Gilmore – Australia 2022

ALP 2.6%

Incumbent MP
Fiona Phillips, since 2019.

Gilmore covers parts of the south coast and the southern Illawarra. This includes the entirety of the City of Shoalhaven and Kiama LGA, and northern parts of the Eurobodalla council area. The southernmost significant settlement is Moruya.


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. The  seat was considered marginal after the 1996 and 1998 elections, but a large swing in 2001 saw Gash hold the seat 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.

In 2013, Gash was succeeded by Liberal candidate Ann Sudmalis, who won despite a 2.7% swing to Labor. Sudmalis suffered a further 3% swing in 2016, but narrowly won a second term.

Sudmalis retired in 2019, and a contentious Liberal preselection resulted in the imposition of a candidate, and the leading preselection candidate running as an independent. A former state minister also ran as a Nationals candidate. Labor candidate Fiona Phillips defeated this crowded conservative field.


Gilmore is a very marginal seat that has usually gone with the Liberal Party, but Phillips should benefit from her new incumbency.

2019 result

Fiona Phillips Labor 38,97236.2-3.0
Warren Mundine Liberal 31,42729.2-16.1
Katrina Hodgkinson Nationals 13,46212.5+12.5
Carmel Mary Mccallum Greens 10,74010.0-0.5
Grant SchultzIndependent7,5857.0+7.0
Milton LeslightUnited Australia Party3,6383.4+3.4
Serah KolukulapallyChristian Democratic Party1,8531.7-3.3

2019 two-party-preferred result

Fiona Phillips Labor 56,65252.6+3.3
Warren Mundine Liberal 51,02547.4-3.3

Booth breakdown

Booths in Gilmore have been divided into five areas. Polling places in Eurobodalla 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, Jervis Bay and Ulladulla.

The ALP won the election-day vote in all five areas, ranging from 53.5% of the two-party-preferred vote in Kiama to 57.8% in Jervis Bay. Labor won the pre-poll vote more narrowly and lost the other votes (including postal votes) narrowly.

Voter groupGRN primNAT primALP 2PPTotal votes% of votes
Batemans Bay10.810.255.09,9269.2
Jervis Bay9.812.157.89,0808.4
Other votes11.310.149.79,9269.2

Election results in Gilmore at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party, the Nationals and the Greens.

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  1. I thought this would be a Liberal gain on the line of the large retiree population here thinking “Morrison saved us from COVID” but now with the botched vaccine rollout I am not as sure.

  2. Marko
    Much as it’s attractive to blame Morrison for just about everything,”the botched vaccine rollout ” is really out there. Clearly (the real reason is) it’s just good ole aussie ambivalence, & resistance to control !!

    This seat’s result stands as some kind of monument to regional parochialism. Or if you, like a salutary warning to all parties about “parachute candidates”. It’s pretty obvious that if Grant (Sergeant !) Schultz had held the Lib nomination Fiona Phillips wouldn’t have won. The Nets fielding a candidate din’t help either.
    I’d expect Philips to gain a solid sophomore swing of as much as 2%.

    Phillips is a typical “Emily’s Lister” (female obviously) Labor MP. As such she illustrates perfectly the limitations, liabilities, & flaws of such posturing, & perfectionism. If the labor party operatives set out to deliberately,& cynically exploit this policy, they couldn’t do it better. If they understood the enneagram they couldn’t manipulate nominations better !!. Apart from the the odd showy “star” they choose compliant Type 9s
    If i were a female i’d probably be convinced it’s all some dark, evil, male powerbroker strategy to entrench the status quo.!! Unfortunately no one in the Labor Party is that bright, let alone awake!

    As a Peacemaker/Mediator type 9 Phillips will steadily, if not obsessively continue on. She will not challenge the power brokers, aspire to higher office, harbour ambitions or make much noise. Unless of course whats happening in Patterson, to Merryl Swanston, starts happening to her. Can’t see that happening.

  3. Labor will not hold Gilmore. They got lucky last time because the Liberal party put Mundine in place. Not only will they lose Gilmore but this won’t even be close

    6-7% swing to the Liberal party based on COVID, voters here will reward Morrison and Berejiklian for keeping them safe.

    What on earth has the sitting member done for the electorate for the past 3 years? I know someone who lives here and they said they heard nothing or saw nothing from her!

  4. LAB benefited in this seat from a 5-way split of the CR-RW Vote (if you include the Ind, UAP and CDP). If this doesn’t happen, then LIB should have won this seat.

    This is a must win now for LIB, if they are to prevent the sophomore surge taking control of the seat.

  5. Daniel
    I’d be really surprised if Phillips has stopped campaigning in Gilmore . She had 2 really solid go’s to win 2nd time. What do you expect of an opposition backbencher, other than to try to convince voters that she is a good, & decent person?. Gilmore had their chance to elect a very influential representative . They buggered it up !. They could have backed Keating’s horse -“self interest”!!. That nag didn’t win in Gilmore !

    Do really see a swing of 6-7% ? That is massive.

    Yep everyone agrees about 2019. The next redistribution will push Gilmore south & Add 15-20000 mostly labor voters. so Gilmore will be Labor for some time.
    cheers WD

  6. Gilmore is a fair way over quota now. The southern areas could be moved to Eden Monaro which would allow E-M to lose the areas west of the Great Divide (Tumut and Tumbarumba). That would benefit the Libs in Gilmore and the ALP in E-M. And beyond that, help fix the abomination that is Hume.

  7. Redistributed
    True. However i don’t see how both things can be done. The AEC has repeatedly rejected the (lib) contrivance of putting the highlands into Gilmore, as with Campbelltown with Cunningham. They do like closing options, & then humiliating themselves by randomly adopting the same>>>!

    IF whitlam loses the Highlands to Hume, it will take more than Kiama LGA to balance. therefore Gilmore would have to move further south. Ultimately E-M will probably take Goulburn from Hume, & lose the west. THE end result will benefit Labor in Gilmore, & not in E-M. Either way the Hume issue will need to be addressed. Though i would add that all affected seats would become more “Compact”& future movements would have more inbuilt flexibility. IOW the AEC might not get itself in such an F….G MESS !

  8. I see Labor holding on here. It seems like the main Liberal voting demographics on the coast are trending Labor. I don’t think the demographics of the Eden Monaro byelection swings can be entirely attributed to McBain’s local popularity.

    Eden Monaro has LNP trending inland towns areas to make up for it, but I could see Gilmore maybe even becoming a safe Labor seat.

  9. country seats are very loyal to sitting members what ever their party…… more so those who have multiple attempts before victory……. think Eden Monaro Lyons in wa… state level…… Albany, Collie- preston etc
    of Forgot….. Macquarie although does not fit exactly

  10. This seat shouldn’t even be contested by the Liberals. They don’t care about the regional communities here. I hope Katrina and the Nats contest again, the Libs and Labor are failed brand names

  11. My local seat. Fiona Phillipps is definitely visible in the Northern Part of the Electorate and considering she hails from the Centre/South of the Electorate, I would expect that is her working on recognition in the areas she is less well known. Last election was an absolute disaster for parties of the Right – you would expect they have learned from 3 cornered contests and the Libs have learned not to air their dirty laundry in public view – with the factional fighting and imposition of an outsider. If the Libs can find a well regarded local candidate this would be close. There was expectation that Gareth Ward would move to Federal Politics and he would have regained the seat for the Libs in a canter. Not so now and not sure who is coming to fill that gap. I expect the work Phillips has put in, as well as the poorly organised opposition will see her hold this seat.

  12. We will have to see what the effect of the NSW statewide lockdown will be to give a clearer indication of what will happen at the next Federal election. Therefore, I do believe this will be a toss-up and can potentially go either way. However, if the situation in NSW deteriorates then the impact of federal drag will greatly improve Phillips chances of re-election.

  13. Live in the electorate. Never seen Phillips. Then again never saw liberal member either. But a blow in like Mundine was guarantee NOT to win the sear. Now the state liberal member Garth Ward has been actively working with the constituents. He does represent us and makes a difference.
    Liberals at a federal level are an embarrassment. I think Phillips will retain.

  14. Nine News reporting that Andrew Constance will resign from NSW Parliament to run in Gilmore. I think Lib brand seems to be on the nose, but Constances seems to be a relatively competent and popular figure. Labor should probably be very worried about this, specially if the Nats don’t run.

  15. It would be interesting to see what kind of polling the Libs have in the north of the seat which Constance doesn’t have the advantage of incumbency for the state seats of Kiama and South Coast. The only overlap the federal seat of Gilmore and the state seat of Bega really has is the southern tip of the federal seat around Batemans Bay and Moruya. So, Constance would have to campaign strongly in Kiama and Shoalhaven. With criminal charges also pending for Gareth Ward, I would also want to know how this would affect the Libs chances in this part of the seat and whether we would be seeing him on the campaign trail, despite him moving to the crossbench.

    Also, wonder what happens now with the voluntary assisted dying bill which looks doomed if Perrottet or Stokes becomes Premier and Constance is out of parliament altogether. Probably finished.

    However, if things go south during the ICAC investigation for Gladys Berejiklian (and/or if Gareth Ward is convicted) and the flow on effect goes to the incoming Premier and surrounds the state government that Constance was an integral part of, I would expect Labor to strongly campaign negatively on that Constance was there in Cabinet when she made these decisions. With Fiona Phillips free to campaign strongly without any real baggage, It looks like an uphill battle for Constance to try and regain Gilmore for the Libs.

    However, it isn’t impossible for Constance to win it though due to the long history of Gilmore being a Liberal seat (however, by mostly having a strong incumbent), last time the Nats and Independent ruined it for the Libs through vote splitting, protesting the Scomo’s decision installing the captain’s pick of Warren Mundine as their candidate.

    Also, voters need also to be reminded of Andrew Constance’s abortive bid for Eden-Monaro and his trainwreck interview he gave when he withdrew his candidacy, plus now he looks like seat shopping by trying his luck at the seat next door.

  16. It would be a crazy / brave move by Constance considering the state of the polls at present. He does have the advantage of living in the seat ( rather than Eden- Monaro) and he has a high profile. I wonder if there is an arrangement where Constance runs for Gilmore and Barilaro for E-M. Somebody of Constance’s stature might also be able to restore some semblance of order to what is evidently a highly disfunctional Liberal Party in the Shoalhaven region.

  17. interesting I suspected there was more of an overlap of Bega and Gilmore……. Gilmore like its southern Neighbour Eden Monaro tends to be loyal to its Mps. Bega also can reflect the political climate and is not certain as a liberal Win.As much as I hate to admit it……Constance probably has a personal vote there….. so the 6 to 7% margin of 2019 will be smaller.

  18. I think Constance has a chance but the suburbs south of Wollongong in the Illawarra are only going to get redder and he would have to make up ground in Sussex and Nowra and with the possibility of a very public corruption inquiry into Gladys it should harm his chances. It’s possible but Fiona Phillips is also well liked and will now have the incumbency factor

  19. Strongest chance of a Liberal gain even better than Macquarie,

    Constance is an outstanding member of his party and being a moderate like Sudmalis he is a perfect fit for this seat. His seat of Bega may even flip to Labor because of his departure. Labor should be very worried about this although I wouldn’t write them off as if the government is on the nose they probably won’t win this.

    However I could see Labor getting a strong minority or small majority and still lose this seat. It would be funny if this ends up being one of the only Liberal gains and Labor gets government, this seat may become an anti-bellwether seat for backing the loser.

  20. @Daniel, Sudmalis is not a moderate, she voted for Tony Abbott in the 2015 Lib spill and frequently clashed with Gareth Ward.

  21. I want Fiona Phillips to win Gilmore because Labor hasn’t been re-elected in Gilmore yet + haven’t had a labor governing mp since 1996, when labor lost the election & the seat held by Peter Knott, that lost to Joanna gash.

  22. Nikki Savva has reported there is speculation that Andrew Constance may pull out of preselection. Constance has already ruled out being selected by another captain’s pick for Gilmore which reading between the lines he may not think he has the numbers.

    ‘Speculation is also rife that Morrison’s preferred candidate for Gilmore, Andrew Constance, might reconsider rather than face a preselection contest against popular local lawyer Paul Ell who remains determined to fight for the must-win seat.’

  23. Paul Ell will lose. I don’t see a conservative winning this seat. There is a reason party insiders and Morrison want Constance to be the candidate and it wouldn’t surprise me if they convinced him to run.

    I’m all in for democratic preselection’s however Prime Minister PLEASE intervene for the good of the country. We can’t afford another conservative hack having a chance of being in the caucus.

    Labor will easily win this seat if a neoliberal conservative is chosen for the Liberals.

  24. Who is suggesting that? Everyone knows the Libs are corrupt, they just do it differently than Labor. Remember Morrison’s great idea for Gilmore last time!?

  25. Not a lot of Bega is in Gilmore..most if that electorate is in Eden Monaro. Of course the seat is in play because of the small margin….. But does the sitting alp member build a personal vote? half the seat is Kiama… where the sitting state mp is in police trouble….also the seat is full of a nest of vipers within the libs..

  26. If you want to read tea leaves from council elections, Greens and Labor both picked up swings in Kiama and Shoalhaven. Shoalhaven has a reelected Green mayor, tlargely due to conservative vote splitting (similar to what may have gotten Phillips elected). This time she has a majority Green/Labor on council. It seems like Kiama will have a progressive council too (2 Labor, 2 Greens and 5 independents, one being a troubled former Labor MP).

    Not sure what that ultimately means for the parties federally here, except that it’s fine to talk about Labor and Greens in the same breath here. Green->Labor preference flows were stronger than National->Liberal last time and I expect that will be repeated.

    (Hard to get a read on Eurobodalla – a Green councillor and a Labor councillor got elected but it’s dominated by independents from several different tickets.)

  27. I believe that Labor will hold onto both Gilmore and Eden Monaro though narrowly. I dispute the claim that the New South Wales government’s strong handling of the Covid pandemic will be rewarded with votes. I believe, based on what we are seeing with rising Omiicron case numbers in NSW that the reverse is more likely in that the Coalition will feel the brunt of anger, because Scott Morrison has strenuously supported the NSW government’s “Let it Rip” approach. There is residual ill feeling in parts of Gilmore over the Federal Government’s handling of the bush fire emergency there last year and the lack of promised associated infrastructure spending

  28. I believe that Labor will hold onto both Gilmore and Eden Monaro though narrowly. I dispute the claim that the New South Wales government’s strong handling of the Covid pandemic will be rewarded with votes. I believe, based on what we are seeing with rising Omicron case numbers in NSW that the reverse is more likely in that the Coalition will feel the brunt of anger, because Scott Morrison has strenuously supported the NSW government’s “Let it Rip” approach. There is residual ill feeling in parts of Gilmore over the Federal Government’s handling of the bush fire emergency there last year and the lack of promised associated infrastructure spending

  29. Betting odds have the Coalition as slight favourites, paying $1.80 to Labor’s $1.90. I wonder if Phillips will get a sophomore surge, or whether it’d be drowned out by Constance’s media profile.

  30. In the seats of Gilmore and Eden-Monaro – people still remember the fires and the poor support from the current Government. This means that Constance is the best beat the Government has, based on his current standing.

  31. Greens have preselected Carmel McCallum again for the seat What surprises me more than anything is considering the good result in Shoalhaven Council why the state and federal seats see such different results, and also why they wouldn’t be long term targets by the local Greens that get candidates running across multiple elections (state and fed) trying to build their profile to eventually win a state seat?

  32. I live in the seat of Gilmore out by the shores of Jervis Bay at Callala Bay. I have seen nothing of Ms Phillips since the last election. Her win I put down to the people residing in the seat who are not interested in change as long as they can get around the area without much infrastructure, which suits most of them. Their stubbornness means the rest of us see nothing in the future for the area. I have tried to have a light installed on the jetty at the boat ramp so people can walk safely on it at night and fish there if they want to. I was advised nothing would be done because the houses edging onto that area would be disadvantaged of their views of the Bay at night if there was a light. Get that! The boat ramp is extremely dangerous in rough weather which can hit the bay quickly and getting boats out of the water and passengers safely onshore is fraught with danger. This issue has been constant in the 11 years I have lived here and the story is always the same …. it’s being discussed! We have a small shopping centre that doesn’t cater for the influx of visitors each holiday season and there is no motel, no camping area, no hotel, nothing at all for the people who live here let alone visitors. Most either rent a house for their holiday or park their van or pitch their tent on the front lawn of a relative or friend. There is one golf club at Callala Beach, very small and members only. This is how the locals who have lived here for decades want it to stay and it appears Mrs Phillips is only too willing to allow this to be. In the recent tremendous rainfall we have just experienced, the only two roads into our community had been dug up all along their lengths for resurfacing. The main road out to the Princes Highway had to be closed due to how dangerous it was as the dirt turned to mud, and the other road which travels up the coast and accesses other communities on the coast was the only dangerous way in or out. My son had to use it to get into Nowra to work and almost lost his car on one trip as it skidded in the mud. School buses had to travel on this road to get High School children to Nowra to their schools as there is only a Primary School here and as supplies diminished in the supermarket one would guess that suppliers refused to come out here. There is no safe swimming area for children or adults and the only pools are in Nowra. Can anyone believe that an area by the sea with a Primary School has no facility for the children to learn to swim at? The only things done for us out here are patchworking of potholes in streets and roads, lawn mowing of the parks and walkways between streets, and cleaning of public conveniences at the boat ramp and another small park between Callala Bay and Callala Beach. I wonder what our rates pay for and it’s not hard to know it’s everywhere but here! So let’s hope there will be change at the next election and we will see some action from new blood. We have no hope now with a Green council and a Labor Federal member!

  33. Vena – I suggest you complain to your state representative…oh dear! That’s Mr Ward. Guess you’ll be waiting a while for a response.
    The other option is to write/email council stating your concerns. We all know that something in writing cannot be ignored, whereas a phone call might be.
    Furthermore, the state of the roads right down the east coast of this country have been badly effected by the recent storms. In addition to the horrendous bush fires in 2019/2020, then followed by a pandemic.
    Too much development in these small villages will have an impact on the existing environment, which is struggling to recover as it is.
    The last thing those of us who live on the south coast want is overdevelopment.
    Take a long hard look at the central coast of NSW. What a horrifying prospect.

  34. Seven candidates, in order of ballot:

    – Constance (LIB)
    – Digiglio (IND)
    – McCallum (GRN)
    – EID (ONP)
    – FADINI (Liberal Democrats)

    There were seven candidates in 2019. May not be a high profile split, but many “RIGHT” leaning candidates in this race again. Not sure what that may bring. Only visible candidate in race is Phillips.

    I suspect this is a Phillips (ALP) retain.

  35. Easy liberal gain scomo stuffed up with his captains pick of a former Labor party president. With such a high profile ex nsw minister on the liberal ticket should easy recover the lost 2019 vote

  36. Ben you are right in that Scomo stuffed up last time and Constance is a very strong candidate but there is no such thing as an easy Liberal gain this election. I’d suspect Phillips to retain on a similar margin as last time, the nationwide swing to the ALP will cancel out the other factors at play here.

  37. I live in the far north of this Electorate and can honestly say that Fiona Phillips has been highly visible since being elected. There is no doubt the captains pick and splitting of the vote with the Nationals running last time helped her get across the line, but the reverse is not true in my opinion. While Constance has a high profile, this is concentrated in the southern part of the seat. I suspect his candidacy will soften the swing that would be on in that part of the electorate following Morrison’s poor showing in the bushfires of 19. Nothing more.

  38. Probably agree with both of you midnight citizen and Illawarra observer. In fact fiona Philips actually achieved a swing to her when she first contested Gilmore in 2016 against then incumbent ann sudmalis, so she does have a strong local appeal.

    Although I probably have a view that constance might be able to reduce the already narrow margin even further, perhaps a slight chance (maybe <30%) of winning. Definitely a toss up seat and not fully secure for Labor.

  39. Problem for Andrew Constance is that he is more well known as the Transport Minister in the Berejiklian government in the northern parts of this electorate, for which is record is pretty chequered especially when he bought ferries from overseas that didn’t fit under bridges and trains also from overseas that would not properly fit platforms. His home base is in Batemans Bay, which is the southernmost part of the electorate, so he will be working the northern part around Kiama and Nowra which is still quite distant from Batemans Bay and has a different profile.

    Also, Gareth Ward with pending sexual assault charges draws a long shadow over Shoalhaven and Kiama and his appearance on the campaign trail could prove problematic for Constance, although I understand he has been kicked out of the party, however he has still been making appearances at schools in his capacity as member for Kiama, which is quite disturbing.


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