Northern Territory election minus one week

Six more shopping days left of the Northern Territory election campaign, which has so far proceeded in a generally uneventful manner.

One more week to go until the Northern Territory election, which from this remove seems to be proceeding uneventfully, unless you count the Northern Territory News’s targeting of Michael Gunner with a trademark News Corp Photoshop job after he confusingly asserted the territory would have “hard border controls in place for at least the next 18 months”.

The only whiff of polling that I’m aware of is a report in the Northern Territory News ($) last week that said MediaReach polling for the Territory Alliance had “Labor and Territory Alliance nearly neck and neck and ahead of CLP” in Drysdale and Braitling, respectively held by Labor on margins of 5.2% and 3.0%. These are the only two electorates in which the Territory Alliance is directing preferences to Labor ahead of the CLP apart from Port Darwin, where the party has had a late change of heart owing to its candidate Gary Strachan’s opposition to fracking. It has Labor last in all the other seats it is contesting, which is most of 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.

12 comments on “Northern Territory election minus one week”


    Braitling is an endurance race, says anti fracking Hopper
    13 August 2020

    Almost 14% of the Territory has already had their say in the August 22 election via early voting, says the NT Electoral commission.

    Here in Alice Springs voters have been streaming through the early voting centre at the old ANZ bank on the Todd Mall.

    In Braitling, where the grand total of seven candidates are jockeying for around 5600 votes, 693 ballots are already in the box, in an electorate that will surely go down to the wire.

    Independent candidate for Braitling Kim Hopper says that with so many days of early voting, whoever comes out on top in Braitling will be the winner of “an endurance race.”

    Friday 14 August – After five days of polling, 22.3% of Northern Territory electors have already voted. Another eight days of early voting lies ahead before polling day

    Northern Territory Electoral Commission concerned by low voter turnout in remote areas

  2. citizensays:
    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 9:57 am
    Do we know where Greens preferences are going this time?

    They initially preferenced the far right Australian Federation Party above Labor in Alice Springs.

    One of their candidates showed his objection to this by changing his HTVs individually with a pencil, when he realised what the Greens had done. However this is not the case in all seats.

  3. Greens preferences:
    Araluen – ?
    Braitling – IND, Federation Party, IND, TA, ALP, CLP
    Casuarina – TA, ALP, CLP
    Daly – ALP, IND, CLP, TA
    Fannie Bay – TA, IND, ALP, CLP
    Goyder – IND, IND, TA, IND, ALP, IND, CLP
    Johnstone – ALP, TA, IND, CLP
    Namatjira – ?
    Nightcliff – AJP, ALP, TA, CLP
    Port Darwin – no recommendations

  4. Arafura – Labor Retain
    Araluen – Territory Alliance Retain
    Arnhem – Labor Retain
    Barkley – TOSS UP
    Blain – Territory Alliance Retain
    Braitling – TOSS UP
    Brennan – TOSS UP
    Casuarina – Labor Retain
    Daly – CLP Retain
    Drysdale – Labor Retain
    Fannie Bay – Labor Retain
    Fong Lim – Territory Alliance Retain
    Goyder – Independent Retain
    Gwoja – Labor Retain
    Johnston – Labor Retain
    Karama – Labor Retain
    Katherine – CLP GAIN
    Mulka – Independent Retain
    Namatjira – TOSS UP
    Nelson – Independent Retain
    Nightcliff – Labor Retain
    Port Darwin – TOSS UP
    Sanderson – TOSS UP
    Spillett – CLP Retain
    Wanguri – Labor Retain

    ALP: 10
    CLP: 3
    TA: 3
    IND: 3
    Toss Ups: 6

    From previous post: I’ve changed my predictions to update the numbers above. I still
    think the CLP will do way better than what those numbers suggest, I just don’t
    know where the swing will be and how strong, I really think the CLP has hit the
    advertising hard the past week, but with 1/5 of the territory already voted, I
    wonder how much impact this will have. (ACT and QLD in October will be interesting
    to see how parties adapt their campaigns based on the higher incident of early voters.)

    My changes:
    Barkley – Moved from CLP Gain > TOSS UP.
    Namatjira – Moved from CLP Gain > TOSS UP.

    I’ve moved Barkely to TOSS UP. I am still leaning to a CLP Gain with ballot order, a
    high profile CLP Candidate being local Mayor and loss of sitting member personal
    vote. However, with the ALP Candidate being a local councillor himself, GetUp
    having a presence at the remote booths and a historically Labor seat (surviving
    even 2012) I’m not as confident in calling it a gain anymore.

    I’ve moved Namatjira to TOSS UP as I think I may have under-estimated the strength
    of Territory Alliance’s candidate here, even if my hunch is still CLP Gain.

    Brennan I’m still considering a TOSS UP for now, despite Labor’s heavy
    advertising presence (from NT News article), I am thinking
    this one is firming more as a CLP Gain. Sensing more a mood for change
    with CLP, I don’t think former CLP, now IND, Peter Chandler will get
    as high a vote. I’ve kept it as TOSS UP due to the possible splinter
    of 3 (CLP, TA, ex CLP MLA) vote, but with compulsary preferences, and
    a swing, it’s seeing it hard for CLP not to win here.

    Braitling I have no idea still. It’s just so open that realistically
    either ALP, CLP, TA or ex ALP now IND MLA could win it.

  5. (EDIT: This comment was meant to come before my previous one but I think due to too many edits
    it disappeared as spam.)

    Thanks for those updates @Leroy. I was surprised that over 20% had already voted in Katherine alone!

    @Desert Qlder – i definitely missed that little tidbit! I could understand GRN having AJP higher
    up on their HTV, but AFP seems an odd choice, although could be a pox on Gunner’s house more
    than anything.

    For those who missed it, GetUp has Volunteers in 6 electorates discussing with people
    about how they should preference/vote for based on a ‘scorecard’. GetUp’s media release
    is below: (I chose not to use the NTNews as paywalled.)

    And you can see how they rank the candidates here:

    I’m not sure as to how much influence they will have, but they seem to be targetting the close and open contests.
    Also the general pattern seems to be vote IND first, then ALP second in the 6 seats they are volunteering in.
    Although Katherine it’s ALP first, and Namatjira it’s GRN first. Just thought I’d post as an interesting tidbit
    of another organisation coming into play in this election, although GetUp I’d normally find more likely to
    have success in more progressive areas, such as VIC. In Mulka, they preference the IND which might have
    an impact.

    Talking of advertising impact, the NTNews has an article about some of the online spending of parties, in particular Facebook. ($ Paywalled)

    “Within the CLP’s ranks, Fannie Bay candidate Tracey Hayes has run the largest number of ads in the campaign,
    though at 19 advertisements it pales in comparison to Territory Labor HQ’s 120.”

    “Analysis of the number of ads being run by Labor MLAs and candidates shows the seat most targeted by the party is Mulka,
    which they lost in 2016 by just eight votes when it was named Nhulunbuy.

    Labor candidate Lynne Walker has run 33 Facebook ads, paid for by Territory Labor, since mid-July.

    In comparison, Labor’s Natasha Fyles and Nicole Manison, in the safe seats of Nightcliff and Wanguri, have run 11 and 13 ads each.”

    NTNews also had a poll of preferred CM. As always, take these with a bowl of salt but nevertheless interesting
    to see the mood. ($ Paywalled)

    From 1,081 votes has Gunner 35%, Finocchairo 53% and Mills 12%. I normally wouldn’t pay much attention to these but
    knowing the NT’s smaller electorates, seems there is a mood for a stronger swing then first released. I had originally
    thought the prospect of a CLP Govt with TA support in a hung parliament as a serious proposition, but as @Mick
    mentioned in the previous thread, it really is had to predict how much the swings will be in the small electorates.

  6. It’s going to be beautiful in its ugliness.

    There’s a chance of 3 blocs – alp, ca, ta – in which case it’s likely someone will rat to make up the difference.

    If the Fireman holds on in Fong Lim he could be central to the outcome.

  7. The preferred Chief Minister is telling, the ALP would have romped home and will still win in a canter, Gunner’s Government has been mediocre to poor but unfortunately for the NT the ALP has been much better than the CLP’s last effort which was the worst the NT has ever had by some margin.

    Gunner though has nothing going for him in every department a leader needs that I actually feel sorry for him and start going red with embarrassment whenever he speaks and I have to turn the radio to another station.

    The NT needs to be somehow incorporated back into the federal government and would be if Australia really new of the deplorable conditions that thousands live in, the child welfare issues are so diabolical that the information is actually hidden and this is going on in one of wealthiest nations in the world.

  8. Kevin Bonham following the Bookies sees Labor winning at least 15 seats.

    Kevin Bonham
    Aug 18
    Seat betting now super bullish for Labor, has them odds-on in 18 seats (2 only just), CLP 4, TA 2, IND 1. See disclaimer in quoted tweet. #ntvotes
    Quote Tweet

    Kevin Bonham
    · Aug 13
    Seat betting for #ntvotes: Labor favourite in 16 seats, CLP 4, TAP 2, IND 1, CLP/TAP 1. However Labor has implied chance <50% in 4 seats where it is favourite, and little implied chance in most where it is not. Betting = not necessarily predictive, but in the NT well what is.
    Show this thread
    Kevin Bonham
    Aug 18
    Such is the perceived power of personal vote in the NT that that market has Labor gaining Daly (CLP 1.7%) and losing Barkly (ALP 15.9%)
    Kevin Bonham
    Since Tuesday 3 seats have flipped to CLP in seat betting so Labor now favourites in 15, CLP 7, TAP 2, Ind 1. Some seats have seen dramatic shifts.
    (Disclaimer above applies, just noting for interest to see how accurate or not it will be.) #ntvotes

  9. Thanks for sharing that GG.

    I noticed that NT News is going hard against Labor (gunning for.. well. Gunner), spruiking all sundry for CLP and almost ignoring TA. It was interesting to note an article of same story in NT News vs ABC, with the ABC being very balanced in mentioning all parties in roughly same amount of information, as opposed to the NT News article being about 60% CLP good, Labor 30% bad and TA are jokes 10%. How much an impact this is having on the election with very few media outlets, who knows. But just interesting to note.

    It has definitely been a sense of CLP picking up momentum, especially with the debate on Wednesday where Lia put in a good performance, as did Terry while Michael was found out to sea. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a slim ALP majority government with no Gunner.

    Of note, Mulka MLA, Yingiya Guyula, has been campaigning for 3 other independents, if they get in to form a sort of block, rebuking in some ways his previous relationship with Terry Mills when they were looking to form the North Australia Party. ($ paywalled)

    “”Mulka MLA Yingiya Guyula, Arnhem hopeful Ian Gumbula, Barkly candidate Gadrian Hoosan and Braitling hopeful Kim Hopper have revealed they are pledging to co-operate in the next parliament if elected, spurred partly by frustrations of bush communities being left out of Darwin-centric policy decisions.

    Mr Guyula, who sensationally unseated Labor’s then deputy leader Lynne Walker in Nhulunbuy (now Mulka) in the 2016 election, said he wanted to see “strong independent voices” in NT’s parliament who could speak without “being silenced by a Darwin agenda”.

    Taking a swipe at party politics, Mr Guyula said the quartet believed, if elected, they could work constructively in the interest of their regions, not the “party masters”. “”

    I do definitely feel like the TA peak has passed and will try to do a last round of predictions on Saturday. Again, it’s so hard to predict a NT election [especially after the last 2] so will be fun to see how many I can pin down. Although from betting markets with Labor gaining Daly is seriously laughable. It’s a CLP stronghold and if Labor couldn’t get it at high tide, it aint falling at this one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *