MICHAEL GUNNER NEW CHIEF MINISTER AS LABOR STORMS TO OFFICE; CLP LIKELY TO HOLD 3-4 SEATS; SAFE SEATS FALL TO ALP IN LARGE SWINGS
The Country Liberal Party was routed in today’s Northern Territory election, losing at least 8 of its 12 seats to the ALP, which will govern with at least 16 seats in the 25-seat Parliament.
The CLP has lost 18.6% of its primary vote and currently sits on 32.0%. The ALP’s primary vote has risen 6.4% to 42.8%.
Swings of around 12-16% were common across the Territory and reaching 20% in some areas. The CLP lost heavily in the Darwin suburbs and failed to hold the bush seats with large numbers of indigenous voters that it won in 2012.
As counting drew to a close for the night, commentators agreed that the CLP had retained just 2 seats (Daly and Spillett). Chief Minister Adam Giles was trailing by 21 votes in his seat of Braitling. Giles’s previous margin was 19.6%. In Katherine, Willem Westra van Holthe trailed the ALP by 31 votes. Held by 22.3%, Katherine was the CLP’s safest seat going into the election. Van Holthe attempted to overthrow Giles in February 2015, in a farcical tussle that ended with van Holthe becoming Deputy Chief Minister before being forced to resign in 2016 over conflict of interest allegations.