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.


  • Fiona Phillips (Labor)
  • Assessment
    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.


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