Northern Territory general election, 2008
|Results by electoral division.|
General elections were held in the Northern Territory of Australia on 9 August 2008. Of the 25 seats in the Legislative Assembly, 23 were contested; two safe Labor seats were uncontested. The incumbent centre-left Australian Labor Party (ALP), led by Chief Minister Paul Henderson won a narrow third term victory against the opposition centre-right Country Liberal Party (CLP), led by Terry Mills. Labor suffered a massive and unexpected swing against it, to hold a one-seat majority in the new parliament.
|Australian Labor Party||34,557||43.2||−8.8||13||−6|
|Country Liberal Party||36,334||45.4||+9.7||11||+7|
|Australian Labor Party||39,415||49.3||−9.2||13||−6|
|Country Liberal Party||40,614||50.7||+9.2||11||+7|
Independents: Gerry Wood
Arnhem and MacDonnell were won by the ALP by default as no other candidates nominated, and therefore do not contribute to votes in the above result table. The Greens ran in six of the 25 seats, averaging around 16 percent. Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Heritage, Minister for Parks and Wildlife Len Kiely was defeated as was Minister for Sport and Recreation, Corporate and Information Services Matthew Bonson.
The CLP had dominated the Legislative Assembly from its creation in 1974 until 2001, when Clare Martin led Labor to government by one seat. Four years later, Labor was reelected in a landslide that surprised even the most optimistic Labor observers, reducing the CLP to only four seats. Labor even managed to oust Opposition Leader Denis Burke in his own seat. Martin resigned in 2007, shortly after a federal intervention, and was succeeded by Education Minister Paul Henderson.
In January 2008, Opposition Leader Jodeen Carney faced a challenge from her deputy, Terry Mills. Carney rebuffed a proposal to swap posts with Mills (in which she would have become deputy leader under Mills), instead calling a spill. When the vote was tied, Carney declared that a tie vote was not a vote of confidence and resigned, leaving Mills to take the leadership unopposed. Hoping to take advantage of a booming economy and the recent change in opposition leadership, Henderson opted to call an election a year before it was due.
The writs were dropped only days after the gazetting of new electoral boundaries. The Electoral Commission didn't have nearly enough time to notify voters of their new electorates, and a number of Labor MPs swept into office on the back of the 2005 landslide were unable to connect with new constituents on the hustings.
The CLP regained much of what it had lost in its severe beating of three years prior. Notably, it retook two seats in Palmerston that it had lost to Labor in the 2005 landslide. While the CLP won a slim majority of the two-party vote (aided by two Labor incumbents being reelected unopposed), Labor retained all but one seat in northern Darwin, allowing it to win a third term. Labor was only assured of reelection when it won Martin's old seat of Fannie Bay by a narrow 78 votes.
- Issue of writ: 22 July
- Close of roll: 8pm 24 July
- Close of nominations: 12 noon 28 July
- Postal voting commences: 31 July
- Pre-poll voting commences: 4 August
- Polling Day: 9 August
The following members did not seek another term at the election.
Sitting members are in bold. Successful candidates are highlighted in the relevant colour.
Seats changing hands
|Braitling||Independent||Loraine Braham||0.9||N/A||23.6*||Adam Giles||Country Liberal|
|Brennan||Labor||James Burke||1.8||3.4||2.7||Peter Chandler||Country Liberal|
|Drysdale**||Labor||Chris Natt||1.3||9.6||10.1||Ross Bohlin||Country Liberal|
|Fong Lim||Labor||notional - new seat||N/A||13.7||2.2||David Tollner||Country Liberal|
|Goyder**||Labor||Ted Warren||1.6||7.4||7.9||Kezia Purick||Country Liberal|
|Port Darwin||Labor||Kerry Sacilotto||1.1||5.0||3.0||John Elferink||Country Liberal|
|Sanderson||Labor||Len Kiely||8.4||17.4||7.4||Peter Styles||Country Liberal|
- Members in italics did not contest their seat at this election.
- *Braitling's second figure is CLP vs. Labor
- **Due to boundary changes, Drysdale and Goyder were notionally CLP at the time of this election. However, as they were held by members of the ALP at this time, they are still included in this table.
- "NT election on 9 August". Ntnews.com.au. 21 July 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Mills concedes defeat in NT election". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- 5 Minutes 10 Minutes. "Opposition concedes NT election". Theaustralian.news.com.au. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Labor narrowly wins NT election". News.smh.com.au. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Legislative Assembly results 2008: NT electoral commission". Notes.nt.gov.au. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Legislative Assembly results 2005: NT electoral commission". Notes.nt.gov.au. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- 2012 NT election guide: Antony Green ABC
- "Henderson denies NT leadership an issue". News.theage.com.au. 12 August 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2012.