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NT Politics

Feb 16, 2013

Wanguri by-election live

The by-election to fill former ALP Chief Minister Paul Henderson's northern Darwin seat in the Northern Territory parliament is a three-candidate, two-polling booth affair.

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8.27pm. On the final figures for the night there have been 3663 formal votes cast compared with 4239 at the general election, with probably only a handful still to come.

7.27pm. Leanyer and Wanguri have both reported, and it really has been a cakewalk for Labor, who have picked up double-digit swings at both booths and also on postals and pre-polls. Surprisingly high turnout as well – possibly even higher than at the election. Labor has 69.7% of the two-party vote which pans out to a swing of 12.7%, whether going off raw or booth-matched figures. The primary vote totals are 65.5% for Labor, 28.1% for the CLP and 6.4% for Peter Rudge.

7.08pm. 120 postals have been added, and it’s another encouraging indication for Labor breaking 75-45 their way. The CLP scored a slight majority on postal votes at the election. Peter Rudge is on 6.8%.

7.05pm. The independent turns out to be Peter Rudge, who made a splash when he ran in Nightcliff at the election.

7.00pm. The NTEC site has been intermittently blocking the results page to “unauthorised” access, and is doing so at present. Most unhelpful.

6.50pm. Turns out I was wrong about there only being two candidates: there’s also an independent called Rudge. The Darwin pre-poll booth has reported, and it splits 129-58 to Labor, which is much better than they did on pre-polls at the election. The other pre-poll booths was in Alice Springs and presumably didn’t do much business.

5.50pm. Polls close in ten minutes for Northern Territory’s Wanguri by-election, held to replace the outgoing former Chief Minister Paul Henderson. As was the case at the general election last August, the seat has attracted only two candidates: Labor’s Nicole Manison, a former Henderson government media adviser, and the Country Liberal Party’s Rhianna Harker, a former president of the Young CLP. The electorate covers the northern Darwin suburbs of Leanyer and Wanguri, together with part of the new suburb of Lyons, which are each accommodated by a single polling booth. The local breakdown of last August’s election result is as follows:

		Votes	ALP	Swing
Leanyer		1840	57.4%	-5.4%
Wanguri		1412	59.6%	-7.3%
Other		987	52.5%	-14.3%

		4239	57.0%	-7.4%

Wanguri was held by the CLP’s Don Dale from its creation in 1983 until his retirement in 1989, subsequently falling to Labor’s John Bailey at a by-election. Bailey nearly lost the seat against the trend of a general pro-Labor swing at the 1994 election, which some blamed on CLP push-polling. Bailey’s retirement in 1999 precipitated a by-election in which Paul Henderson picked up an 11.5% two-party swing. Despite a redistribution turning it into a notional CLP seat, Henderson was comfortably returned in 2001 with 55.3% of the primary vote, to which he added a further 15.5% in 2005. The air from that balloon went out to the tune of 5.9% in 2008 and a redistribution-adjusted 7.4% in 2012.

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