is not the time to turn back.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said his party was ready to deliver a fair go for Australia.

“The case to vote Labor is we will deliver more jobs, better health and education, take real action on climate change and renewable energy and help push energy prices down,” he said at a press conference in Melbourne.

“We’ll get on top of cost of living burdens and we’ll get wages moving again in this country.”

Notionally, the Coalition holds 73 seats and Labor 72 seats in the House of Representatives, which will expand to 151 seats at the election.

The Tumut region will vote in Eden-Monaro for the second successive election.

Labor’s Mike Kelly is the incumbent. In a three-cornered contest, the Nationals have put forward Yass farmer Sophie Wade, while the south coast’s Fiona Kotvojs is the Liberal hope.

Tumut’s Dave Sheldon is running as an independent, the Palmer United Party has Cooma’s Chandra Singh running, and the Greens have put forward Pat McGinley.

The bookies have Mr Kelly as an unbackable favourite to be returned.

He’s paying a miserly $1.05 with Sportsbet, despite the seat having changed hands at three of the last four elections, and Labor’s weaker than expected showing in the recent state election in the Monaro, and at Tumut polling booths.

At the 2016 election, Mr Kelly achieved a swing of 5.5 per cent to reclaim Eden-Monaro from Peter Hendy.

Mr Kelly won the vote at Tumut High (58 per cent of the vote, two party preferred), and Tumbarumba (63 per cent), and shared a 50-50 split at Tumut Public with Mr Hendy.

Mr Kelly’s price is shorter than the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, who’s at $1.22 to get back in his safe seat of Riverina.

Sportsbet has Eden-Monaro’s Coalition candidates  bracketed at $8 (in from $8.50 a week ago) and Mr Sheldon at $12.

The Greens are the long-shot at $56, and the United Australia Party is rated a $41 chance.

It’s a similar story nationally.

Bill Shorten’s Labor is the heavy favourite and continues to attract the bulk of the money with TAB as the two sides dig in for a five-week election campaign. The ALP currently sits at short odds of $1.18 with the Scott Morrison led Coalition $4.50 to win the February 18 poll.