Gilmore – Australia 2013

LIB 5.3%

Incumbent MP
Joanna Gash, since 1996.

Gilmore covers parts of the south coast and the southern Illawarra. This includes the entirety of the City of Shoalhaven and Kiama LGA. It also includes a small part of Shellharbour. The southernmost significant settlement is Ulladulla.

Gilmore was created in 1984 when the House of Representatives was expanded in 1984. The seat was first held by the National Party’s John Sharp until 1993, when he moved to the nearby seat of Hume. Sharp served in the first Howard cabinet until he resigned over the travel rorts affair in 1997.

The seat was won by the ALP’s Peter Knott in 1993, and he was defeated by Joanna Gash of the Liberal Party in 1996. Gash has held the seat ever since. The  seat was considered marginal after the 1996 and 1998 elections, but a large swing in 2001 saw the seat held by a much larger margin. This was cut back to a margin of about 4% in 2007.

Gilmore’s boundaries were redrawn before the 2010 election, making the seat a notional Labor seat. Gash gained a 5.7% swing.

Gash announced her impending retirement in 2012, and was elected as the directly-elected Mayor of Shoalhaven.

Sitting Liberal MP Joanna Gash is not running for re-election.

Gilmore is considered to be one of the most vulnerable Liberal seats in New South Wales, but should remain in Liberal hands.

2010 result

Joanna GashLIB44,05050.93+5.15
Neil ReillyALP30,43035.18-6.83
Ben van der WijngaartGRN8,2799.57+1.49
Bohdan BrumerskyjCDP2,3102.67+0.18
Elizabeth CunninghamFF7810.90+0.50
Don KeysLDP3740.43+0.28
Annette WilliamsSEC2750.32+0.32

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Joanna GashLIB47,85055.32+5.73
Neill ReillyALP38,64944.68-5.73
Polling places in Gilmore at the 2010 federal election. Kiama in purple, Milton-Ulladulla in yellow, Nowra-Bomaderry in blue, Shellharbour in orange, Sussex Inlet-Jervis Bay in green. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Gilmore at the 2010 federal election. Kiama in purple, Milton-Ulladulla in yellow, Nowra-Bomaderry in blue, Shellharbour in orange, Sussex Inlet-Jervis Bay in green. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into five areas. Polling places in Shellharbour and Kiama council areas have been grouped along council boundaries. Those polling places in Shoalhaven have been divided in three. From north to south these are: Nowra-Bomaderry, Sussex Inlet-Jervis Bay and Milton-Ulladulla.

The Liberal Party won a majority in four out of five areas, varying from 53.3% in Kiama to 59.5% in Nowra-Bomaderry. The ALP won a large 61.7% majority in the Shellharbour area.

Voter groupGRN %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Sussex Inlet-Jervis Bay7.7554.8712,88214.89
Other votes9.1458.7427,60031.91
Two-party-preferred votes in Gilmore at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Gilmore at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Kiama and Shellharbour parts of Gilmore at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Kiama and Shellharbour parts of Gilmore at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Nowra at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Nowra at the 2010 federal election.


  1. Rudd is very popular in regions like that add a councillor running for labor who has had more than one shot now and a departing Liberal MP with a high personal vote could equate to a slim labor margin if rudd takes them to the election

  2. Observer
    Good points, all true. I wonder how popular Kev is in Shoalhaven LGA, or how long he remain so.

  3. Would imagine Gash had a large personal vote, so an upset is possible, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  4. Morgieb
    Yeah Gash seems to have been extraordinary. Not sure on details but i think she got big swings in the northern areas, in the last election. The solid Labor areas.

  5. Well this seat becomes very interesting now. Gash attracts a huge personal vote, the most of any coalition MP. However she only held it by 5%. Neil Reilly is a good local candidate and is now the closest to incumbent having run multiple times. He also serves on council indicating he probably has some achievements to boost his credentials.
    Therefore Kiama should swing to labor, Shoalhaven will hold and possibly strengthen for the liberals which will make it difficult for labor to gain. If however the liberals vote dips elsewhere in the electorate, then labor could still make this a rare gain in NSW (along with Macquarie, and Bennelong will be close if labor finds a strong local candidate).

  6. From word on the street is that since Rudd became PM again their voting has changed to Labor. With Gash damaging Ann with an 8% hike in the rates and sacking half the council. People are starting to talk, from what I am seeing this is going to be a labor seat at the next election!

  7. I imagine the swing to the Libs in the northern parts of this electorate are a result of the Libs running a serious campaign in Gilmore, which they don’t do in Throsby, where those suburbs were prior to the redistribution.

    Labor in with a shot? Perhaps, but this is a pretty rock solid retiree belt which tends to favour the Libs. I’d like to see some polling.

  8. The only thing that stopped Labor winning this in 2007 and 2010 was Joanna Gash. It will be very interesting to see what happens now that she’s gone.

  9. Having just spent a week here on holidays with friends, I noticed a certain feeling that this seat may swing to Labor this time but not enough for Neil Reilly to win on this occasion. Ann Sudmalis has been campaigning hard in this seat to keep it in Liberal hands, however people are use to the popular vote of Joanna Gash here and really is the reason they vote Liberal. Ann is smart by tagging her name as close to Jo as possible to minimize the swing. I’d call it as a Liberal retain for 2013, with possibly a 3% swing against the Liberal Party.

  10. I think that this seat will be difficult for the libs to hold. Considering that Gash is this really popular MP and the margin is only 5% I’d be worried if i were the lib candidate. Just looking at the senate vote in the electorate, if that were the HOR vote, then the ALP would hold this seat with a margin of 2.99%. With Neil Reiley as the closest incumbent this time round, I think the libs will have to give this seat some attention. Just remember this seat use to have a notional labor margin so its not a traditional liberal seat if you take Gash running as the main reason the libs held the seat

  11. 38.21 for the ALP, 36.76 for the libs, 10.04 for the greens, 14.99 for others. In the HOR vote, 55% of others went to the libs and 80% of greens went to the ALP, equalling a hypothetical 2PP of 52.99% in favour of the ALP

  12. Couple of points for this seat:
    * Jo Gash had a massive personal following
    * Last campaign there was a massive amount of $ thrown at this seat by Libs
    * Many residents at last election mentioned couldnt vote for gillard after what she did to rudd
    * Neil Reilly only had a couple of months to campaign last time
    * Ann Sudmalis ran against Matt Brown and he was one of the only NSW state mps to not have a swing against him
    * Ann Sudmalis poor campaigner and looks weak running off her partners credibilty as former federal member

  13. Liberals will probably hold, but a Labor win wouldn’t surprise.
    The departure of Gash, one of Howard’s 96ers whose continuous successes in holding marginal seats had much to do with Howard’s longevity in office, should hurt the Liberals, at least in theory. When Gillard was leading Labor, I felt that Gillard’s massive unpopularity arguably would balance out the loss of Gash’s personal vote. But with Rudd leading Labor now, even with the scandals surrounding NSW Labor figures over the years, I’m not so sure.

  14. It makes sense. If you look at the 2010 senate vote in the seat, you’ll find that ALP + Greens + Sex Party = 50.25%. Add the Socialist parties, the Communist party, the Secular party, and Kernot’s independent ticket, and you’ve got 51.31%. Joanna Gash had a significant personal vote by the looks of it, and I’d suggest that, with her resigning, Labor should be very slightly ahead, prior to any swing. A slight swing in the Liberals’ favour would make sense, putting this truly on a knife edge.

  15. The sense I have is that Gilmore is very probably a Labor gain after preference distribution from The Greens, who I think might poll surprisingly well.

    Ann Sudmalis is not being received very well, appearing to many to just be an old “Howard” nostalgic hack

  16. I originally thought this was a chance of a Labor gain given a number of factors, but I doubt it will be now given the general trend in NSW.

  17. I think you will see swings across all of NSW, however, I’d agree that it looks like being larger in Sydney and the Hunter. I don’t think there will be swings to Labor in seats such as Eden Monaro, Page, Richmond, but probably will be in Gilmore.

  18. Gilmore will be an interesting one on election night. Tough for the ALP to win but it may be one of a bunch of seats that surprise. It would be nice to see a local poll in the last week.

  19. A redistribution is likely before the next election, which could affect the notional margin and reduce the “sophomore surge” if it alters the boundaries of this electorate.

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