Booth map of the day: Gilmore


Gilmore is one of the two closest seats in terms of the final preference count, and is unique for being one of the few seats the Coalition had a feasible chance of gaining from Labor at the election.

Labor won Gilmore in 2019 for the first time in difficult circumstances for the Coalition. The previous member, Ann Sudmalis, retired under threat of losing preselection. The expected winner of the local preselection ended up running as an independent after a captain’s pick for the Liberal preselection, with the Nationals also running.

Things were very different for the Liberals this time, with former state minister Andrew Constance resigning from his state seat of Bega (promptly lost to Labor in a by-election) to contest Gilmore.

On the latest figures, Labor’s Fiona Phillips has won re-election by 373 votes, or 0.17% – the smallest margin by percentage, and the second-smallest margin by raw votes. This is a swing of 2.4% to Constance. The map in this post shows the two-party-preferred swings and percentages.

Most booths showed swings to the Liberal Party, although Phillips gained ground at the northern end of the seat, in booths around Berry, Kangaroo Valley, Jamberoo, Gerroa and Gerringong.

The largest swings to Constance appear to be around Batemans Bay, which is where Constance lives, and the only part of the seat that was part of Constance’s former state electorate. Swings in Milton-Ulladulla were much smaller, and swings in Nowra were also a bit smaller than Batemans Bay.

When looking at the percentages, Constance won most booths around Batemans Bay, and won a bunch of the rural booths in the northern Shoalhaven, but the bigger towns of Nowra, Ulladulla, Kiama and the booths on Jervis Bay all voted Labor.

Liked it? Take a second to support the Tally Room on Patreon!


  1. Constance did live around Batemans Bay during the bushfires and is strongly associated with that part of the electorate – including the state government’s big new bridge over the Clyde. But he has reportedly moved recently to Berry – one of the booths that swung Labor.

  2. The result hasn’t been officially declared yet and Andrew Constance will challenge the result. Fiona Phillips would’ve won it by a larger margin if Constance weren’t running. He really did have the home field advantage it seems in the southern parts, starting from Batemans Bay.

    Gilmore might be the next Eden-Monaro – a bellwether seat with a mix of inland towns and coastal towns and villages, attracting tree and sea changers.

    Eden-Monaro’s 2PP result (58%) was the best ever for the winner in decades because it was always marginal. It might be because there was a dud Liberal candidate or a strong Labor MP or because Canberra workers who can’t afford to live in Canberra have moved into the electorate, especially Queanbeyan. It may be a long-term marginal Labor seat from now on.

  3. AEC denied Constance’s recount request. Says they will be “publishing an updated time for a declaration of this seat in due course”.

    Nice to see them knock back on frivolous requests. 373 votes isn’t near close enough.

  4. 10:30 am tomorrow for the declaration.

    The swing to Constance in the south, where he formerly represented was expected. The north meanwhile mostly remained status quo or swung to Labor. I wonder how much of that might be due to the state MP Gareth Ward’s child sexual abuse charges.

  5. The more I look at the map, the more I find the “Gareth Ward effect” a compelling explanation. Nowra down to Uladulla is territory that isn’t in the seat of Bega but still swung substantially Liberal. North of Nowra is within the state electorate of Kiama and there’s an abrupt change to the swings, either becoming nil or swings towards Labor.

    It seems like this ended up being decisive in keeping the seat a narrow retain.

  6. So Malcolm Jr lost two seats for the Libs! Almost as stunning as his role as Minister for incorrectly sized vessels and trains in NSW transport – similar to Malcolm’s efforts with the NBN.

    I’d expect AEC accuracy is not up to it but, given the high number of preferences to assign was probably higher than usual such a small margin is within the error range?

  7. It was a narrow result and unlucky for Andrew Constance. He was trying to save face by asking for a recount. I wonder if Liberal Party HQ are upset with him and holding him responsible for making them lose Bega (state seat) and not even winning a seat federally. They probably wouldn’t want him to run for a state seat in 2023.

    I don’t even know the last time a state MP resigned mid-term to run for a federal seat and then lost.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here