Labor Party wins Daly by-election in Northern Territory, Australia

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Saturday, September 11, 2021

Dheran Young, MP-elect for Daly.
Image: Dheran Young for Daly.

Northern Territory Labor candidate Dheran Young yesterday won the Daly by-election, becoming the first government candidate in the Northern Territory, Australia (NT) to win a seat from the opposition at a by-election.

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Michael Gunner celebrated the victory in a Facebook post, writing "tonight's historic victory in Daly - the first time ever that a government has won a seat off the opposition in a by-election - is incredibly humbling. Dheran Young is a decent, honest and hardworking Territorian - and he will be a terrific Labor Member for Daly."

The seat of Daly was previously held by the opposition Country Liberal Party (CLP). The by-election was caused after the previous member Ian Sloan resigned in August. The CLP ran Kris Civitarese in the by-election, with ABC News reporting that Civitarese's campaign was focused on issues of crime, while Young focused on the territory government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and on promises of increased homelands and housing funding.

With Young's win, he will become the first Labor member for Daly since 2012. Election analyst Antony Green called the win a "significant gain for the government", noting that, excluding a 2003 by-election in the seat of Katherine, by-elections in the NT have usually seen a swing away from the incumbent government.

It was also noted by Green that the Labor Party was particularly dominant in the votes from mobile polling teams, who collect ballots from remote communities. Young also won a plurality of votes in the Wagait Beach polling place and Darwin early voting centre, while Civitarese won a plurality of votes at the Berry Springs and Coolalinga early voting centres. Independent candidate Rebecca Jennings won a plurality of votes at the Berry Springs polling place.

Election results[edit]

62.4% counted out of total enrolled voters. Accurate as of 7:58PM, September 11, 2021 (ACST).

Party Candidate Votes Share Change
Labor Dheran Young 1,532 44.9% +10.8%
Country Liberal Kris Civitarese 1,160 34.0% -1.8%
Independent Rebecca Jennings 530 15.5% New
Independent Wayne Connop 189 5.5% New
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Dheran Young 1,905 55.8% +7.0%
Country Liberal Kris Civitarese 1,506 44.2% -7.0%

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