Only tiny handfuls of votes have been added since I lost interest in the Northern Territory count at the end of last week, meaning no change in what looked like a result of Labor 18, Country Liberal Party two and independents five (Gerry Wood in Nelson, Kezia Purick in Goyder, Terry Mills in Blain, Robyn Lambley in Araluen and Yingiya Mark Guyula in Nhulunbuy). Despite narrow margins in a number of places, including the defeats of Adam Giles in Braitling and Willem Westra van Holthe in Katherine, the only seat where the lead could plausibly change is Nhulunbuy, where Labor deputy leader Lynne Walker trails by 10 votes. According to the Northern Territory News, 45 out of 127 postal votes sent out are yet to be returned, and will be admitted to the count if they are received by noon tomorrow.
Walker may perhaps be a chance if postal vote arrivals in the last few days have been stockpiled for final counting, but there would clearly be no prospect of today’s arrivals turning the result. The Northern Territory News reports Labor supporters in Gove have been “desperately trying to rally voters to submit the outstanding 45 votes and fly them by courier to Darwin before the Friday deadline”, which raises questions I can’t answer about the status of postmarks in determining whether postal votes are admitted at Northern Territory elections. Walker says she would consider a legal challenge if the margin was less than five votes, though on what basis isn’t clear.