The Northern Territory government has become the third first-term government in two years to be thrown out on its ear. First Queensland, then Victoria and now the Northern Territory have defied conventional Australian wisdom that even unpopular governments get at least two terms (and Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition very nearly joined that ignominious list this year).
Governments can no longer take for granted that they will have six (or eight) years in which to enact their legislative agendas. And the rise and rise of independents and micro-parties shows neither major party can rest easy.
Adam Giles’ CLP government failed the Northern Territory disgracefully. From the lease of Darwin port to failed coups and 16 — 16! — cabinet reshuffles in three years, it had become mired in controversy, disunity and self-obsession, and had forgot about the people it was elected to serve.
Voters, it turns out, do not like governments that are so obsessed with individual power grabs that they ignore the will of the people. Let that be a lesson for future governments — shape up or you will ship out, one term be damned.