Here we go

8.50. Clare Martin has given her victory speech. This seems like a good place to wrap up the Poll Bludger’s coverage for the evening. I had a fair chunk of my meagre reputation riding on this result and I don’t mind telling you that I’m feeling pretty damn vindicated (someone on ABC Radio just said "nobody was predicting a landslide tonight" – where you been darlin’?). There were as always wrong calls in individual seats (though fewer than I could reasonably have feared given the nature of Northern Territory elections), but I got the big things right. My only clanger was calling Goyder for independent Mary Walshe – it will either be won by the CLP or Labor. The only other seat I was definitely wrong about was Brennan, but I’m hardly Robinson Crusoe in this regard. Labor are ahead in Drysdale and Port Darwin, which I hadn’t picked, and have won Daly and MacDonnell, which I did. The CLP looks likely to hold Greatorex, which I tipped for Labor. The picture in Braitling is still confused – I had tipped independent Loraine Braham to hold, but it could go either way. The ABC projects a final outcome of 18-5-2, compared with my prediction of 16-7-2.

8.20. Richard Lim apparently confident of retaining Greatorex for the CLP. The NTEC now has him leading Labor’s Fran Kilgariff 1484 to 1402.

8.16. ABC computer has switched Port Darwin from Labor ahead to Labor gain, but they’re only in front by 19 votes.

8.07. Denis Burke giving his concession of defeat speech.

8.06. Antony Green just said the CLP’s lead in Drysdale was in single figures, so he obviously knows something the NTEC doesn’t – they only have 1346 votes counted. The ABC’s figures have 2417 counted and in fact have Labor slightly ahead.

7.59. Haven’t heard anything on Braitling for a bit, but the NTEC does in fact have Loraine Braham ahead by five votes – 1470 to 1465.

7.49. CLP looking safe in Araluen. The CLP’s John Elferink currently conceding defeat in MacDonnell on ABC Radio.

7.45. It doesn’t look like any late miracles are going to save Denis Burke in Brennan. The NTEC has Labor’s Jason Burke leading 1397 votes to 1225 on 2PP.

7.43. Labor are narrowly ahead in Goyder, which the Poll Bludger (among many others) tipped as a win for independent candidate Mary Walshe, who has polled only 14 per cent. The NTEC has Labor leading 832 votes to 824 on 2PP.

7.35. CLP now ahead in Drysdale, according to the ABC computer. It has Greatorex down as CLP retain, but a 2PP count at the NTEC has the CLP leading narrowly, 1484 to 1402.

7.31. Sure enough, the ABC website now says "Independent ahead" in Braitling. However, Braham said there were a surprising number of Labor votes leaking to the CLP and the ABC computer might not be accommodating this.

7.29. Loraine Braham not sounding too confident about holding Braitling. The ABC figures seem to be lagging behind the NTEC on this one – the latter has the CLP on 39.6 per cent, Braham on 34.0 per cent and Labor on 22.2 per cent. I personally would have thought this gave Braham a pretty fair chance. MacDonnell appears to be solidifying for Labor.

7.17. First mention of Blain, the other Palmerston seat along with Brennan where Denis Burke is headed for defeat. There is a swing to Labor of over 10 per cent but Terry Mills should probably hold. The ABC Radio commentators say he is likely to emerge as leader for want of any alternative.

7.14. A rush of new figures from Greatorex suggests the CLP should hold.

7.12. Close in Greatorex, but Labor’s Fran Kilgariff not sounding hugely confident.

7.09. Only 15.8 per cent counted, but clearly Mary Walshe has flopped in Goyder. She’s on 9.3 per cent. Labor leads the primary vote count 40.9 per cent to 36.5 per cent but the ABC computer expects that the CLP will hold on preferences.

7.06. The ABC computer has Greatorex down as a Labor gain, but Antony Green is not so sure because there are no figures from the Sadadeen booth. Warren Snowdon just said on the ABC that indications from the Sadadeen booth are the the CLP is in fact just ahead.

7.03. ABC Television chamber graphic has Labor with 19 seats. Both the leader and deputy leader (Richard Lim in Greatorex) apparently heading for defeat and the CLP may lose their status as the opposition.

6.59. First indications coming in from Greatorex, and already the ABC has it down as a gain for Labor’s Fran Kilgariff.

6.56. Told you so – the ABC has already done 180 degree flip on MacDonnell, now down as a Labor gain. After an early scare, the CLP are drawing ahead in Katherine.

6.55. The ABC is calling Brennan for Labor. Lineball in Drysale. Better news for the CLP in MacDonnell, which unlike the aforementioned I did call for Labor, which the ABC has down as CLP retain. But it could be that the mobile booths will do particularly well for Labor because of their candidate, former ATSIC commissioner Alison Anderson.

6.49. Labor expecting to win Brennan from Denis Burke!! The other independent-held seat of Nelson (member Gerry Wood), a natural CLP seat, only has "independent ahead" on the ABC site, but on the raw figures it looks like Wood will do it easily with Labor preferences. Labor apparently drawing further ahead in Port Darwin.

6.45. Labor ahead in Drysdale! You have just witnessed the Poll Bludger’s first ever exclamation mark.

6.43. All swings in Darwin are at least 10 per cent. Denis Burke’s seat of Brennan is down as CLP retain at the ABC, but he’s only 2.3 per cent ahead on 2PP.

6.40. Good job I changed my call on Araluen, because it’s the only Labor versus CLP contest so far where the CLP has a swing, this being a correction from a result that was heavily influenced by an independent last time.

6.35. It’s already clear Labor has won. Antony Green’s calculation on the ABC site has Daly as a "Labor gain". Very close in Port Darwin, but Labor marginally ahead. Labor taking it right up to the CLP in Katherine, which they hold with a margin of 15.3 per cent.

6.24. ABC Radio reports early 10 per cent swing to Labor in Daly, which would narrowly win them the seat. Not many votes for independent Dale Seaniger, but he will apparently do better in the rural booths. An 8.8 per cent swing to Labor in Clare Martin’s seat of Fannie Bay. A booth in Wanguri shows a 14 per cent swing to Labor member Paul Henderson; a 10 per cent swing to Labor in Arafura. Independent member Loraine Braham reportedly suffering a swing in Braitling, the only good bit of news for the CLP so far.

6:20. Still early, but all concerned on ABC Radio are expressing surprise at the size and velocity of the swings to Labor. Shouldn’t crow too early, but it serves them right for not listening to me.

6:14. It’s already clear that my big idea about a maintaining my own statistics is not going to work. I’ll just pop in from time to time to give you a general idea of what’s happening, though if you’re interested you’ll probably know anyway. Early figures suggest a very big across-the-board swing for Labor, but it’s still too early to read much into them.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.