Northern Territory election live

8.38pm. Clare Martin confident about Stuart, for some reason. They are currently a handful of votes ahead.

8.32pm. By my count, the CLP will have four Aboriginal members compared with one for Labor, which will become either 5-1 or 4-2 depending on who wins Stuart. White Labor members in remote seats seem to have done better than Aboriginal ones.

8.21pm. The booth result I didn’t believe earlier, Maningrida in Arafura, looks like it was bona fide: 44.3% for the Greens, 31.3% for First Nations, 17.7% for Labor and 7.1% for the CLP, utterly unlike the remainder of the electorate.

8.19pm. Total vote result is 50.0% for the CLP, up 4.6%, and 37.0% for Labor, down 6.2%.

8.15pm. Clare Martin not conceding Arafura, but 108 sounds a pretty big lead to me with only 500 outstanding.

8.06pm. ABC computer has changed Stuart from “CLP gain” to “ALP ahead” – by 0.2%.

8.00pm. ABC computer calling Stuart for the CLP, but evidently it shouldn’t be.

7.55pm. Antony says it’s lineball in Stuart, which has been back and forth all evening.

7.50pm. In one hit, the ABC computer has called Arafura, Arnhem and Daly. By now there’s enough results in that I don’t see reason to doubt it. So even if Labor does win Sanderson, which I wouldn’t put money on, they can’t win from here.

7.43pm. So Labor behind in Arafura, Arnhem, Daly and CLP-held Sanderson, and needing to win three of the four to be a chance of governing with the support of Gerry Wood.

7.42pm. The second mobile booth from Arafura has a lot more votes than the first, but it’s slightly favoured the CLP. One batch of pre-polls has seen Labor scratch back 29 votes with four more to come, but it’s unlikely to be enough.

7.41pm. In fact, Arnhem looks very good for the CLP to me: only pre-polls and postals outstanding, and the CLP leads 1164-957.

7.40pm. The overall picture though is clear: Labor has held up well in Darwin, but is likely to lose office from a backlash among Aboriginal voters.

7.38pm. ABC computer no longer calling Arafura for the CLP, which is to say it’s no longer calling anything as a definitive gain one way or the other. However, there’s new worrying news for Labor in that the CLP is now said to be ahead in Arnhem.

7.37pm. Pre-polls, postals and one mobile booth still to report from Daly. CLP leads 1136-975.

7.36pm. I would suggest though the ABC computer is being generous to Labor in not calling Daly for the CLP.

7.35pm. The ABC computer is now only giving Arafura away, but as I pointed to earlier, it now has “CLP ahead” in Sanderson.

7.34pm. It was presumed Johnston would be the crucible, but I haven’t even had occasion to mention it yet. Labor has won big, with a double-digit swing.

7.33pm. The remote seat where Labor are in trouble other than Arafura, Stuart, is evidently doing a lot more business on mobile booths. However, the mobile booth that’s reported gave a big win to the CLP’s Bess Price.

7.31pm. The two Arafura booths I just mentioned are in: the raw CLP lead is now down to 5.8%, 972 to 769. Clare Martin talking of the CLP being 70-something votes ahead. That might be chased down on mobile votes, but the two outstanding mobile booths will have to produce a lot more votes than the first one for that to be possible.

7.30pm. First mobile booth in Arafura suggest these are dealing with tiny numbers of voters, so are unlikely to offer salvation for Labor. They will need big results in the two outstanding booths of Gunbalanya and Jabiru. Labor now also in big trouble in Stuart.

7.29pm. Still awaiting Anula 2PP result from Sanderson, but the primary vote result suggests the swing to Labor here is 4.9%, against a CLP margin of 5.2%.

7.22pm. Berry Springs booth now in from Daly and has swung solidly to the CLP, which looks like it sets the seal on their win then. So I’d say Labor definitely needs to win Sanderson and turn the tide in Arafura.

7.21pm. Jabiru booth in Arafura is a much better result for Dean Rioli than the first two that came in, and the 2PP hasn’t been added there. I’m not sure if this was factored in when they were just discussing this on the ABC.

7.19pm. Anula booth has now reported in Sanderson, recording a very slight swing to Labor: I expect that when two-party results are added it will bring the overall Labor swing down a little and move the swing back, just, into the CLP column.

7.16pm. ABC computer now has Nelson as retained by Gerry Wood.

7.15pm. As Antony keeps noting, little swing in Darwin, but Labor in big trouble in Daly, and possibly also in Arafura, either of which will lose Labor the election unless they can gain Sanderson.

7.14pm. Also one booth to go from Sanderson, which Labor badly needs to win. The booth is Anula: Labor got 45.6% there last time.

7.12pm. Berry Springs booth from Daly still outstanding: a lot will hinge on it. Labor got 52.7% 2PP there in 2008.

7.11pm. ABC computer calling Barkly for Labor; Stuart back up in the air.

7.08pm. Actually, Stuart looks like a three-cornered contest, with First Nations candidate Maurie Japarta Ryan scoring some very strong booth results. If he ends in the final count, who knows what would happen.

7.07pm. No trouble for Dave Tollner in Fong Lim.

7.06pm. Fannie Bay retained as expected by Labor with swing of 8%.

7.05pm. ABC computer calling Stuart a Labor retain, which would be a relief for them given the trend in remote areas.

7.04pm. On the other hand, it’s lineball in the CLP-held seat of Sanderson.

7.03pm. More plausible figures suggest trouble for Labor in Daly: Antony calculates 8.4% swing, against 5.8% margin.

7.02pm. Obvious error also remains in the Arafura result: one booth has the Greens on 44% and First Nations on 31%, the other far more plausibly has it at 1.5% and 0.8%.

6.59pm. Clearly an error in the NTEC’s result for Blain: 823 primary votes recorded for Moulden Park booth, but only 47 for the 2CP. Labor is credited with 63.8% of the 2PP, but CLP has 56.1% of the primary vote.

6.58pm. ABC calling Arafura a gain for the CLP, which I wouldn’t credit quite yet; Blain a gain for the ALP, which Antony says is definitely wrong; and Nelson a CLP gain, also based on numbers I don’t believe. Expect to see some corrections through from the NTEC.

6.56pm. Some very funny results come up, understandably flummoxing Antony. In Nelson for instance, we’ve got a pre-poll result in with the CLP on 127 votes and Gerry Wood in 37 – surely not possible.

6.55pm. The one booth in from Ararufa, for example, may be an area of family connections for the CLP candidate. Other booths might reverse the trend.

6.54pm. Doesn’t look like Alison Anderson will be troubled in Namatjira – and Labor are definitely looking at a big swing in remote areas. I wouldn’t definitely say it will cost them seats yet until we have more figures in.

6.52pm. ABC computer calls Arafura for CLP on the back of an apparent big swing in the new Nguiu booth, but personally I’d be careful with these early projections from remote seat, where procedures are very different this time which would present methodological challenges in projecting results.

6.51pm. Remote seat of Nhulunbuy records double-digit swing against Labor, but not enough to endanger them there.

6.50pm. No boilover for Ross Bohlin in Drysdale: seat to comfortably stay with the CLP. Big swing to CLP in another Palmerston seat, Drysdale, as I would have expected due to sophomore surge.

6.46pm. Another possible early indication of trouble for Labor in remote areas from Barkly – the first booth has been won by the CLP 72 to 69. Once again, it’s a booth that wasn’t in use in 2008, so no swing can be given.

6.43pm. ABC computer calculates CLP ahead in Arnhem, but this can’t be easy to calculate given the move from mobile to fixed-booth polling in remote areas at this election.

6.42pm. First small booth in David Tollner’s seat of Fong Lim swings 4% to him.

6.40pm. Antony doesn’t beleive Maningrida booth result from Arafura which has Greens first, First Nations second, Labor third and CLP distant fourth.

6.39pm. All three fixed booths from Arnhem have now reported and Labor leads 345 to 234. Presumably mobile booths will widen that, remembering this seat is so safe for Labor the CLP didn’t contest it in 2008.

6.37pm. CLP wins Adelaide River booth in Daly 92 votes to 58, which I’m guessing tells you this is a pastoral region booth that might not tell you much about the overall result. It hasn’t been a booth in the past, so again no swing can be determined.

6.35pm. Two booths in from safe Labor remote seat of Arnhem: Labor leads 345 to 234. Since this seat was uncontested in 2008, no swing can be determined.

6pm. Polls have closed in the Northern Territory election. I gather that the first results will be in from pre-polls in very short order, and there being a number of very small booths around the place we should also get trickles of hard-to-interpret early results. However, the substantial Darwin booths that are likely to determine the result will probably not start coming in for another hour or so.

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.

112 comments on “Northern Territory election live”

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  1. [ABC is showing CLP 13 seats ALP 8 Other 1 in doubt 2]

    Yes, but is that based on ABC estimates of preference flows, or are two-party votes actually being counted? I can’t see them at the NTEC website.

  2. Maybe the CLP will be cognizant of their reliance on Indigenous votes for victory and will bring in better policies for them.

    Maybe they will win out of this after all.

  3. On a totally different topic.
    If anyone wants to see the 100 year old parcel being opened here is the link.


    Here is the explanation.


  4. Looks like the CLP candidate in Arnhem is the daughter of a high profile indigenous elder, which might explain the swing, although the Labor member is also indigenous.

    Has the CLP being doing a lot of work under the radar with the indigenous leadership? Are there connections with the Noel Pearson people in Qld?

  5. I was wondering what Malarndirri McCarthy did to get such a big swing against her in Arnhem, then I noticed that she was uncontested in 2008.

    So the swing was just an estimate from a figure of 75% last time.

  6. Ahh, now Nightcliff’s popped up. ALP 36% to CLP 31%, with 20% for Stuart Blanch… Labor will need his preferences.

    That NTEC page does the same annoying auto-refresh thing Fairfax’s RealFooty AFL ladder does. I wish there was a way to switch that thing off.

  7. Well, for me there are two consoling factors – one is that Jo Sangster didn’t get in;

    and the other is that this result might auger well for the Federal election, by which time it will probably be as obvious here in the NT as it is in Vic, NSW and Qld, that voting for the Libs is a big mistake.

  8. I’m sure Labor thought it was smart to put Rioli (who has lived out of the NT for a long time) up against a CLP candidate who was also indigenous but seems to have a long track record in public service in the Territory. Yet another example of celebrity driven politics that Hawker and the NSW right seem to be so “good” at.

    Looks like the CLP had a pretty good strategy – get good solid indigenous candidates with a track record in key seats. Congratulations to them and yet another warning to the ALP federally not to succumb to the “celebrity” or “too smart by half” tactics – good solid politics is what wins – as practised by the PM.

  9. [Looks like the CLP had a pretty good strategy – get good solid indigenous candidates with a track record in key seats. Congratulations to them and yet another warning to the ALP federally not to succumb to the “celebrity” or “too smart by half” tactics – good solid politics is what wins – as practised by the PM.]

    Agree with that.

    Credit to the CLP for seriously engaging with the indigenous community.

  10. That wonky result in Johnston came from a partial 2pp count for the Moil booth – only 216 votes, compared to 1448 primary votes. I wonder why the NTEC wouldn’t put the whole result up at once?

  11. Can we have some evidence that recruiting Rioli was Hawker’s idea? Given the standing of AFL footballers in general and the Rioli family in particular in the Tiwis, he was an obvious choice. Did anyone criticise the choice before tonight?

  12. 29k in an electorate of 55k -closer to 55% but still probably a record.

    Who is ahead in the seat named after H G (Immortal) Nelson?

  13. The best CLP booth in Arafura is actually Nguiu, which is the main town in the Tiwis. Something obviously went very wrong there for Rioli, given that he was born there. The CLP guy was born in Nguiu too.

  14. Both of the really horrible booths for Labor had opposing candidates from those towns – 80% for CLP in Nguiu, and 75% combined for Greens and FNP in Maningrida. It couldn’t be more obvious Labor would’ve won if they’d run a local guy (who’d actually been living there for the last coupla decades).

  15. Bob Gosford in the blog that William has linked to has identified what happened. The CLP ran an under-the-radar racial campaign against Labor candidates for being part-Indigenous (like the Riolis) rather than traditional full-bloods. It seems to have worked.

  16. Psephos

    It’s a very deep personal thing against Macklin. The other party (who will undoubteley be much worse for indigenous people) doesn’t enter into it

  17. [It’s a very deep personal thing against Macklin. The other party (who will undoubteley be much worse for indigenous people) doesn’t enter into it.]

    Well, they’ll be sorry.

  18. Maybe the CLP will be cognizant of their reliance on Indigenous votes for victory and will bring in better policies for them.

    Maybe, Puff, but I wouldn’t hold your breath, given past performance. Be interesting to see if they actually do anything to unravel the stupidity of the Labor mega council decision. They’ve campaigned on changing it, and Aboriginal people have voted accordingly, but , again, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for it to become reality.

  19. If they’re opposed to the Intervention why did they vote for the party that invented it?

    Because Labor now “own” the Intervention, through “Stronger Futures”, and are the only ones that Aboriginal voters can actually “punish” for it at present.

  20. Crikey blogger Bob Gosford had a post on underhanded CLP shenanigans in remote seats a few days ago, which I didn’t grant any credence because I had no idea how true it was (and still don’t).

    I worked on a mission booth in the 70’s. First time the ALP had had anyone keeping an eye on it. 90%+ swing to Labor, mainly because people actually got to vote for the person they wanted to, rather than having it filled out for them by others. Anything is possible in the NT.

  21. Check out Nhulunbuy – independent Kendall Trudgen got 22.3% overall, narrowly behind the CLP, and 58.4% in Galiwinku (once again, he’s from there) – the CLP got smashed there, with only 4.7%. Labor dodged a bullet there… they’re lucky their vote held up in the town of Nhlunbuy.

  22. Intriguingly Price, in Stuart, won only 3 of the 9 booths (including mobile & early voting) , but is slightly in front overall at the end of the count tonight. Most of her votes came from one of three mobile polling booths (Mobile booth 17) , from Pine Ck (with a majority non-Indigenous population), and from the Katherine Early voting centre . She lost to Labor or First Nations in all other booths (in some cases to both).

    It is a very strange pattern.

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