The Northern Territory Electoral Commission on Saturday finalised results from the previous weekend’s election (here).
As expected, the Country Liberal Party picked up a little ground in
postal votes, but not enough to make the difference in any seats. The
only turnaround was Goyder, where Labor had been 12 votes behind on the
night but managed to sneak in on absentee votes. Labor therefore
finished with 19 seats (gaining six), the CLP four (down six), and both
independents held their seats.

The difference in votes was
almost as impressive: Labor won a majority of the primary vote, 51.9%,
or 59.3% two-party-preferred, a swing of 11.3%. The CLP was back on
35.7%, while 12 independents scored 7.4% between them. The Greens,
standing in 11 seats, managed 4.2% – an average of 9.5% per seat,
peaking at 15.7% for leader Ilana Eldridge in Nightcliff. Bringing up
the rear were the Network Against Prohibition and the Democrats
(neither officially registered), each with less than 1%.

Labor
is now more firmly entrenched in the Northern Territory than anywhere:
to win government next time, even with the support of an independent,
the CLP will need a swing of 14.8%. But perhaps that shouldn’t be
dismissed as absolutely impossible, since the Territory, with its small
seats, can produce huge swings – the biggest this time was an amazing
24.3% to Labor in Daly.

Only Alice Springs defied the trend,
with the CLP winning two of its three seats and an independent the
third. But in the northern suburbs of Darwin, once marginal, Labor is
outvoting its opponents two to one. So although Labor’s Territory vote
is ahead of last year’s federal result, it is distributed quite
differently. On this month’s figures, Labor would comfortably win both
the Territory’s federal seats, but it would actually have a bigger
margin in Solomon – which it lost last year – than in Lingiari, which
it won.

Peter Fray

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