Division of Wills

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 2019 federal election.
MPPeter Khalil
NamesakeWilliam Wills
Electors110,682 (2019)
Area46 km2 (17.8 sq mi)
DemographicInner Metropolitan

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


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.

Despite the history of Wills as a traditional Labor stronghold, demographic changes and the rise of The Greens have seen Wills, along with the neighbouring seat of Batman, become Labor-Green marginal seats in recent years. In 2016, Labor's margin versus Greens candidate and City of Moreland 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.[1]


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
Labor 18 October 1980
20 February 1992
Served as Opposition Leader in 1983. Served as Prime Minister from 1983 to 1991. Resigned in order to retire from politics
  Phil Cleary
Independent 11 April 1992
2 March 1996
Lost seat
  Kelvin Thomson
Labor 2 March 1996
9 May 2016
  Peter Khalil
Labor 2 July 2016

Election results

2019 Australian federal election: Wills[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labor Peter Khalil 42,355 44.08 +6.17
Greens Adam Pulford 25,575 26.62 −4.29
Liberal Peter Killin 17,241 17.94 −3.60
Victorian Socialists Sue Bolton 4,344 4.52 +4.52
Animal Justice Chris Miles 3,596 3.74 +2.08
United Australia Manju Venkat 2,979 3.10 +3.10
Total formal votes 96,090 95.77 +2.61
Informal votes 4,243 4.23 −2.61
Turnout 100,333 90.67 +3.25
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Peter Khalil 72,888 75.85 +4.18
Liberal Peter Killin 23,202 24.15 −4.18
Two-candidate-preferred result
Labor Peter Khalil 55,898 58.17 +3.24
Greens Adam Pulford 40,192 41.83 −3.24
Labor hold Swing +3.24


  1. Wills, VIC, Virtual Tally Room 2016, Australian Electoral Commission.
  2. Wills, VIC, Tally Room 2019, Australian Electoral Commission.

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