Northern Territory election live

Live coverage of the count for the Northern Territory election.


Very small numbers of votes have been added to the count over the last few days, suggesting only the very closest seats remain beyond doubt. Of those there are three – Adam Giles’ seat of Braitling, where Labor’s lead is down two since the last update to 23; Willem Westra van Holthe’s seat of Katherine, where the latest batch of 28 votes has worn Labor’s lead down from 39 to 29; and Nhulunbuy, where a very small trickle of new votes has been sufficient to reduce independent Yingiya Mark Guyula’s lead over Labor’s Lynne Walker from 22 votes to 11. Other than that, it’s Labor 16, CLP two, independents four.

Wednesday evening

Most counts have progressed today with the addition of various bits of piece, which find Terry Mills’ lead over Labor’s Damian Hale in Blain up from 87 to 97; Labor’s lead over Adam Giles in Braitling up from 11 to 25; Labor’s lead over Delia Lawrie in Karama up from 33 to 59; Labor’s lead over Willem Westra van Holthe in Katherine down from 41 to 39; and independent Yingiya Mark Guyula’s lead over Lynne Walker in Nhulunbuy down from 35 to 22. Leads for Labor in Brennan and the CLP in Daly increased, and are unlikely to be reversed.

Tuesday evening

Nothing today from Braitling, Karama, Katherine or Nhulunbuy, and only insignificant rechecking from Port Darwin. In Blain, 519 absents broke 240-226 to Damian Hale, reducing Terry Mills’ lead from 101 to 87. In Brennan, 473 absents broke 252-212 to Labor, increasing their lead to 198. In Daly, 585 out-of-division pre-polls broke 288-227 to the CLP while 254 absents broke 112-109 to Labor, increasing CLP member Gary Higgins’ lead from 128 to 186.

Monday 6pm

After some scattered counting of absents and rechecking:

Barkly. Labor’s Gerry McCarthy (1254, 45.0%) leads independent Elliot McAdam (802, 28.8%) and is presumably safe here, particularly on account of the the ill-advised direction from the CLP (424, 15.2%) to its voters to number only one box. However, there is still no two-candidate preferred count.

Blain. We now have a two-candidate preferred candidate which is good news for Terry Mills, showing him leading Labor’s Damian Hale by 1548 votes to 1447.

Braitling. Labor candidate Dale Wakefield’s 21-vote lead on election night has been pared back to 11 votes, with absents breaking 92-81 in Adam Giles’ favour.

Brennan. Presumably a lock for Labor, whose candidate Tony Sievers leads CLP incumbent Peter Chandler by 1627 to 1470, but I’m keeping it on the watch list regardless. No further progress in the count.

Daly. Gary Higgins leads 1242 to 1114 and will presumably retain the seat, but I’m holding off to see if still-to-be-reported early voting results turn up anything dramatic. No further progress so far.

Karama. Absent votes have pushed Labor’s Ngaree Jane Ah Kit into the lead, breaking 196-102 in her favour. She now leads Delia Lawrie by 1604 to 1571, a margin of 33.

Katherine. Absent votes and rechecking have left intact the slim lead for Labor’s Sandra Nelson over CLP member Willem Westra van Holthe, which is now at 1748 to 1707, a margin of 41.

Nhulunbuy. We now have a two-candidate preferred candidate which gives independent Yingiya Mark Guyula a 35-vote lead over Labor member Lynne Walker, of 1577 votes to 1542. Absent votes were added, breaking 70-46 to Guyula, and primary votes rechecked.

Port Darwin. No progress in the count, with Labor’s Paul Kirby holding a probably insurmountable lead of 1640 to 1449 over CLP candidate Rohan Kelly.

End of Saturday night

The table below provides a summary of the situation, with seat change figures based on the 2012 election result, rather than the configuration of parliament going into the election.


The only seat that has definitely been retained by the CLP is the new seat of Spillett, covering the stretch between Darwin and Palmerston. In the capital, Drysdale (Labor leads by 5.8% after 17.3% swing), Fong Lim (9.1%, 9.3% swing), Port Darwin (3.1%, 12.8% swing) and Sanderson (11.2%, 14.3% swing) are lost to Labor, as almost certainly is Brennan (2.5%, 16.5% swing). The CLP has also lost Blain, but it remains to be seen if the winner will be Damian Hale for Labor or Terry Mills as an independent. On the other hand, Labor trails by 1.2% in Karama, which former Labor leader Delia Lawrie seeks to retain as an independent.

The result in the six indigenous majority seats was even better for Labor, who won back all four CLP-held seats, including Alison Anderson’s old seat of Namatjira (Labor leads by 10.8%, 31.3% swing) and the three losses from 2012, Stuart (29.7%, 35.2% swing), Arafura (5.5%, 7.9% swing) and Arnhem (14.6%, 18.9% swing). However, Labor’s Lynne Walker may lose Nhulunbuy to independent Yingiya Mark Guyula (no two-candidate preferred count, but Labor leads by 2.6% on the primary vote).

The CLP suffered its biggest swings of all in the six non-Darwin seats without indigenous majorities, but in this case the votes were mostly absorbed by independents, who have won in Goyder (Kezia Purick, who leads by 23.6%) and Araluen (Robyn Lambley by 8.1%) to supplement Gerry Wood in Nelson. Each of the other three seats won by the CLP in 2012 is in danger of falling to Labor, including Adam Giles’ seat of Braitling in Alice Springs (Labor leads by 0.2%, 19.8% swing), Willem Westra van Holthe’s seat of Katherine (0.5%, 22.7% swing) and the northern pastoral seat of Daly (CLP leads by 2.4%, 2.8% swing).

Election night

12.07pm. The last result of the night from Karama, from the Casuarina pre-poll booth, was a good one for Delia Lawrie, turning her four-vote deficit into a 69 vote lead.

11.03pm. I had my eye off the ball in Nhulunbuy all night, where Labor’s Lynne Walker is being run close by independent Yingiya Mark Guyula. In Nhulunbuy itself, Walker outpolled Guyula 77.2% to 9.4%, but in the booths serving the remote areas, Guyula won 61.6% to 25.0%. The overall result is Walker 44.6% to Guyula 42.0%, with no preference count available.

10.42pm. New numbers at last from Port Darwin, with all outstanding booths reporting in one hit. Labor ends the night with a lead of 191.

10.17pm. The first of three mobile booths in Namatjira has broken heavily enough to Labor’s Chansey Paech to put him in the lead by 239, which will presumably widen from here.

10.14pm. Three booths now in from Stuart, where the CLP’s Bess Price has suffered a remarkably heavy defeat at the hands of Labor’s Scott McConnell, who leads 1520 votes to 457.

10.10pm. A mobile booth just made it closer in Daly, one of the few seats that were looking good for the CLP, whose lead narrows from 212 votes to 115.

9.55pm. The Palmerston early voting booth has pushed Terry Mills into second place in Blain, from which he would have a show at beating Labor’s Damian Hale on CLP preferences. Current score: Labor 38.4%, Mills 29.3%, CLP 27.0%.

9.28pm. A lot of votes still to come in Blain, where Terry Mills is stuck in third place and needing to overtake one of the major parties to win on their preferences. The alternative possibility is that Damian Hale wins the seat for Labor.

9.24pm. Willem Westra van Holthe doing worse on preferences than I’d have anticipated, and has a very slight deficit on the raw two-party vote.

9.19pm. Mobile booths have dumped Francis Xavier Kurrupuwa’s lead in Arafura, in another blow for the CLP. Now looking a win for Labor’s Lawrence Costa.

9.11pm. Finally a mobile booth result in from Stuart, and it’s indeed a big win for Labor’s Scott McConnell (341, 53.4%) over CLP member Bess Price (140, 22.3%).

9.02pm. The ABC computer has actually got Labor to 15 now, because it’s giving them Braitling, Drysdale and Port Darwin.

8.58pm. Finally some numbers from Fannie Bay, which means the ABC is now calling that for Labor. That makes Labor 12, CLP 1 and others 2, with nine not called. There are still no numbers for Stuart, but apparently Labor is expected to win. So there’s 13 for Labor. I’d also expect them to win Barkly, and for independents to prevail in Blain and Araluen. But I wouldn’t care to call Braitling, Drysdale, Daly or Namatjira; or Karama, which could go Labor or independent.

8.55pm. All fixed booths in now from Braitling, where Labor leads Adam Giles by 2102 votes to 2092. So no result there this evening.

8.53pm. Labor firming in Barkly – independent McAdam second, but Labor’s 46.7% primary should be more than enough.

8.44pm. Still awaiting more numbers from Araluen, where Lambley leads the CLP 418-337 after preferences, but with a lot of votes still to come.

8.43pm. Looking tight in Karama between Delia Lawrie and Labor. Preferences are in from Manunda Terrace, and they made little change to the margin from the primary vote — and the two are practically dead level on the primary vote.

8.40pm. Still only anecdotal evidence available for Stuart, but it’s apparently a Labor gain.

8.38pm. So the CLP has won Spillett; it might win Katherine, Daly, Braitling, Brennan, Port Darwin and, for all anyone knows, Namatjira. But it’s clearly behind in Brennan and Port Darwin.

8.28pm. Second Fong Lim booth, Ludmilla, has CLP down 11.4% and Labor steady, essentially confirming a Labor win.

8.17pm. Second booth from Braitling is Larapinta, a much stronger booth for the CLP than Sadadeen, but here too the CLP is down around 19% and Labor up around 15%. But with a margin of 19.6%, Giles seems to have his nose in front.

8.13pm. Three booths in from Spillett now and Lia Finnochiaro looking good for the CLP with 56.7%.

8.12pm. Darwin City booth the first result from Port Darwin: CLP down 18.1%, Labor up 6.1%, margin 9.7%. So very likely Labor win, but not calling it yet.

8.10pm. Result from Berry Springs in Daly suggests a Labor win, but not definitively: CLP down 13%, Labor steady, CLP margin 5.2%.

8.07pm. Labor wins Stuart Park both, which is transferred from Fannie Bay to Fong Lim, has been won by Labor, but now with any discernible swing. So this one isn’t over yet.

8.05pm. Disastrous first result from Braitling for Adam Giles, who loses Sadadeen booth (784 votes) to Labor by 35.1% to 32.4%.

8.04pm. 63 votes from Sadadeen are less good for independent Robyn Lambley in Araluen than the town centre booth result, but this part of the electorate was not served by her previously.

8.01pm. One bit of bright news for the CLP is that Francis Xavier Kurrupuwa has won the Wurrumiyanga booth in Arafura with 388 of 709 votes. Don’t know if that’s a particularly good area for him.

8pm. The cross bench is likely to account for Nelson, Goyder, Araluen and Karama, that we know of so far. So my best guess of the final result is four or five each for the CLP and independents, and Labor on 15 or 16.

7.58pm. So where might the CLP hold? Probably in Katherine. Possibly in Namatjira and Spillett, but too early to say. No numbers yet from Port Darwin or Daly, but they will presumably have their work cut out there. No numbers yet from Adam Giles’ Alice Springs seat of Braitling, but that will be interesting to see.

7.56pm. Labor has won big in a second of the three booths from Sanderson, confirming a big win for them there.

7.55pm. All three fixed booths from Katherine now in – Westra van Holthe leads Labor 36.0% to 31.2% and will probably win, but preferences will decide the result.

7.53pm. A third booth from Drysdale follows the broader pattern, with Labor a bit over 40% and the CLP in the mid-thirties. So a very likely Labor gain.

7.52pm. Gerry Wood gets 63.1% from Howards Springs booth in Nelson.

7.51pm. Tennant Creek booth in from Barkly. Elliot McAdam clearing the first hurdle by outpolling CLP, but with Labor on 41.9%, will need a strong flow of preferences.

7.49pm. Terry Mills and Labor almost level at Woodroffe booth in Blain with about 36% to 37%, the CLP a distant third, Mills set to win on preferences.

7.48pm. A second Arnhem booth is similar to the first, with Labor well over 50% on the primary vote and independent member Larisa Lee hardly registering. Make that a fourth seat to add to Labor’s base of six, leaving three to go for a majority.

7.46pm. Kezia Purick safe in Goyder, getting 54.5% at the Bees Creek booth.

7.45pm. The CLP down nearly 20% from two booths in Brennan, Labor up a little more than 10%. Suggests a close result in a seat with a 14.0% CLP margin.

7.42pm. Labor gets 116 out of 163 votes at the Jabiru booth, which has been transferred from Arafura to Arnhem. Independent member Larisa Lee got a mere six votes, though she will presumably do better in the old parts of the electorate.

7.40pm. Nigel Scullion on ABC TV suggests the CLP is likely to lose Stuart. So to add to a base of six safe seats, I’ve got them winning Stuart, Arnhem and Drysdale.

7.39pm. Labor gains the Darwin seat of Sanderson from the CLP — Wagaman booth swings about 15%.

7.38pm. Delia Lawrie looking good in Karama, winning the Karama booth with 36.3% to the CLP’s 33.4% and Labor’s 19.4%.

7.35pm. A second booth from the Palmerston seat of Drysdale, Driver, swings 18% to Labor, who look like they’ve taken the 11.5% margin seat, which is being vacated for the CLP by Lia Finocchiaro’s move to Spillett.

7.34pm. Town centre booth from Araluen looks good for Robyn Lambley — 34.5% primary vote versus 37.2% for the CLP with the rest to Labor, suggesting she will win on Labor preferences.

7.32pm. Huge primary votes swings against Westra van Holthe from two Katherine booths, but he’s still ahead of Labor. Minor party vote big but scattered.

7.30pm. A result with 195 votes for Spillett from Ludmilla, which is actually in Fong Lim, records little change on the 2012 result, which presumably bodes well for the CLP there.

7.25pm. Good start for the CLP’s Heidi Williams in Namatjira – 181 votes at Yirara versus 102 for Labor’s Chansey Paech, with other candidates not featuring.

7.25pm. CLP down 19.6% in Moulden booth in Drysdale, but Labor only up 3.8%. Labor ahead though, in a seat with an 11.5% CLP margin.

7.17pm. The first result in is a mobile booth in Barkly, where Labor’s Gerry McCarthy faces a challenge from former Labor MP turned independent Elliott McAdam. But the booth, with 124 formal votes, has been won by another independent, Jack Green.

6.30pm. Polls closed half an hour ago, and first results should be along very shortly. The ABC’s results are here, the NTEC’s are here.

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.

219 comments on “Northern Territory election live”

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  1. JustMe

    They actually disposed of some reasonable people in that time – Kezia Purick, Terry Mills, Jodeen Carney, and left themselves with all the idiots.

  2. Wow, just wow. Adam Giles is talking like he is going to stick around in NT politics and lead the charge back to government by the CLP!

  3. ABC has given Barkly (obviously) and Namatjira to Labor but has pulled Nhulunbuy into doubt – looks like the talk about the independent there might have been on the money.

  4. Catmomma@152,

    Wow, just wow. Adam Giles is talking like he is going to stick around in NT politics and lead the charge back to government by the CLP!

    This reminds me of the spit by (Billy Sneddon?) when it was obvious that Labor lead by Gough Whitlam had won the 2nd Dec 1972 election. Sneddon said, “We will be back, not in 3 years time, but in 18 months time.”
    I found this comment weird, as I could not see by what mechanism they expected an election within 18 months.
    Weirdly, there was an election in 1974, which chilled me when I thought of Sneddon’s comments on election night 1972.

    But they did not win that election!

    Giles is just another Tory who believes that the CLP/ LNP are the natural party of government, and is outraged when they do not won. As of all these types, he believes that the people will soon realise they have made a mistake.

  5. In Nhulunbuy basically white people voted for ALP and Aboriginal people voted for the IND.

    And Jackson Anni, a name i’ve been involved with, must have stuggled for the Indigenous vote:

    FDRA Pty Ltd (FDRA) (formerly known as Angel Digital) and its director Mr Jackson Anni have given undertakings to the Federal Court not to enter any Indigenous community in Australia or the Royal Darwin Hospital and its associated hostels to sell any goods or services for a period of 5 years, following action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

  6. el guapo @ #151 Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    They actually disposed of some reasonable people in that time – Kezia Purick, Terry Mills, Jodeen Carney, and left themselves with all the idiots.

    aka The Snotty Adolescent Boys’ Club.

    I was sorry to see Carney leave politics, and glad to see Purick re-elected.

    And those who predicted 2-3 seats to the CLP can take a bow.

  7. Gunner: “I thank Adam Giles for his service.”
    Labor crowd: *silence*
    Gunner: “I thank Adam.” *pointed glare*
    Labor crowd: *half a dozen grudging claps*

  8. The nice thing about the Territory is that the election winner can go through and thank literally every one of their members and successful candidates by name and it doesn’t take that long.

  9. A rare foray back to PollBludger in between all the family distractions and work travel this year! But I am very glad to see Labor get back into Government – I have watched from afar as surely one of the most dysfunctional administrations in Australian history has repeatedly shot itself in both feet.

    I remember voting at Wanguri Primary School which was the only polling booth in our seat of Wanguri (and I see the electorates have shifted quite a bit and we would now be in Casuarina). Being the only booth meant meeting both candidates in person as you lined up to enter the hall, which I always thought was a great “picture” of democracy at work and we pointed it out to our kids. Labor didn’t win that time – and I think their candidate in another seat whom I helped (I thought!) lost by an even bigger margin than the previous Labor candidate.

    So Territory Labor – congratulations – and I hope you do a solid job in office. I just heard Gunner mention Claire Martin – I remember Claire but we had left before she won the 2001 election. I wish we had been there then – the night I had thought seemingly would never come, despite some demographics indicating it was becoming an increasing possibility.

    el guapo – yes the idiocy of the CLP is clearly reflected in who left and who stayed. Could this finally be their death-knell?

  10. Very surprised at Bess Price result. Not fussed if Terry Mills beats Hale – Hale has turned up in the middle one too many less than ideal stories for mine. And please can Delia Lawrie not win – it can only be bad.

    Anyhoo let’s hope the ALP are up for the challenge.

  11. Yes, for some idiotic reason the CLP ran Just Vote 1 campaigns , despite 1 Territory and being in a losing position. That was tactical suicide.

  12. “I thought Labor, due to the effect wrt The Greens, could never again get a PV above 40%?”

    I’d be very surprised if anyone has said that about the NT. 42.1% is good but it’s unlikely to be that high in 4 years.

  13. 42.1 % is outstanding considering the strength of the Independent vote. Since the election is contested with OPV, this result is really even more powerful than it looks. The splits between current and former CLP candidates are working to deprive each of them of possible seats.

  14. @El Guapo
    I wouldn’t pay to much attention to certain PB posters when it comes to taking swipes at the Greens. They generally aren’t particularly concerned with anything beyond making the Greens look bad (so little things like applicability or factual accuracy aren’t really relevant to them).

  15. “The splits between current and former CLP candidates are working to deprive each of them of possible seats.”

    Yeah, great isn’t it, watching them eat their own. *GRIN*

  16. Elaugaufein – we should also point out that in some seats eg Nightcliff, the GRN vote has doubled. But the Groupers here on PB can’t cope with that. They’d rather their mealy mouthed, forelock tugging, priest ridden, Santamaria/Opus Dei inspired facism than true social democracy.

  17. Honestly, if there’s any election where it’s less relevant to indulge in Labor-Greens sparring, it’s a Territory one.

    So we end the night with 15-2-5 with Blain, Braitling, Karama, Katherine and Nhulunbuy in doubt. Is there likely to be any more significant counting tonight in those seats (or others)? Are Port Darwin and Daly realistically in doubt?

  18. Whooo…..down to three seats, from 12. Well, that’s a wipeout for the CLP, all right.

    Now it’s up to Labor to govern wisely and well, and show that the vote AGAINST Giles can become a vote FOR Labor, come next election.

  19. Actually, the ABC has pulled Daly back into doubt, which gives the CLP a guarantee of only 1 seat. They could end up with anything from 1 to 4 (but if they get 4, 2 of those will be Giles and Westra van Holthe, and won’t that be a fun party room!).

  20. D and M: Lindsay 1998
    Jeff Collins was the highly presentably and popular candidate. Peter Jones an Obeid spear carrier and CEPU official attempted to stack South Kingswood branch with 32 Filipino communications workers and when that failed formed a ghost branch in Claremont Meadows. This was to ensure the pre-selection of his girlfriend, the socially inept, Kathy O’Toole, who was thumped by Jackie Kelly in a seat that Labor had to get back to have any chance of government. In the same election Labor also threw away must win Robertson by pre-selecting Belinda Neal.

    Peter Jones eventually fell foul of both the CEPU and Obeid crime family. The latter in a disagreement over the earner he expected from Tripodi’s take-over and “development” of the Fairfield Calabrian club. He later came within 4000 votes of getting his well padded arse on the red leather in the 2015 NSW LC election as the candidate for the No Land Tax Party. He occasionally writes witty and scathing tweets about the Obeid gang as #realfakeeddie.

  21. OC@183,
    Thanks for the detailed information. I came across someone from the Claremont Meadows in the course of my work back then, and I am not sure how the conversation came up, but she was adamant that there was no branch stack, and that Cathy O’toole was a great candidate. She was probably a friend of O’toole, looking back.

    Also, I had heard that Peter Jones came for Penrith Labor – good to hear the background.

  22. Anyone understand the ABC’s predictions? CLP at 1 won and 3 predicted.

    So won Spillet, ahead in Daly. They’re behind everywhere else.

    Is it that the Electorate list section just says who has more than 50% of the TPP and the seats won/predicted actually takes into account which booths the results are from?

  23. Is Michael Gunner the first NT Chief Minister born in the Northern Territory?
    It seems quite likely the case. I haven’t checked every CM but I know that Ian Tuxworth was born in Wollongong, even Marshall Perron was born in Perth (though his family was from Darwin; they evacuated to Perth in WW2 with the bombing of Darwin imminent). Clare Martin was born in Sydney, I believe. Paul Henderson was born in France. Shane Stone was born in Victoria, I believe. Denis Burke was born in Queensland. I’m fairly confident Paul Everingham was born in Queensland.

  24. D and M
    I was at the Kingswood South meeting when the 32 Filipino CEPU members were herded in by Peter Jones. The next meeting was in the Henry Lawson Club in St Marys and Jeff Collins recruited 15 Irish Navvies at the bar. Faced with claim and counterclaim Sussex stopped both stacks but allowed Jones and O’Toole to establish Claremont Meadows which duly disappeared with O’Toole’s dismal performance at the 1998 election.

    BTW even more prescient was Sneddon’s (I have a friend who was in the ED at St Vincent’s when he was brought in but that’s another story) statement after the 1974 election. He refused to concede for some time and when asked by the PM reporter what it felt like to lose said; “We didn’t lose we just didn’t get enough votes” Born to rule indeed

  25. I’ve added some notes on the 2PP swing:

    From what I can tell so far it is more like 14-15 points than the 20 points of the MediaReach polls. So 2PP about 59 or 59 to Labor. If CLP end up with only two or three they’ll be victims of the swing hitting them where it hurts plus the loss of safe seats to indies. The swing is all over the place with three seats around 3% and two over 30.

  26. Thanks Kevin.. I don’t suppose it’s all that consquential and just reflects the transient nature of so much of the NT population.

    Marshall Perron always used to say he felt dudded by being born outside the NT even though his family was Territorian through and through. However, he has retired in Buderim, Queensland so his claim to being a lifelong Territorian is out the window anyway. What a remarkably calm sea of stability the Perron years must look to the CLP nowadays.

  27. Delia Lawrie owes the NT $200k plus in legal costs after her nefarious conduct as a minister.

    Maybe she can bring in a private members’ bill cancelling her debt.

  28. ‘Is there a precedent in Australian political history where both the leader and deputy lost their seats?’

    Yes …

    … in 1977 …

    … in the Northern Territory.

    Also in 1974 in Queensland.


    Labor lost in 2012 on the back of a massive swing to the CLP in remote majority-Indigenous electorates. That result has been completely reversed, with Labor regaining Arafura, Arnhem, Namatjira and Stuart.

    Was never on the cards that the CLP would retain that vote after they way they behaved on indigenous issues since winning in 2012. They had a real opening to develop a significant support base in those electorates, to start genuine engagement with them, and completely blew it.

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