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NT By-Elections

Jul 28, 2007

Greatorex by-election live

7.44pm. Sadadeen booth now in, and CLP candidate Matt Conlan is home and hosed with 53.6 per cent of the primary vote. Paul Herrick now leads the Labor candidate 20.3 per cent to 16.5 p

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7.44pm. Sadadeen booth now in, and CLP candidate Matt Conlan is home and hosed with 53.6 per cent of the primary vote. Paul Herrick now leads the Labor candidate 20.3 per cent to 16.5 per cent, while the Greens got a boost from Sadadeen to finish on 9.6 per cent, still down on 10.7 per cent in 2005. Only declaration votes and some more postals to come, which shouldn’t make much difference.

7.05pm. We’ve now got mobile, pre-poll, postal and the small Windmill booth, leaving only the large Sadadeen both (about two-thirds of the total) and declarations (a small handful). Barring something unexpected in Sadadeen, the CLP are looking very good – 62.4 per cent compared with an equivalent 51.4 per cent in 2005. Herrick (17.1 per cent) should finish clear of Labor (13.6 per cent), but it probably won’t be enough. Greens down from 8.7 per cent to 7.0 per cent.

7.00pm. Comparison of pre-poll votes from the 2005 election: the CLP are up from 55.0 per cent to 59.3 per cent, Labor are down from 37.6 per cent to 16.9 per cent and the Greens are up from 7.4 per cent to 7.6 per cent. Filling the gap from Labor’s decline is independent Paul Herrick, on 16.3 per cent. So the swing on pre-polls is not so big you would say the CLP is out of the woods yet.

6.53pm. Pre-poll votes are in, and they suggest a comfortable ride for the CLP candidate, who has 211 of 356 votes (59.3 per cent).

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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68 comments

68 thoughts on “Greatorex by-election live

  1. dartboard

    thanks for the coverage..

    even if it is a small electorate in the middle of “nowhere” it is much appreciated.

    and.. with the smaller booth in.. its looking like the replacement candidate is in with 62% and no need for preferences…

    final results in half an hour I think..

  2. Stephen L

    I’d love it if we were on 8%, but it looks to me like 7.

    Still not that bad given that we lost the donkey vote, which tends to be quite large in NT, and have an independent to compete with, in both cases in contrast to 2005.

  3. Stephen L

    Actually its not just the Green vote which is inflated William, your figures add up to well over 100%

  4. William Bowe

    Stephen, the NTEO’s figure doesn’t exclude the informal vote.

  5. William Bowe

    Quite right Stephen, now corrected. And I was wrong about the NTEO not excluding informals.

  6. Stephen L

    True but that is minor. Was there a typo there before or are my eyes just starting to deceive me.

  7. William Bowe

    A typo (see previous comment).

  8. Stephen L

    Sorry that was a reference to the former comment, not the latter one. Seems to be something funny with the updating on my computer today.

  9. David Walsh

    I’m curious about the timing of this by-election. Does the NT allow for faster scheduling of by-elections than elsewhere in Australia?

    Richard Lim’s retirement was first announced during the first week of this month. The ABC reported that Lim would be retiring “as of next week”.

    If Lim did indeed wait another week before formally retiring, then this by-election has taken place on just the third Saturday since that retirement. That seems unusually soon.

  10. Just Me

    Not a surprising result, and given both the actual numbers and that the electorate is CLP heartland, neither side can read much into it, though Jodeen Carney (CLP leader) can sleep a little more securely tonight.

    The interesting bit is that both the Greens and Herrick did quite well.

  11. Stephen L

    David, NT electoral law allows a shorter period than other places for general elections and by-elections. They usually seem to take advantage of it too.

  12. Stephen L

    There will probably be some more postals to come as well, but not enough to shift things by more than a few fractions of percent.

    As a Green it looks like a decent outcome to me – we lost 1.1% which is probably the effect of not being top of the ticket this time. You’d expect Herrick to eat into our vote a fair bit, even if only the people who voted for us last time as the only alternative to the big guys. Either that didn’t happen or we captured an equivalent number of votes off Labor.

    Still, I don’t think we can read much into it.

  13. SD

    I’d call that as being a pretty decent result for the CLP. Not an indication of what will happen in the crucial Darwin seats in 2009, but for once the CLP didn’t go backwards. After the recent stuff-ups I half expected the CLP would just scrape back in, maybe a mere 2% swing, but it looks like they’ve done well. What remains unknown to me though is did Labor run dead or did they just write it off because they knew they had no chance? But they’re vote went down, and went down a long way by more then 20% on primary votes if those figures are right……surely there must be some questions asked in Labor HQ about that one…

  14. melissa

    thank god CLP is in front as ALP have done nothing for alice springs hopefully 2009 will swing the same way if Claire Martin can spend 6 million on darwins waterfront and wont give us 20 new police officers it the old berrimah line again

  15. Arbie Jay

    An 11 % swing to the libs in the first real election test since Howard acted on the aboriginal crisis, not phoney polls where people are asked how they feel about they will vote but a real test of when they get into the booth with the pencil in thier hand and have to make a real decision.

    And make a real decision the people have made, this swing will see Howard returned with over 125 plus seats, the latte sipping, chardony swilling bleeding hearts have been proved wrong again.

    They look at the polls and the blogs, across Australia you probably have about 200 dedicated bloggers, about 37 repeat offenders on Tim Dunlops, similar on others, who cross post across the blogs to inflate the numbers and pretend they represent popular opinion.

    Yet, here we have a massive swing to the libs, 11% on primaries, Weller, Nostro Kaye et al were right, Australia will not change from the steady hand on the tiller, the soothing calm of the master, no matter how old he is we will always have Howard!

    You popped your corks too soon.

  16. Kina

    I can guarantee you this is purely a local thing.

    The CLP has almost ceased to exist and Martin has been getting a fair bit of criticism for her spending priorities and getting rid of some Territory favourites like open speed limits. Plus the big issue in Alice as always is the government only governing for the northern part of the Territory. There was a lot of bitterness over the lack of policing in Alice this year where Martin got some nasty heckling.

    The Aboriginal thing of Howard would have had very little effect in the NT and may have a negative effect since his methods are widely seen as fairly stupid up here – we have been dealing with these issues for ages [with little money]. The real issue is town camps at the Todd river and the lack of policing – this is what caused a swing plus the sheer dominance of the ALP being balanced.

    As for the Federal election Tollner has done fairly poorly up here and has got a bit of flak as well, he is a bit of an oaf. I am seeing at work middle class, middle aged life time Liberal voters deciding for the first time to jump ship. Tollner will most likely lose his seat to Damien Hale ALP.

    As across Australia – State and Federal politics are clearly seperate in the mind of the voters.

  17. Just Me

    Dream on, Arbie Jay. Lim was not a particularly popular member, he recorded swings against him in the last two elections, and he only just scrapped back in last time. Greatorex is very safe ground for conservatives and it could be argued that the CLP vote is just returning to its normal level after Lim retired. NT electorates are also quite small (Greatorex around 4000), and generally driven by local issues. So all up 11% is nothing to cream your pants about, and it sure as shit don’t translate to a nationwide trend.

    So don’t go popping your corks yet either. Oops, too late.

    I also agree with what Kina said, except that I think the removing open speed limits thing is an overrated non-issue. I haven’t heard anyone in my immediate MOR community make big noises against it, most either support the new law, or just don’t care. It doesn’t change votes, and is just a proxy whinge for faux libertarians who are not going to vote for the Martin government anyway.

  18. dartboard

    I new when I saw Clare at the Darwin show today that her mind wasnt on the Greatorex by-election, so the answer is probably.. yes.. the seat was already written off.

    So… where did the 1000 votes that Fran Kilgariff get as the candidate at the last election dissapear to?

    Id be worried if I was a Northern Suburbs backbencher selling a $15M wave pool as the answer to all things.

  19. Simplifryd

    Off topic I know so apologies, but can somebody please tell me when the next major poll is expected?

  20. Oldtimer

    I thnik Galaxy and face to face morgan are due in the next 2 days – probably Monday? Not exactly sure?

  21. Stephen L

    For the CLP its a great result compared to 2005, but relative to 2001 the CLP vote is up about 2% both on primaries and 2 party preferred. For a by-election that’s pretty bad. 2005 was the aberration in this seat, not 2001. The by-election suggests the CLP are on the way back, at least in Alice, from utter devastation, but it hardly suggests government is in sight.

    For Howard the best possible interpretation is that his moves have gone down well in the territory and he’ll hold Solomon and maybe get a swing in Lingari. Even that is a stretch though since a more likely explanation is restoration of the normal CLP vote when they’re not competing with Kilgaraff. It says nothing about how the rest of the country thinks.

  22. Mick Quinlivan

    re this by-election
    maybe some one should look at what Warren Snowden got in the same
    area at the last Federal election
    it’s hard to measure anything from this
    as the electorate is so small, the previous alp candidate had a personal vote
    people tactically voted as the main independent had a better chance than the alp, does the 2 candidate preferred mean anything?
    one could argue that the primary vote shows a 2% swing to the l-np only

  23. William Bowe

    Mick, the federal results for the Sadadeen booth are here.

  24. Kina

    Only 1,400 votes need to change sides and Tollner is out.

  25. STROP

    Wish I could find it, oh I will-somewhere I listed a few reasons why no significant implications for the Federal seats in the NT could be read into this result, let alone Arbie’s (grab the light while its still flickering) great joy. Im sure Arbie is being tongue-in-cheek, Noturanus wont be.

    Arbie Jay is the first to make great leaps of assumption based on this byelection, cant wait (please no) for the likes of Noss and his pseudo Noss (Steven Kaye) to load up on this result.

    Still, give credit where it due. The result is good for the CLP and may give some indications of what some in the NT thought about Howards invasion (sorry, intervention) into the NT but that would be a stretch too *4000 voters*

    Didnt I read an NT blogger saying Territorians are not keen on ‘big city’ folk coming and ordering them around or something like that ? I havent popped my cork yet Arbie, only because I still have some beer left to drink first and the horses are not in the straight yet.

  26. STROP

    Heres what I had to say back then–

    Why is Lim retiring?

    One could speculate a range of reasons including having the prospect of waiting for at least 2 elections to win Government in the NT. At the 2005 NT election, Labor picked up 6 seats for a net 19 of the 25 seats.

    Lim was one of only four CLP survivors of the 2005 Election (Katherine, Blain and Araluen were the others), leaving Lim with not much hope of winning Government in the near future. Clawing back a 51.9-35.7 primary vote gap, even in “pocket sized electorates” as William points out, is not a joyous prospect.

    Lim won the seat in 1994 and held it in 2005 against a high credential Labor candidate (Pollbludger tells us she was then Mayor Of Alice Springs and daughter of CLP founding father, Bernie Kilgariff).

    They say when a sitting member of 2 + elections retires it puts some vulnerability into that seat, particularly if they are ‘high profile’ enough- Lim was deputy leader in 2003, etc.

    Against this Clare Martin grabbed the ‘underdog’ tag in the local rag, reminding people Labor has never won a seat in the Alice.

    In the context of the above history, the effect of “Howards outback interventions” should be interesting; good question.

    I just hope no-one gets sucked into extrapolating from the by-election result to what is happening amongst the punters on a Territory wide scale regarding Howards intervention (I am being polite in using the word) and/or what is going to happen in Solomon (NT) at the Federal election.

    This kind of extrapolation would have to overlook a whole bunch of things including the history above and (a) the insignificant electorate size in Greatorex (4952 voters in 2005) (b) the fact there were only three candidates/options in 2005 [Labor, CLP and Greens].

    Add to this the fact that this seat is a long way away from Solomon (NT) at the other end of the Territory and you would have to be mad to make any speculations on this result for a Federal outcome, even if you restrict it to the NT.

  27. mayellen

    Interesting swing away from Labour , in only 2 years – candidate is not well known and fairly obviously picked from a limited field. Alot of dissatisfaction among the punters.No support demonstrated from CM-. no platform, no policies, all looked shaky. I think this win will give back confidence for the CLP & jodeen and gives them a good starting point for 2009. People may or may not agree with JH intervention – truth is neither party ever did anything about it.

  28. melissa

    GO CLP you are the best for the town people who live else were have no idea what it is like to live in Alice Springs the list could go on with all the things the alp have brought in over the past couple of years bring around 2009 claire martins gone where was her support for Jo Nixon? Well that shows you what she thinks of Alice a town not worth fighting for!

  29. mayellen

    Absolutely melissa. after 26 years in Alice it got to me. The lack of support for Jo should make the ALP ashamed. It was similar in 2005 when Gaynor ran for Araluen. He didnt stand a chance agains Jodeen then but the CM govt only goes as far as Berrimah. I checked the ALP website for updates re Greatorex & there was more re Jo Nixon on the CLP site!

  30. Michel de Nostredame

    This is clearly a great victory for the Country Liberal Party, the people of the Northern Territory and by extension the federal coalition government and John Howard in particular.

    In the coming months we will come to see this crushing result as the Bass of the 21st century.

    Nothing can save Rudd and his union cronies now.

  31. Albert Ross

    This is an electorate with a enrolment of less than 4600. Here in western Sydney (and elsewhere I suppose) we have individual booths recording more votes than this and our LGA wards have at least 8 times more voters.

    It is hard to understand where proponenents of statehood for this pocket borough are coming from especially given the increasingly centrist tendencies of the federals of all hues are contributing to making states rights a dead letter.

  32. Ollie

    From what Melissa and Mayellen are saying it looks like Labor played a dead hand in this by-election.

    How much of it was an adjustment to the violent flogging the CLP got in 2005, leaving them with only 4 of 25 seats and Lim giving up the ghost ? Who knows.

    Michel de Nostredame’s celebration of it as some magic pill for JWH is problematic to say the least. Have to smile at your enthusiasm though.

  33. William Bowe

    Ollie, I believe MDN is doing a Nostrodamus parody – a dangerous game, it seems.

  34. Gary Bruce

    Arbie Jay – ha, ha, ha. Good one.

  35. melissa

    I know of R Lim and his reasons for quiting are legitamate i have always been a clp voter i had jo nixon come and talk to me at my house i was 90 % going to vote for her when i went to vote she had no support of her party which is why i swayed back to clp

  36. mayellen

    I have always thought the decline of the NT clp was through their arrogance. Shane Stone and his snobbery, the building of the white house & the cronyism in Darwin and the pig ignorance of Dennis Burke & his obvious racism. I voted clp for 20 years in Alice until I was charmed by the Martin Gov. What a mistake. I thought I had seen it all. Jodeeen & Lim are tenacious and learned from these mistakes, they are penultimate professionals. Lim is not handing over an unhappy electorate through his representation – the Alp are just not responsive.The Clp will be on their way back as they gather more support from the heartlands while Clair has her head turned. These electorates may be small in terms of population but the NT remains a hugely positive investors paradise and the trend of Clp members making the move to Darwin may bring about some interesting times in the next election.

  37. Just Me

    Can’t prove it, but I call bullshit on those last two posts from melissa and mayellen (7:23, and 8:11). That stuff is straight out of Political Campaign Disinformation 101.

  38. SD

    I’ll draw 2 conclusions from this one,

    1) There was never going to be a Federal implication

    2) I expect the swing back to the CLP in 2009 might be bigger then expected. That’s just a theory, one I’ve had for a bit over a year and one that depends on a number of things, but it will be in an interesting election when it does happen. If I still have the view come 2009, then maybe I’ll lay out why

  39. cameron

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Conservative-voters-back-Howard-poll/2007/07/29/1185647749628.html

    The poll also found that on a two-party-preferred basis – after the distribution of preferences – Labor was ahead with 54 per cent to the government’s 46 per cent.

  40. Kina

    Ah the good old Galaxy – pretty much exactly the result I expected.

  41. K David

    melissa Says:

    July 29th, 2007 at 7:23 pm
    I know of R Lim and his reasons for quiting are legitamate i have always been a clp voter i had jo nixon come and talk to me at my house i was 90 % going to vote for her when i went to vote she had no support of her party which is why i swayed back to clp

    Get your hand off of it, as if you were ever going to Vote ALP.

    In 2005 Labor ran Fran Kilgarriff, anyone who knows territory politics knows that alone is a big personal swing, Fran would be the member for greatorex if she had run under any other banner than Labor simple as that.

    Alice Springs is “The” Heartland of the CLP, if they didnt pick up greatorex with a swing toward them they had failed miserably.

    At the Darwin show ( which covers 12 seats) the ALP had The Chief, Damian Hale, most of cabinet, the Speaker and all MLA’s. On the Booths in Alice the CLP had their Leader, Giles, Lim and a hoast of others.
    Governments usually get a smack at By-Elections as well.

  42. melissa

    I take offece to get my hand off it and i was going to vote alp i thought jo nixon was lovley and thought some of her views were good i not going to vote for clp until I got to centralian college she had no support it had also caused some heated arguments in my house hold as my my partner is only clp so pget your hand off it

  43. K David

    melissa Says:

    July 29th, 2007 at 10:49 am
    GO CLP you are the best for the town people who live else were have no idea what it is like to live in Alice Springs the list could go on with all the things the alp have brought in over the past couple of years bring around 2009 claire martins gone where was her support for Jo Nixon? Well that shows you what she thinks of Alice a town not worth fighting for!

    so you didnt write this?

    Seems to me like more than a booth decision.

  44. K David

    melissa Says:

    July 28th, 2007 at 9:34 pm
    thank god CLP is in front as ALP have done nothing for alice springs hopefully 2009 will swing the same way if Claire Martin can spend 6 million on darwins waterfront and wont give us 20 new police officers it the old berrimah line again

    Whoops missed this one.

  45. marcona

    Melissa your 9:34pm post reveals where your true voting allegiances. You had no intention of voting any other way than CLP. Matt Conlan’s candidacy I believe has been planned for at least a year and was no surprise. Listening to his piece on Friday on 8HA revealed hes not going to cut it in the rough and tumble of parliament and media questioning and is coming true as the media cant contact him today and Jodeen’s been running defense for him.

  46. melissa

    I most definatly was going to vote alp as i thought that we would have a better voice to get through to claire martin if she had alp candidate eleceted

  47. mayellen

    Re Just me & the bullshit call. Its my view only – you forget I lived there until 2006. Why dont you refresh your memories with some articles in the ALice News june/July 2005. Fran;Fact and fantasy; Election Shot for ALice ; Speculation about a close poll paid off for Labour; & Greatorex lessons bode ill for ALP
    Let me know where to reference your PCD101 & I will educate myself.

  48. k David

    well I have voted CLP all of my life until the 2005 NT general election, before then i was really worried that Labor couldn’t Manage ther Territory. but since 2001 Care martin and Labor have really proven to me to be excellent economic managers turning the Teritory econmy around to the point that is was even called “Turbo Charged” by the independant Access Economics. Im a contractor and Ive never had this much work on with the railway (finally being completed under Labor) and the Gas plant.

  49. k David

    everybody believes me right?

  50. melissa

    yeh putting the nt into how much debt are you kidding economic mangers my arse

  51. simon

    I aggree with melissa they have done nothing for a town that could be a wonderful place if given the chance like darwin i bet K DAVID you live in darwin where you get all the perks

  52. melissa

    Thankyou Simon

  53. K David

    Well the fish are biting today, Might have to go into the harbor (Past the great waterfront development) and catch me some Big ones.

    I’m not trying to defend Labor in the Territory, my sole point has been that melissa was clearly never voting Labor, I’m trying to understand why you would bother coming onto a Site like this and write letters to the editor.

    Just Me was on the money I think.

    and this is the funniest thing i have read “Jodeeen & Lim are tenacious and learned from these mistakes”.

    The only thing that really happened was the real liberals wont be moving into the territory for a few more years.

  54. K David

    out of interest, how many by elections did QLD Labor lose before the 2006 general?

  55. William Bowe

    K David, the answer to your question is three – Chatsworth and Redcliffe (on the same day in about August 2005, from memory) and Gaven (about April 2006). And they were actual losses, unlike Greatorex.

  56. Ross

    Melissa,

    “yeh putting the nt into how much debt are you kidding economic mangers my arse”

    I admire your erudition, but your implication that the CLP is a superior economic manager is nonsense. What about “Hatton’s Hamlet” or “CLP Castle”? I recall a figure of about $160 million that our kids will have to pay, but for what perceived benefit? Thanks Steve. Enjoy your retirement.

  57. melissa

    you people have no idea come to alice springs for a week and see if you could stand living here with all the violence and drinking of aboriginal people once again its the minority rulling the majority and alp is sticking up for them no wonder people become racist and before you say im racist im not i have wonderful friends who are aborignal but if they refuse to help themselves well let them die why should the rest of us suffer

  58. Luke

    Melissa,

    Stop kidding yourself. Minority ruling the majority? I lived in Alice, and the whitefellas are as drunk as the blackfellas. They just do it in the golf club and the pubs and then drive home rather than sleeping in the river.

    Exactly how, anyway, is the ALP sticking up for the ‘drunk aboriginals’? I remember Clare Martin’s public drinking and loitering nonsense from the ’05 election. Hardly left-wing bleeding-heart nonsense.

    The fact is, a lot of Centralian people are ingrained racists who believe in a caracature of the ALP they heard as kids. Grow up.

  59. melissa

    sO lUKE HOW LONG AGO DID YOU LIVE IN ALICE? i HAVE LIVED HERE ALL MY LIFE AND IN THE LAST 4 YEARS IT HAS GONE FROM BAD TO WORSE

  60. K David

    Adam Giles (CLP Lingiari) Corflu’s slogan is “no more sit down money”, If you listen you can hear the dueling banjos in the background.

  61. K David

    William Bowe Says:

    July 31st, 2007 at 1:40 am
    K David, the answer to your question is three – Chatsworth and Redcliffe (on the same day in about August 2005, from memory) and Gaven (about April 2006). And they were actual losses, unlike Greatorex.

    and they won them all back at the general from memory.

  62. William Bowe

    “and they won them all back at the general from memory.”

    Correct.

  63. Luke

    I was there in the Claree Martin years, Melissa.

    Perhaps you having lived your whole life there explains your attitude. Live a few other places and see how your attitudes and opinions compare to everyone and everywhere else’s.

  64. melissa

    Luke so not long then be honest you know clare martin as ruined the nt

  65. Just Me

    you know clare martin as ruined the nt

    Hysterical partisan hyperbole.

  66. Bob the Builder

    Hey Melissa, NT looking pretty good from where I sit. More work than I can handle, plenty of jobs for my mates and the place is buzzing. A bit differant to the debacle the CLP created in 2001 when I came up here and you could have bought the place for $50.

  67. Luke

    It’s alright, Melissa doesn’t really think that. Somebody else told her these things and she’s having a bit of trouble critically analysing information.

  68. marcona

    mellisa is saying all those nasty things about labour so they get read out on the radio station that Matt Conlan used to work for and no doubt she listened to all his hype about how bad the Alice has become. Alice was the murder capital of the world back in the 80’s under the CLP.