The Division of Wills is an Australian electoral division of Victoria. It is currently represented by Peter Khalil of the Australian Labor Party.

Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Wills in Victoria, as of the 2022 federal election
MPPeter Khalil
NamesakeWilliam Wills
Electors108,500 (2022)
Area46 km2 (17.8 sq mi)
DemographicInner metropolitan

The electorate encompasses many of the suburbs in the City of Merri-bek in Melbourne's north, including Brunswick, Coburg, Pascoe Vale, Fawkner, Glenroy and Essendon Airport.

Geography edit

Since 1984, federal electoral division boundaries in Australia have been determined at redistributions by a redistribution committee appointed by the Australian Electoral Commission. Redistributions occur for the boundaries of divisions in a particular state, and they occur every seven years, or sooner if a state's representation entitlement changes or when divisions of a state are malapportioned.[1]

History edit

William Wills, the division's namesake

The division was named after William John Wills of Burke and Wills fame. It was created in the 1949 redistribution.

Wills has been in Labor hands for its entire existence except between the 1992 by-election and 1996, when it was held by independent Phil Cleary. Its highest-profile member was Bob Hawke, who was Prime Minister of Australia from 1983 until 1991. The 1992 by-election is remarkable for a number of reasons: It was caused by Bob Hawke's retirement from parliament; it had a record twenty-two candidates standing; it was won by an independent; the results were thrown out as the winner, Phil Cleary, was on unpaid leave from the state education system (the Australian Constitution forbids people employed by the Crown from standing for election). No replacement by-election was held as the court decision which threw out the results was made shortly before a general election was due.

While Wills remains a traditional Labor stronghold, demographic changes and the rise of The Greens has seen Wills, along with the neighbouring seat of Cooper, become Labor-Green contests in recent years. In 2016, Labor's margin versus Greens candidate and City of Merri-bek Mayor Samantha Ratnam dropped below 5 percent after a swing of more than 10 percent to Ratnam, despite the traditional 2PP margin (versus The Liberals) of over 20 percent making it one of the safest Labor seats in the country when considered against the Coalition.[2] Labor's margin over the Greens increased to over 8 percent at the 2019 election, and remained almost unchanged at the 2022 Election.

Demographics edit

Wills has undergone inner-city gentrification, particularly in Brunswick, which has led to a surge in support for the Greens in the seat. However, the Labor vote increases the further residents live from the Green heartland of Brunswick.[3]

Wills has relatively large immigrant communities, with populations of second-generation Greek and Italian immigrants. According to the 2016 census, 47.8% of electors had both parents born outside of Australia.[4]

As of 2016, 7.7% of electors spoke Italian, 4.7% Arabic, and 4.5% Greek at home.[4]

Members edit

Image Member Party Term Notes
    Bill Bryson
Labor 10 December 1949
April 1955
Previously held the Division of Bourke. Lost seat
  Labor (Anti-Communist) April 1955
10 December 1955
    Gordon Bryant
Labor 10 December 1955
19 September 1980
Served as minister under Whitlam. Retired
    Bob Hawke
18 October 1980
20 February 1992
Served as Opposition Leader in 1983. Served as Prime Minister from 1983 to 1991. Resigned to retire from politics
    Phil Cleary
Independent 11 April 1992
25 November 1992
1992 by-election results declared void, for holding an office of profit under the Crown. Subsequently re-elected. Lost seat
  13 March 1993
2 March 1996
    Kelvin Thomson
Labor 2 March 1996
9 May 2016
    Peter Khalil
2 July 2016

Election results edit

2022 Australian federal election: Wills[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labor Peter Khalil 35,449 38.87 −5.39
Greens Sarah Jefford 25,793 28.28 +2.01
Liberal Tom Wright 15,771 17.29 −0.76
United Australia Irene Zivkovic 3,352 3.68 +0.54
Socialist Alliance Sue Bolton 3,096 3.39 +3.39
Victorian Socialists Emma Black 2,714 2.98 −1.53
One Nation Jill Tindal 2,554 2.80 +2.80
Animal Justice Leah Horsfall 1,680 1.84 −1.92
Australian Federation Sam Sergi 789 0.87 +0.87
Total formal votes 91,198 94.95 −0.77
Informal votes 4,855 5.05 +0.77
Turnout 96,053 88.61 −2.55
Notional two-party-preferred count
Labor Peter Khalil 69,104 75.77 +0.06
Liberal Tom Wright 22,094 24.23 −0.06
Two-candidate-preferred result
Labor Peter Khalil 53,415 58.57 +0.10
Greens Sarah Jefford 37,783 41.43 −0.10
Labor hold Swing +0.10

References edit

  1. ^ Muller, Damon (14 November 2017). "The process of federal redistributions: a quick guide". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  2. ^ Wills, VIC, Virtual Tally Room 2016, Australian Electoral Commission.
  3. ^ "Wills (Key Seat) - Federal Electorate, Candidates, Results". Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  4. ^ a b "2016 Wills, Census All persons QuickStats | Australian Bureau of Statistics". Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  5. ^ Wills, VIC, 2022 Tally Room, Australian Electoral Commission.

External links edit

37°43′44″S 144°56′35″E / 37.729°S 144.943°E / -37.729; 144.943