Northern Territory general election, 1977

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Northern Territory general election, 1977
Northern Territory
← 1974 13 August 1977 (1977-08-13) 1980 →

All 19 seats of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
  First party Second party
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Leader Goff Letts
Party Country Liberal Labor
Leader since 19 October 1974
Leader's seat Victoria River (lost seat)
Last election 17 seats 0 seats
Seats won 12 seats 6 seats
Seat change Decrease5 Increase6
Percentage 40.1% 38.2%
Swing Decrease8.9 Increase7.7

Majority Leader before election

Goff Letts
Country Liberal

Elected Majority Leader

Paul Everingham
Country Liberal

A general election was held in the Northern Territory on Saturday 13 August 1977. Though the election was won by the incumbent Country Liberal Party (CLP), the party lost five of its seven executive members. Surprisingly, one of the casualties was Majority Leader Goff Letts—one of the few instances where a major-party leader at any level in Australia lost his own seat. The election also marked the emergence of the Australian Labor Party as a parliamentary force: Labor took six seats in the new assembly.

The Progress Party contested the elections, winning 9.76% of the primary vote across the territory, but failed to secure any assembly seats.

The Country Liberals chose Paul Everingham to succeed Letts as Majority Leader. Everingham appointed a new Executive, which included future Chief Ministers Marshall Perron and Ian Tuxworth. The following year, the Territory attained self-government. Everingham became Chief Minister, while his Executive became a Ministry with greatly expanded powers.

Independent Dawn Lawrie retained her seat of Nightcliff at this election, while Ron Withnall lost his seat of Port Darwin to the CLP.

Retiring MPs[edit]



Northern Territory general election, 13 August 1977[1]
Legislative Assembly
<< 19741980 >>

Enrolled voters 43,284
Votes cast 32,861 Turnout 75.9% +0.5%
Informal votes 1,044 Informal 3.2% –1.9%
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes  % Swing Seats Change
  Country Liberal 12,769 40.1% –8.9% 12 – 5
  Labor 12,165 38.2% +7.7% 6 + 6
  Independent 3,718 11.7% –8.8% 1 – 1
  Progress 3,104 9.8% +9.8% 0 ± 0
  Communist 61 0.2% +0.2% 0 ± 0
Total 31,817     19  


Sitting members are in bold. Successful candidates are highlighted in the relevant colour.

Electorate Held by Labor Candidate CLP Candidate Progress Candidate Other Candidates
Alice Springs CLP Rosalie McDonald Rod Oliver Brian Evans
Arnhem CLP Bob Collins Rupert Kentish Phillip Brain
Barkly CLP Jean Havnen Ian Tuxworth Neville Andrews Margaret Conway
Billy Foster
Casuarina CLP Dennis Bree Nick Dondas Robert Hoey
Elsey CLP Les MacFarlane Deidre Killen Davis Daniels
Patricia Davies
Fannie Bay CLP Pam O'Neil Grant Tambling Edward Osgood William Fisher
Gillen CLP John Thomas Jim Robertson Peter Johncock
Jingili CLP Diana Rickard Paul Everingham David Cooper John McCormack
George Tarasidis
Ludmilla CLP Christopher Draffin Roger Steele Terry Johnson
Macdonnell CLP Neville Perkins Dave Pollock Mark Fidler
Millner CLP Jon Isaacs Roger Ryan Elva Pearce
Nhulunbuy CLP Denise Fincham Milton Ballantyne Jacob De Vries
Nightcliff Independent Ronald Nobbs Uldis Blums Dawn Lawrie
Port Darwin Independent Michael Scott Tom Harris Ian Smith Brian Manning
Ron Withnall
Sanderson CLP June D'Rozario Liz Andrew Geoffrey Bennett Kitty Fischer
Herbert Sinclair
Stuart CLP Trevor Cutter Roger Vale Kenneth Kitto
Stuart Park CLP Judith Muras Marshall Perron Kenneth Day Ernest Chin
Tiwi CLP Harry Maschke
Bernard Tipiloura
Noel Padgham-Purich*
Cyril Rioli
George Ryan Terrence O'Brien
Victoria River CLP Jack Doolan Goff Letts Frank Favaro


  1. ^ Wade-Marshall, Dean Jaensch, Deborah (1994). Point of order! : the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory 1974-1994. Darwin: Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory. ISBN 0731520769. 

See also[edit]