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Adam Carr's Election Archive

Australian federal election, 2019
Division of Wills, Victoria

< Wide Bay previous seat | next seat Wright >
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Northern Melbourne: Brunswick, Coburg, Glenroy, Fawkner, Pascoe Vale
State seats: Parts of Broadmeadows, Brunswick and Pascoe Vale
Local government areas: Parts of Moreland
Enrolment at close of rolls: 110,682
1999 republic referendum: Yes 58.7
2018 same-sex marriage survey: Yes 70.0

Sitting member: Peter Khalil (Labor): Elected 2016

2007 Labor majority over Liberal: 22.4%
2010 Labor majority over Liberal: 22.6%
2013 Labor majority over Greens: 15.2%
2016 Labor majority over Greens: 4.9%
2016 notional Labor majority over Liberal: 21.2%
2019 notional Labor majority over Greens: 4.9%

Status: Marginal Labor versus Greens
Status: Very safe Labor versus Liberal

Best Labor booths, two-party vote: Gowrie park (73.6), Moomba Park (72.6), Gowanbrae (72.2), Glenroy PPVC (72.0), Fawkner North (71.8)
Best Greens booths, two-party vote: Brunswick North-East (66.1), Brunswick South-East (65.2), Merri (64.0), Brunswick East (62.4), Anstey (61.9)
  • 2016 results
  • Statistics and history

  • Candidates in ballot-paper order:

    1. Chris Miles
    Animal Justice Party
    2. Sue Bolton
    Victorian Socialists
    3. Peter Killin
    Liberal Party (resigned)
    4. Adam Pulford
    Australian Greens
    5. Manju Venkat
    United Australia Party
    6. Peter Khalil
    Australian Labor Party

    Candidate websites:

    Sue Bolton
    Peter Khalil
    Adam Pulford

    Division of Wills

    Wills was created in 1949, in Melbourne's working-class northern suburbs, originally based on Coburg. Successive redistributions have expanded it, mainly to the north, without changing its social or political character. The southern part of the seat is now being colonised by upper-income professionals, which explains the seat's relatively high median family income, and also its high level of graduates and of people in professional and managerial occupations. The seat has a high proportion of non English speaking households, and in recent years has acquired a significant Muslim population, mainly Turkish-Australians. Wills has always been a safe Labor seat and has never been won by the non-Labor side, although it has elected an independent.

    The most eminent member for Wills has been Bob Hawke, the longest-serving Labor Prime Minister, who held it from 1980 to 1991. Following Hawke's resignation the seat was won by an independent, Phil Cleary, a popular local figure. Cleary's election was found to be invalid, but he returned to win again in 1993. He was defeated in 1996 by Labor's Kelvin Thomson. Thomson was a Parliamentary Secretary in the Rudd-Gillard government and retired in 2016.

    Peter Khalil, Labor MP for Wills since 2016, is of Egyptian Christian background, and served in Iraq as Director of National Security Policy for the Coalition Provisional Authority, for which he was awarded the Australian Overseas Humanitarian Service medal. He was a foreign policy and national security adviser to Kevin Rudd, and then Director of Corporate Affairs, Strategy and Communications at SBS, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Centre for International Security Studies at Sydney University.

    In 2013 the Greens came second in Wills, although Labor's margin was a hefty 15.2%. In 2016, with a new Labor candidate, that margin was cut to 4.9%. As in neighbouring Cooper, the Greens have benefitted from the increasing gentrification of the southern part of the seat, around Brunswick, but have been unable to extend their appeal to the more working-class and multicultural voters in northern suburbs such as Fawkner, Glenroy and Pascoe Vale.

    The Liberal candidate was Peter Killin, who has "extensive experience in the automotive industry." Two weeks before the election, after nominations had closed, he was forced to resign hbis Liberal endorsement after it was revealed that he had attacked Liberal MP Tim Wilson as "a notorious homosexual." The Greens candidate is Adam Pulford, who previously worked for the the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. The Victorian Socialists candidate is Sue Bolton, a Moreland City councillor.


    Median weekly household income: $1,515 (Australia $1,438)
    People over 65: 13.7% (Australia 15.8%)
    Australian born: 59.7% (Australia 66.7%)
    Ancestry: Italian 11.8%
    Non-English-speaking households: 40.6% (Australia 22.2%)
    Catholics 27.1% (Australia 22.6%)
    Muslim 9.5%, Orthodox Christian 6.3%
    No religion 32.2% (Australia 29.6%)
    University graduates: 33.7% (Australia 22.0%)
    Professional and managerial employment: 43.6% (Australia 35.2%)
    Employed in manufacturing and construction: 18.4% (Australia 22.9%)
    Paying a mortgage: 28.9% (Australia 34.5%)
    Renting: 37.7% (Australia 30.9%)
    Traditional families: 29.0% (Australia 32.8%)


    William Bryson (ALP, ALP-AC) 1949-55
    Hon Gordon Bryant (ALP) 1955-80
    Hon Bob Hawke (ALP) 1980-92
    Philip Cleary (Ind) 1992b-92, 1993-96
    Hon Kelvin Thompson (ALP) 1996-2016
    Peter Khalil (ALP) 2016-

    Boundaries following 2018 redistribution:

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