The timing of the election is dictated by the Northern Territory Electoral Act. Section 23 of the act fixes polling day as the fourth Saturday in August of the fourth year after the previous election (unless that election had been an extraordinary election). The last election was in 2012, and was a regular election. Therefore, the next election is due on Saturday, 27 August 2016.
Section 24 of the act states that an early election can be called if a motion of no confidence in the NT government is passed by the assembly, and no new government can secure the assembly's confidence within eight days. The original confidence motion must be tabled with at least three days' notice. Alternatively, section 25 mandates an early election if the assembly rejects an appropriation bill. Furthermore, section 26A permits a regular election to be moved by up to 2 months in order to avoid a clash with a federal election (either for the House of Representatives, the Senate, or both). Given the next federal election is due before January 2017, and a half-Senate election cannot be held before 6 August 2016, there remains a possibility that this section will need to be enforced for the next NT election.
Five months later, in July 2015, CLP member Kezia Purick quit the party, meaning that the Giles government lost its majority. Giles raised the possibility of an early election on 20 July stating that he would "love" to call a snap poll, but that it was "pretty much impossible to do". Both Purick and independent member Gerry Wood dismissed the notion of voting against a confidence motion to bring down the government. Unless the government's numbers in the assembly change, or either Wood or Purick reverse their position, the only way in which Giles could call an early election would be to instruct his own members to vote against his government in a confidence motion.
A redistribution of the Northern Territory's electoral boundaries commenced in February 2015, with draft boundaries released in June. Once finalised, these boundaries will apply to the 2016 general election.
On 16 June 2015, the NTEC released their proposals for redistribution. Major changes included in the proposal were:
A new seat called Spillett would be created in the northern parts of Palmerston
Alice Springs would lose a seat due to its current three seats being under quota, with Araluen merging with the large rural seat of Stuart to form a new seat, Battarbee.
Two seats will be renamed: Nhulunbuy would become Milirrpum, and Wanguri would become Somerville
The two retained districts of Drysdale and Fong Lim would lose over half of their existing electorates
More minor changes would be made to the boundaries of all but five of the remaining districts
A period of thirty days in which interested parties and individuals could lodge objections ended on 16 July 2015. The NTEC have yet to announce when they intend to present the final report to the NT government. Following this presentation, the report must be tabled in the assembly. In the event that an early election were called before the report was tabled, it would be conducted using the existing boundaries.
*13.7% of voters were undecided as to their primary vote. The poll does not reallocate these voters, but 30.8% were leaning towards the CLP, 27.9% to the ALP, 13.7% to the Greens and 27.7% to Others. As a proportion of 13.7%, this equates to CLP 4.2%, ALP 3.8%, Green 1.9%, Other 3.8%.
Better Chief Minister and leadership rating polling