POLITICS

Labor Wins Northern Territory Election In A Crushing Victory

The Territory went to the polls on Saturday.

27/08/2016 7:08 AM AEST | Updated August 28, 2016 06:23
Fairfax
"Tonight no doubt is a landslide," outgoing Chief Minister Adam Giles said.

Labor has won the Northern Territory election, with Chief Minister Adam Giles conceding a landslide defeat.

Two hours after polling closed on Saturday, ABC expert Antony Green said the opposition was set to form government, and with over half of the votes counted, it is predicted Labor will likely win 18 seats in the Territory's 25-seat parliament.

At around 9pm on Saturday night, Labor had secured 40.5 per cent of the primary vote with just over 20 per cent of the vote counted.

Labor leader Michael Gunner will become the new Northern Territory Chief Minister, with the outcome of Adam Giles' seat of Braitling still remaining unclear.

In his victory speech, Mr Gunner called the victory "extraordinary" and thanked voters for putting their trust in Labor.

"Territorians have spoken. They have rejected the chaos of the last four years and they have chosen to place their trust in Labor," he said.

"It is a privilege to stand here today as a servant of the public and as the new Chief Minister of the NT. A boy born in Alice Springs, who grew up in public housing in Tennant Creek and now stands here as a Chief Minister of the NT."

The outgoing minister congratulated Gunner on taking government.

"It's a rewarding experience...and well done to him," Giles said as he delivered his concessional speech on Saturday evening.

He labelled his party's defeat a "thumping".

"Tonight no doubt is a landslide... Politically speaking, tonight's result is a lesson in disunity is death in politics. It's a result of personality before politics, it's a lesson in looking after oneself rather than thinking about the people.

"That message has been heard loud and clear within the candidates and the party of the Country Liberals."

But a defeated Giles thanked his CLP constituents and said his party was leaving behind a better Northern Territory.

"I would like to think the investments that have been put into place right across the NT will leave a long-lasting legacy."

"We will come back. We will remove the disagreements, we will remove the personalities of politics and we will come back bigger and better because one thing is for sure... Labor can't manage the economy, Labor can't manage law and order."

"One day in the future, the NT will look on us to take back leadership."

Earlier:

The election result comes an no surprise, as pollsters tipped the Labor opposition to take power from the Country Liberals (CLP) government.

The cost of living and fracking were expected to be among the key issues high on NT residents' minds as they cast their ballots earlier today.

Labor leader Michael Gunner said that he was cautiously upbeat heading into Saturday's vote.

He urged Territorians to put the ALP number 1 on their ballots.

"It is important Territorians vote for certainty today and Labor can give the certainty, stability and unity and we've got positive plans," he told the ABC.

"I'm confident in our teams and our plans and in 10 hours we'll know the result. I am confident Labor can form government and be a good government for the Northern Territory."

The CLP is predicted to suffer a big swing against it following high-profile controversies including the dumping of former chief minister Terry Mills and the recent Don Dale juvenile detention centre saga.

In the lead up to the election, chief minister Adam Giles emphasised his party's credentials on jobs and economic management while Labor has stressed the importance of restoring trust to government.

Giles told reporters it was up to Territorians to decide who governed the Top End for the next 4 years.

"We've put out a pretty comprehensive plan for how we're going to manage the economy through this economic crisis that's coming up in the Northern Territory," he said.

"People are really worried that Labor will send the Northern Territory into a recession and many people are talking to me about how me make sure we bring investment to the Territory."

The NT will join the likes of Queensland and Victoria in throwing out first-term conservative governments.

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