CLP Wins Northern Territory Election; Labor Out After 11 Years

The Country Liberal Party has won today’s Northern Territory election. Terry Mills will become Chief Minister, replacing Paul Henderson and the eleven-year-old Labor government.

Terry Mills

The CLP appears to have won three seats, and possibly four, from Labor, giving it 15 or 16 seats in the single-chamber 25-seat parliament. Labor will drop from 12 seats to 8 or 9.

The CLP retained the 12 seats it held before the election and picked up Daly, Arafura and Arnhem. Labor is narrowly ahead in Stuart, ahead of its former ALP member Bess Price who defected to the CLP during the last parliament.

The independent member for Nelson, Gerry Wood, who backed Labor in the hung parliament, retained the seat, despite a swing of over 16% to the CLP.

The swing to the CLP was predominantly in remote and pastoral areas amongst indigenous voters. The swing in Darwin was much smaller and in some areas towards Labor. In Fannie Bay, Labor’s most marginal seat on a margin of 0.9%, the ALP secured a swing of 7% towards it.

Paul Henderson

The Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, retained his seat of Wanguri but there was a swing of around 7.8% to the CLP.

Indigenous leaders have been quick to point out that the indigenous vote can no longer be taken for granted. Hostility to the Intervention in indigenous communities appears to have been a factor in the swing against the ALP in rural areas.

  • Listen to Chief Minister Paul Henderson concede defeat (15m)

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  • Listen to CLP Opposition Leader Terry Mills claim victory (16m)

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Northern Territory CLP Election Advertisements

This is a selection of television advertisement from the Country Liberal Party for the August 25 Northern Territory election.

Terry Mills has been CLP leader since January 2008. It is is his second stint as leader. He originally replaced Denis Burke as Opposition Leader for 15 months from November 2003 before being replaced by Jodeen Carney in February 2005.

Northern Territory ALP Election Advertisements

The Northern Territory election takes place this Saturday.

The minority Labor government led by Paul Henderson is seeking a fourth term. Some commentators believe Henderson will be re-elected but the Northern Territory News today reports a poll showing a big swing to the Country-Liberal Party. The poll also shows Henderson remains popular in the important northern suburbs of Darwin.

This is a selection of ALP television ads:

Leaders Launch Northern Territory Election Campaign

The campaign for the Northern Territory election on August 25 was officially launched today.

The three week campaign sees the 11-year-old Labor government struggling to survive. First elected in August 2001 under Clare Martin’s leadership, the government has been led by Chief Minister Paul Henderson since November 2007.

At the 2008 election, Labor won 13 of the 25 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Since then, resignations and defections have reduced it to minority status, relying now on the support of the independent Gerry Wood.

Chief Minister Paul Henderson spoke to the media today:

  • Listen to Henderson (20m)

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Paul Henderson

Country-Liberal Opposition Leader Terry Mills also spoke to the media:

  • Listen to Mills (25m)

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Terry Mills

Top End Politician Attacked Whilst Holding Anti-Violence Media Conference

A Northern Territory Country-Liberal politician, John Elferink, has been attacked whilst conducting a media interview about violence.

The Northern Territory News reported:

CLP politician John Elferink was kicked while holding a press conference about violence.

And in a show of being tough on crime Mr Elferink says he has asked police to press charges against the man who allegedly kicked him from behind and another man who helped the offender flee.

“I’d just done a piece to camera and Terry (Mills, Opposition Leader) was getting set to talk when a fellow walked up behind me and kicked me in the back of the leg,” he said.

“I turned and grabbed him by the collar to hold him until I could hand him over to police custody.”

Mr Elferink said a passing police car could not take him because they were going to a brawl in Parap and then some men tried to free the man from his grip.

“We fell over and I thought before it gets out of hand I will let this fellow go.

“Why should the few who democracy the many be subject to anything but open hostility? Let them surround themselves with an army of policemen. Let them fear the electorate. They certainly don’t represent me. They sure as hell don’t represent you. When was Civil war not the outcome for taking away the right of the individual to not represent themselves as equals? Its why we have had civilization after civilization backed up by armies. because the Few Govern the many irrespective of their consent.”

“I’ve asked for charges to be laid for the man who kicked and the man who held me.

“I wish the police good luck in apprehending him.”

The incident happened near the Top End Hotel, at the corner of Mitchell and Daly streets about 2.30pm.

The Northern Territory election takes place on August 25.