Gellibrand – Australia 2019

ALP 15.1%

Incumbent MP
Tim Watts, since 2013.

Southwestern suburbs of Melbourne. Gellibrand covers most of the Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay council areas. Suburbs include Altona, Seaholme, Williamstown, Newport, Spotswood, Kingsville, Yarraville, Footscray, Laverton and Williams Landing.

Gellibrand shifted south-west, taking in Laverton, Laverton North, Williams Landing and part of Point Cook from Lalor. Gellibrand lost Ardeer, Sunshine, Tottenham and Brooklyn to Fraser, and lost West Footscray to Maribyrnong. These changes reduced the Labor margin from 18.2% to 15.1%.

Gellibrand was created for the expansion of the House of Representatives in 1949. It has always been won by the ALP.

Gellibrand was first won in 1949 by the ALP’s John Mullens, a former state MP for Footscray. Mullens was expelled from the ALP in 1955 and joined the ALP (Anti-Communist), which evolved into the Democratic Labor Party. He lost his seat at the 1955 election.

Hector McIvor defeated Mullens in 1955. He held the seat for the next seventeen years, retiring at the 1972 election.

Ralph Willis won Gellibrand in 1972. He joined the Labor frontbench after the 1975 election defeat. Willis served as Shadow Treasurer for most of the Fraser government, but was replaced by Paul Keating shortly before the 1983 election.

Willis served as a cabinet minister for the entirety of the Hawke government, and upon the election of Paul Keating as Prime Minister, he was appointed Treasurer. He served in that role until the 1996 election, and retired in 1998.

Gellibrand was won in 1998 by Nicola Roxon. Roxon was promoted to the shadow ministry in 2001 and was appointed Minister for Health in the Rudd government after the 2007 election. She served as Attorney-General from 2011 until February 2013, when she returned to the backbench, before retiring at the 2013 election.

Labor’s Tim Watts was elected in Gellibrand in 2013, and re-elected in 2016.


Gellibrand is a safe Labor seat.

2016 result

Tim Watts Labor 43,34046.9+0.946.2
Ben Willis Liberal 24,60726.6-0.129.8
Jonathon Marsden Greens 19,85521.5+4.819.0
David TranIndependent4,6155.0+5.03.1

2016 two-party-preferred result

Tim Watts Labor 63,06068.2+1.765.1
Ben Willis Liberal 29,35731.8-1.734.9

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Gellibrand have been divided into three parts: north-east, south-east and south-west.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 62.9% in the south-west to 72.2% in the north-east.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 12.2% in the south-west to 33.1% in the north-east.

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes17.964.214,09315.7

Election results in Gellibrand at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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  1. Greens could definitely come 2nd – surely losing Sunshine helped their 3PP. The question then is whether Watts will win on primaries, or on Liberal preferences. Watts is a rising star that the Liberals could snuff out, but the Liberals will be less inclined to do that with Right faction MPs.

    Greens are actively targeting Footscray and Williamstown at the state election – both seats having retiring local ALP members. Liberals will decide those seats too.

  2. Ben’s table has the Greens primary vote dropping from 21.5 to 19.0. The removal of Sunshine may help the Greens, but the excision of parts of Footscray and the westward extension into Wyndham LGA more than counters that.

    This is still a safe Labor seat.

  3. Yes, the changes have ended up improving (relatively) the Liberal position rather than the Greens. The new boundary splits the strong Greens areas around Footscray and Yarraville into two different seats. You can see the Green vote starts falling off markedly outside of Maribyrnong Council.

    The Liberals actually have a decent base vote in Williamstown, Altona/Seaholme, and Point Cook, and these changes unite most of this area in one seat. I think it would be very difficult for the Greens to overcome the Liberals on these boundaries.

  4. Tim Watts hasn’t brought in a single Federal dollar to Gellibrand as it’s a safe Labor seat. He doesn’t need to do anything to be returned. Hopefully the residents of Gellibrand send him a message that he actually needs to actively work for his constituents instead of ‘tweeting’ (he tweets over 30 times a day) and pulling ‘pranks’ in Parliament.


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