NORTHERN TERRITORY: Labor is looking increasingly likely to narrowly lose two tight contests and hold only eight seats in the Northern Territory’s 25-seat parliament.
In the electorates of Arafura and Stuart the Country Liberal Party (CLP) remains in front by a nose, five days after the NT elections, although results are still too close to call.
On two-party terms in the seat of Stuart, an electorate the size of Germany, former Environment Minister Karl Hampton from the Australian Labor Party (ALP) trails his aunt, Bess Price, from the CLP by 143 votes, with nearly 3000 votes counted.
Ms Price now leads Mr Hampton by 52.7 per cent to 47.3 per cent but Labor has threatened to challenge the final result due to what it says are voting irregularities in the community of Nyirripi.
In Arafura, which includes western Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands, the CLP’s Francis Xavier is 46 votes ahead of former AFL player Dean Rioli in the two-party vote.
Mr Xavier has 50.8 per cent of the two-party vote, compared to Mr Rioli’s 49.2 per cent.
If Labor loses both Arafura and Stuart it will end up with only eight seats in the 25-seat NT Legislative Assembly, with the CLP holding 16 seats and one Independent elected.
Meanwhile, the Labor Party continues to get used to being in opposition, with former chief minister Paul Henderson officially resigning as leader in favour of former deputy Delia Lawrie.
He has pledged to stay on in parliament and act as a mentor.
The CLP has already begun to court controversy in office.
After promising during the election campaign that, if the CLP were elected, the deputy chief minister of the NT would be Kezia Purick, Chief Minister Terry Mills has been rolled by his party.
Central Australian politician Robyn Lambley has instead been elected deputy by the parliamentary wing.
Ms Purick reportedly said she would cop the decision on the chin, but thought Mr Mills could have forced his will on the party if he’d chosen to.