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NT Politics

Aug 25, 2016

Northern Territory election guide

The long and the short of Saturday's election in the Northern Territory, where Adam Giles' shambolic Country Liberal Party government is universally being written off.

The campaign for Saturday’s Northern Territory election hasn’t been getting its due here of late, but I can finally offer a detailed seat-by-seat guide and the following quick overview.

Since the Northern Territory’s parliament and government were established in 1974, there have only been two changes of government: when Clare Martin led Labor to victory for the first time in 2001, and with the Country Liberal Party’s return to power in 2012. The odds on this election making it three are very short indeed, with the one published poll so far suggesting a swing to Labor of 20%, and Sportsbet offering $1.01 on Labor forming government. However, independents may yet play a role, being up in number from 13 candidates at the 2012 election to 40, with a number of major party dissidents being among their number. The overall number of candidates is up from 86 to 115. This is particularly significant given that optional preferential voting is to be introduced at the election, as there are likely to be high rates of non-major party voting and exhausted preferences.

Labor’s previous high-water mark in the Northern Territory was 19 seats out of 25 at the 2005 election, leaving two independents and only four CLP members. The CLP’s reconstruction occurred over two stages, with six seats being gained in Darwin with the near-victory of 2008, and four largely indigenous seats outside the capital gained in 2012. Together with a defection from Labor to the CLP and the recovery of a seat held by an independent, this boosted the CLP to 16 seats after the 2012 election. However, the party has been beset by convulsions through its time in office, resulting in Terry Mills being replaced by Adam Giles just seven months after leading the party to victory, and Giles surviving a challenge in February 2015 only through the threat of a party split. Those who have kept score say there have been 15 cabinet reshuffles, and six members have held the title of Deputy Chief Minister.

Four of the 16 CLP members elected in 2012 have since resigned from the party, including three who are seeking re-election as independents, one of whom is Larisa Lee, member for the indigenous majority seat of Arafura. The formidable Alison Anderson is retiring from her seat of Namatjira, and says she supports the Labor candidates both in Namatjira and Stuart, where Bess Price has stayed with theCLP. The CLP must also contend with former Chief Minister Terry Mills running as an independent in his old seat of Blain, which he vacated a year after losing the CLP leadership in March 2013. His successor in the seat, who retained it for the CLP at the by-election, is retiring after a sexting scandal.

A redistribution has abolished a seat in Alice Springs and created one in Darwin, but both the abolished seat and the newly created one are strongly conservative. However, the change is to the advantage for Labor because the creation of Spillett, which spans the outskirts territory between Darwin and Palmerston, has caused the seat of Fong Lim to be pushed into suburban Darwin, wiping out the CLP’s 7% margin. However, Labor is down one on its eight seats in 2012, with Delia Lawrie seeking to go it alone in Karama after losing first the party leadership and then her preselection. A further complication for Labor is in the Tennant Creek region seat of Barkly, where former Labor member Elliot McAdam is running as an independent.

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53 comments

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Seth
Guest

This should be interesting.

Kevin Bonham
Guest

And yes there were two different MediaReach polls, both with 64:36 2PPs.

Dingbat The First
Guest

You’re probably right William. After trying to tell residents in Fong Lim that they really needed to have an international standard rugby park developed by pinching land off the local primary school the well-heeled residents were up in arms.

Kevin Bonham
Guest

http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/nt-election-2016-how-badly-will-clp-be.html

NT Election: How Badly Will The CLP Be Beaten?

Just some preview comments from me at this stage. I am not posting any predictions save the obvious because I haven’t been following closely enough. May add some comments tonight or in coming days depending on whether there is anything not being covered elsewhere.

Just Me
Guest

sprocket_ @ #3 Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 10:01 am

This snippet from today’s NT News refers (I think) to the same polling, but perhaps its fresh

A couple days late to the question, but…

I was polled on late arvo Monday 22nd by Media Reach for the NT News, so that is fresh, or was 2 days ago.

Dingbat The First
Guest

It also needs to be said since neither the NT News or the ABC seem capable of stating it, but Dave Tollner did not resign, stand down or not run – he was dumped in preselection. I’m not sure whether any sitting treasurers have ever lost pre-selection before.

Just Me
Guest

“In my more optimistic moments I think 2-4 will cover it.”

I am happy to be wrong. 😉

Dingbat The First
Guest

“They will be doing well to keep 6 seats.”

In my more optimistic moments I think 2-4 will cover it.

Dingbat The First
Guest

More importantly MTBW, how will it effect the NT election!!

MTBW
Guest

Police are surrounding the wedding of Salim Mehajer’s sister at Kenthurst wonder how that will work out!

Raaraa
Guest

With the Brexit, the polling were around 50-52% on either side, so close to within a margin of error. It seems polling in the NT was very clear cut. The advantage of the Brexit polling though was that there was plentiful of data, while NT have had only what.. 2 polls in the last month?

Disasterboy
Guest

Thanks for the NT Greens background.

Just Me
Guest

Of course the final result is unlikely to be quite as lopsided as the polls currently predict. But all the evidence still suggests the CLP are in for a serious arse kicking, no small achievement given they are a first term government in a polity notoriously reluctant to change governments.

They will be doing well to keep 6 seats.

Dingbat The First
Guest

Frickeg,
7 is certainly my best-case scenario for the CLP. The difference between 25-0 and 15-10 can be as little as 2-3,000 votes territory-wide so it’s hard to call. I’m hoping the CLP get zero. But i think NT voters know the CLP will lose and so will go a little easier on them because the ALP haven’t captured their trust or imagination and they won’t want to send them too big a message of support.

I also think Bess Price and Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu have been reasonable local members and may both get back in. Blain will be interesting – Damian Hale, Terry Mills, and a CLP financial planner in formerly CLP mortgage-belt heartland.

Frickeg
Guest

I’ll put my guess at around 4 seats for the CLP, although El Guapo’s on-the-ground conservatism gives me pause. Still, I can’t see this disastrous government getting off that lightly. I’ll go with 4 independents as well – Wood, Purick, Lambley, and one floater (no idea really how the rest will do – it might even be someone new – but I think at least one will get up). All the rest to Labor.

Dingbat The First
Guest

Computers rather than printouts being used to mark voters off the role.

The electioneering exclusion zone worked – quiet as a mouse.

Moil PS Sausage sizzle a significant improvement on Nakara PS in July.

Three candidates – ALP, Green, CLP.

Vote 1 – Ken Vowles.

Elaugaufein
Guest

@C@Tmomma

You’d need more than Brexit poll out here assuming the 64% ALP 2PP poll is even vaguely statistically competent. The Brexit polls were out by a couple of percent. Standard margin of error is ~3%. The Shy Conservative effect (where people are more likely to vote against/for things they feel socially pressured to confirm too) is generally held to be somewhere between 2 and 7%. If you combined all those factors, assumed maxium magnitude, and assumed that none of them overlap (unlikely the Brexit vote and Shy Tory effect are probably the same phenomenon) , and none go against the CLP you’re still looking at 52% 2PP ALP (which is likely an ALP government with Independent support in practise).

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