Aug 27, 2012

Poll Bludger: how the bush turned its back on NT Labor

While the remote electorates inevitably take pride of place in any post-mortem, the implications of Labor's strong performance in Darwin should not be entirely overlooked, writes William Bowe of The Poll Bludger.

Three weeks ago, I again showed my inestimable worth by thumbing my nose at local opinion, which mostly seemed of the view that Paul Henderson’s Northern Territory government was a strong chance of re-election, and boldly proclaimed that my money was “firmly on the Country Liberal Party”. Now that Terry Mills has indeed led his party to only the second change of government since the Territory began taking care of its own affairs in 1974, I stand proudly and triumphantly vindicated.

Or so I would like to believe. However, the honest truth is that Labor has retained nearly every seat I identified as vulnerable for them, in most cases by fairly handsome margins. The other psephological pundit who tipped a big CLP win well ahead of time was Peter Brent of Mumble, who wisely painted his prediction with a broad brush and would no doubt have been as surprised by the manner of the CLP’s victory as the rest of us.

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One thought on “Poll Bludger: how the bush turned its back on NT Labor

  1. Bob the builder

    It’s good to see that many commentators, even those who got it right, have been gracious enough to admit that they had little idea of what was really going on amongst NT electors, particularly in the remote seats with Indigenous-majority populations (although the Australian has amazing 20-20 hindsight!).
    What isn’t being discussed is that this points to the huge gap in understanding of urban and non-Indigenous Australia about these areas – a gap that is evident across all areas of public policy and program implementation.
    This is the Gap we need to Close before throwing money at programs that suit non-Indigenous imperatives (for instance the CLP proposals to ‘encourage’ wet canteens in areas that Indigenous people spent long, hard years getting declared dry).

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