9.08pm. The two-party numbers from Parap look better to me for Labor than the primary votes did, breaking 805-640 their way for a swing of 8.6%. That puts Labor ahead 1745-1597, and I don’t believe there’s more to come than a trickle of late postals and a handful of provisionals. In raw terms, which are as good as any other by this stage, that gives Labor a winning margin of 2.2% after a swing of 7.3%, which is roughly par for the course for a by-election result — maybe a little worse.
8.01pm. Parap has indeed swung heavily against Labor, and with much more votes cast than last time — 1445 compared with 895 formal votes. So we have likely seen a move among conservative voters from pre-poll to election day voting. Labor is down 16.0%, the CLP is up 6.9% and the Greens are up 7.7%. So we’re still looking at a tight result.
7.57pm. The postals broke 120-113 to the CLP on two-party, so they still have a tight 957-940 overall lead. However, the big outstanding factor is the Parap booth, which broke 576-319 to Labor in 2020. For the CLP to get home, the swing there will need to exceed what we’ve seen so far.
7.53pm. 233 postal votes have been added to the primary vote count, and they have swung heavily against Labor — down 21.0% on the primary vote with the CLP up 13.5% and the Greens up 9.7%.
7.36pm. I made a bit of data entry error on the Darwin pre-poll booth: Labor’s primary vote was indeed down 10.2%, but the CLP was only up 4.3% with the Greens up 6.6%. So in other words, the swings there were much like Ludmilla and Labor still looks like it has an advantage. Now the two-party is in from the pre-poll booth, and while the CLP won the booth and has a raw lead of 837-827, they did much better on pre-polls in 2020 than other kinds of vote. If that’s the case again this time, Labor should pull ahead from here. However, that may not entirely hold this time because there was only one pre-poll option this time compared with three, and it appears voters may have taken their business to election day booths.
7.19pm. With 1664 votes in from the Darwin pre-poll booth, it would seem we’re looking at a very close result here: Labor is down 10.7% and the CLP is up 9.1%, suggesting a two-party swing bang on the Labor margin of 9.6%.
7.05pm. The Ludmilla two-party result is 248-210 in favour of Labor, which is a 7.3% swing to the CLP compared with 2020.
6.39pm. Eleanor in comments dispels my earlier confusion about “Urban Voting Darwin”, which is mobile hospital voting (and sometimes prisons, but not on this occasion). It’s 16 votes broke 9-7 to the CLP on two-party preferred.
6.38pm. The Ludmilla booth is in, with 458 formal votes this time compared with 282 last time, presumably due to there being fewer pre-poll voting places this time. There is a solid 11.6% drop in the primary vote to 30.6%, but most of it has gone to the Greens, who are up 8.2% to 24.2%. The CLP is up 5.1% to 37.6%, which is less than it would need to rein in the 9.6% margin, but not by so much that you could call the result at this point.
6.22pm. Results are in for something called “Urban Voting Darwin” — whatever this is, it is not the pre-poll booth. It accounts for all of 16 formal votes, of which the CLP has seven and Labor four.
6pm. Polls have closed. There were only 282 votes cast at the Ludmilla booth in 2020, so we should expect primary vote numbers from there at least inside the hour.
4pm. Two hours before the close of polls, here is my live thread for the Fannie Bay by-election count, which will choose a successor to former Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner in an electorate that covers suburbs just north of central Darwin. Labor is defending a seemingly solid margin of 9.6%, but such measures can be deceptive in the territory’s tiny electorates, in which candidate factors weigh heavily. There are three independents in the field along with Labor, the Country Liberal Party and the Greens, and I will have competitive they might be until results are in. There won’t be terribly many of these: there are only two election day polling booths, plus a pre-poll booth that operated in central Darwin. The Labor government, now headed by Natasha Fyles, holds 14 seats out of 25, so defeat would leave it one away from minority status.1