Kiama – NSW 2019

LIB 8.7%

Incumbent MP
Gareth Ward, since 2011.

South coast. Kiama covers Kiama local government areas and parts of the neighbouring Shellharbour and Shoalhaven council areas, along with a small peripheral part of the City of Wollongong. The seat stretches from Albion Park in the north to Bomaderry in the south.

The current incarnation of the electoral district of Kiama has existed since 1981, and has always been won by the ALP. There was a previous single-member district of Kiama from 1859 to 1904.

Kiama was created at the 1981 election. Throughout the 1970s Kiama had been part of the district of Wollondilly. The first member for Kiama was the ALP’s Bill Knott. Knott had been elected Member for Wollondilly in 1978. He moved to Kiama in 1981 and was re-elected in 1984. He retired on medical grounds in 1986.

The 1986 by-election was won by the Labor candidate, Shellharbour mayor Bob Harrison. He won re-election in 1991 and 1995, retiring in 1999.

Kiama was won in 1999 by the ALP’s Matt Brown. Brown was appointed a minister following the 2007 election. In September 2008, he was appointed Minister for Police in the first cabinet under new Premier Nathan Rees. Three days later he was forced to resign after revelations of his conduct at a party in his office. He returned to the backbench after his resignation.

At the 2011 election, Brown lost Kiama to Liberal candidate Gareth Ward with a 19.4% swing. Ward was re-elected in 2015.


Kiama is not the most marginal Liberal seat, but could come into play if Labor is doing well.

2015 result

Gareth Ward Liberal 24,61851.6+8.0
Glenn Kolomeitz Labor 15,28832.1+4.4
Terry Barratt Greens 5,27111.1+2.2
Steve RyanChristian Democrats1,5053.2-0.7
Carmel PellegriniNo Land Tax1,0162.1+2.1

2015 two-party-preferred result

Gareth Ward Liberal 26,11458.7+0.1
Glenn Kolomeitz Labor 18,40441.3-0.1

Booth breakdown

Booths in Kiama have been split into three parts according to local government boundaries: Albion Park (covering Shellharbour council area booths), Kiama and Shoalhaven.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in Kiama (60.4%) and Shoalhaven (63.2%). Labor polled 54.1% in Albion Park.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 7.6% in Albion Park to 14% in Kiama.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Albion Park7.645.97,22615.1
Other votes13.660.68,56918.0

Two-party-preferred votes in Kiama at the 2015 NSW state election

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  1. if you say that, then say that about all the other good local member, They dont vote on good local members, its usually the government at fault

  2. I was read online last week that a councillor on Kiama Council has been charged in Qld for using the drug Ice. This councillors was a former ALP MP too.

  3. Matt Brown (ALP) and a former NSW police minister has been charged in Queensland with using the psychotropic illegal drug Ice.

  4. Gareth Ward has a solid personal vote in this electorate, much the same way as Mark Coure in Oatley.

    This should be a Liberal Retain

  5. Suspect, Not hope, im over this with some of you Liberal’s (actually your not liberal’s your Trump conservatives) Trickle down economics, never work’s nor does reducing taxes, Been proven by economist’s We need to start moving to Centre-Left politic’s It will do this world good, I am tired of paying politician’s expenses, Electricity has not gone down in price, They all lie. They are just trying to get our vote’s, Gareth Ward defends this 100% because any politician will say ANYTHING and defend their party to get elected

  6. Ok Daniel – thanks for the considered and reasoned response. PS – My politics couldn’t be further adrift from Donald Trump.

  7. Mr Raue: the booth category labels are wrong on the map, you’ve got the South Coast ones I think.

    I’m not a Tory supporter but moderate, Hawkeye_au & PRP are correct about Gareth Ward being a strong local member. If he loses, Labor will have won easily elsewhere.

  8. Maybe Mr Ward would have survived if it was not for his federal colleague dumping on him
    but given that at the liberals extreme disharmony in Gilmore and the decision to endorse Mr Mundine as the liberal candidate I would say no chance of a liberal win now

  9. Mick – you really don’t know this seat mate. I reckon Ward will break 60% – massive infrastructure in the area (particularly new roads) and no visible ALP presence at all.

  10. Wrong, Liberal hold but a swing against them, No way they get a swing towards them on a Pro-Labour year, 53-47 final prediction in this seat (Towards the Liberals), If you have never visited this seat how can you claim you know so much about this seat?

  11. I repeat Kiama is about half of Gilmore which is a real mess for the Liberals…… Kiama will vote alp at a federal level…………… the Liberal party would be in disarray………. remember the same people who make up the Kiama liberal party also make up the Gilmore Liberals. What a mess… Ann, Joanna, Gareth , Mr Schultz jnr
    there will be a huge huge overlap… I assume Moderate knows Mr Ward personally or has relatives living in this area.Oh I forgot Mr Mundine……….. Kiama is not safe Liberal territory but a 50/50 area which can swing

  12. you’re kidding right daniel?

    the alp candidate is poor and only has just recently ramped up his campaign … the alp focus is federal with fiona phillips … and in the illawarra to re-elect scully and park (the amount of alp materials in the three illawarra electorates kiera, w’gong and s’harbour is insane) … Liberal hold and increased margin (again …) unless liberal vote plummets state wide … do you have any idea about this seat daniel?

    GW has been a STELLAR mp; and i think he will keep his 8% margin … his personal vote is huge … grassroots campaign from ward has been strong also; plus I’m sure all the traffic driving through albion park currently would LOVE the works being undertaken for the by pass … If kolomeitz was running again it would be a tighter race and i’d say you’d be accurate but honestly Higgins is a poor candidate and Daniel, you are Wrong.

  13. I was expecting this to be a safe hold, but Liberals are suddenly putting in a lot of effort…..I wonder what the polling is telling them….as noted above, the ALP not really putting into this contest

  14. It’s going to be a safe hold;

    The reason the Illawarra liberals are putting in a lot of effort is because it would seem a waste putting it into Kiera, Wollongong and Shellharbour because they have no chance of winning those labor seats.

  15. Kiama should easily be retained by the libs.
    IMO, South Coast is a more interesting contest.
    Infighting between shelley / Ward / Sudmalis / Gash / Shultz
    Greens vote is usually around the 12% mark – that might slump as Amanda Findley isn’t the green candidate this time.
    But we just elected a Green mayor so….

  16. You realise that isn’t the case?

    The young liberals campaigning in Kiama are locals and on their own dime.

    There’s a reason they are putting in a lot of effort and that’s because they want Gareth to win.

    Your outlook would be perfect when applied to the seat of heathcote, not for Kiama.

  17. In this PC Age I do wonder how the Kiama Incumbent wouldn’t suffer a decline in support.

    Fair enough there are roads through the electorate now that mange to shift bottlenecks further south however his rhetoric towards women especially does make one think that an increase in conservative Votes may be Pie in the Sky stuff.

    Self effacing he isn’t

  18. What rhetoric towards women has Ward used that is problematic? The only scandal I’ve seen reported about him is the New York story.

  19. Well, I wonder why the margin increased?!? … 12.2% (+3.5% … Possibly More) … Oatley & Kiama got great swings; Illustrates that a hard working local member can really change the landscape the electorate. Liberals also won all the booths in Albion Park for the first time. A HUGE ACHIEVEMENT. #letsgetitdonensw

  20. Hey Daniel/Mick – now how do your predictions look on this one?? Ward won every single booth,including every Albion park booth.
    Mick as I’ve said to you repeatedly, better to express a view on what you know rather than what you hope. It stops you face looking a little omelette like after polling day!!

  21. not really …….. Kiama is still marginal territory despite the margin
    Look a the Gilmore mess…. will Mr Ward even vote for the endorsed
    liberal candidate

  22. Mick – this is a state election forum. So lets leave the federal stuff to another time.

    You have consistently indicated that the ALP would win Kiama. It is now not even a marginal seat. Ibn varioud posts you indicated you liked the ALP prospects in Oatley, Ryde, South Coast and Bega. It must be reverse psephology, but in every one of those seats the LP increased the margin.

    Do you have ice cream or custard with your humble pie?

  23. just the cream and ice cream thanks
    all these seats have a dynamic of being competitive…. all except Bega have been won by Labor in the time prior to the 2011 disaster … Bega voted 54% in 2016 as part of Eden Monaro

  24. I think this election, more than any other, has shown (at least) that NSW can make decisions that distinguish between State and Federal Issues. The idea that trending between Federal and State is a solid indication in marginal seats is probably becoming more and more divergent. It also speaks to the power of the personal vote.

    The classic example is Riverstone, where Kevin Connelly holds the seat fairly comfortably but in the equivalent seat, Michelle Rowland holds the federal seat well. It really does show how strong the personal vote is.

  25. That’s what I don’t understand. There were plenty of people claiming that Labor would be claiming a swag of seats with huge margins, simply because Labor held them prior to the massive defeat in 2011.

    Apart from the fact that a lot of those seats had very well-entrenched incumbents when Labor was last in office, TIME HAS MOVED ON. Trying to use data that’s over a decade old and getting more outdated by the second is completely fallacious.

  26. mick the ALP did not won a single booth in Kiama and lost some by 2.5-1. It is a landslide from being competitive if the 2pp is ALP 57-43. A uniform swing would not deliver them Kiama atm

  27. still stand by what I said have a look at the Gilmore figures for either soon when the election is held or even 2016…. this seat is competitive in the right circumstances……. it is not naturally safe liberal

  28. Wonder if there will be a by-election and what the result will be…12% is a big ask. But the circumstances are different.. and just like Labor polled poorly in 2011… the liberals are very unpopular now


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