Solomon – Australia 2019

ALP 6.1%

Incumbent MP
Luke Gosling, since 2016.

Solomon covers the Darwin metropolitan area, as well as the nearby city of Palmerston.

Solomon retracted slightly, losing an area at the eastern edge of Darwin to Lingiari. This change increased the ALP margin from 6% to 6.1%.

The Northern Territory first elected a Member of the House of Representatives in 1922, but this person was only given full voting rights in 1968.

The seat was held by the Country Party and then the Country Liberal Party from then until 1983

Labor and then the CLP each held the seat for one term from 1983 to 1987, before Warren Snowdon won the seat for the ALP in 1987.

Snowdon lost the seat for one term in 1996 before being returned for one more term in 1998.

The 2000 redistribution saw the Northern Territory gain a second seat for the first time, and the seats of Solomon, covering Darwin and Palmerston, and Lingiari, covering the rest of the territory, were created.

In 2001, Country Liberal candidate Dave Tollner won the seat by only 88 votes. In 2004, he increased his margin to 2.8%. The 2007 election saw Tollner lose his seat to the ALP’s Damian Hale, by a slim 0.3% margin.

In 2010, Hale lost his seat to Palmerston alderman Natasha Griggs, running for the Country Liberal Party. In 2013, Griggs won a second term, despite a 0.35% swing back to Labor.

Griggs lost in 2016 to Labor candidate Luke Gosling.


  • Luke John Gosling (Labor)
  • Lorraine Gimini (Rise Up Australia)
  • Kathy Ganley (Country Liberal)
  • Timothy Parish (Greens)
  • Raj Samson Rajwin (United Australia)
  • Sue Fraser-Adams (Independent)
  • Assessment
    Solomon is still reasonably marginal and could return to the CLP if there was a large swing to the Coalition.

    2016 result

    Luke Gosling Labor 22,30840.9+5.440.9
    Natasha GriggsCountry Liberal18,80434.4-10.234.4
    Todd Williams Greens 5,55310.2+2.210.3
    Mark GarnerIndependent1,6443.0+3.03.0
    Marty ReinholdShooters, Fishers and Farmers1,5232.8+2.82.7
    Robert DawesLiberal Democrats1,2752.3+2.32.3
    Lance LawrenceMarijuana (HEMP) Party1,1432.1+2.12.1
    Silvija MajeticRise Up Australia9851.8+0.81.8
    John KearneyAustralia First7981.5+1.51.4
    Nevin CartwrightOnline Direct Democracy3690.7+0.70.7
    Brigid McculloughCitizens Electoral Council1830.3-0.10.3

    2016 two-party-preferred result

    Luke Gosling Labor 30,56656.0+7.456.2
    Natasha Griggs Country Liberal 24,01944.0-7.444.0

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three clear parts. The town of Palmerston stands apart from the City of Darwin. Within Darwin, there is a clear divide between the south and the north of Darwin.

    The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 51.2% in South Darwin to 62.1% in North Darwin.

    The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 6.9% in Palmerston to 11.4% in North Darwin.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    North Darwin11.462.116,80032.2
    South Darwin11.051.28,22115.7
    Other votes11.250.04,5398.7

    Election results in Solomon at the 2016 federal election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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    1. This came up in the Braddon thread as a seat Liberals could win back off Labor. Not really seeing it; the swing in 2016 was overinflated by Griggs and Giles but Gosling is due for a sophomore surge and I don’t see Gunner being much of a drag. I would think a Labor retain with any decent effort.

    2. “Over Inflated” is a very mild way of putting it. Giles stunk to high-heaven. There will be a correction, the only question is how much. This seat is usually slightly Liberal leaning: went CLP in 2001 and 2004 with the ALP only just getting across the line in 2007, before reverting to CLP again in 2010. If Turnbull wins, incumbency will be the only thing that saves the ALP here.

    3. Agree with Peterjk23, there will be a correction back to the CLP, but only in the vicinity of between 3-4% is my guess.

      With the nationwide swing expected to put Labor into office, I struggle to see Gosling losing Solomon this time round.

    4. There’s an interesting geographic disparity in the 2016 swings. Every Palmerston booth, including the pre-poll, had double digit swings to Labor. Whilst every Darwin booth had single digit swings to Labor.

      Any idea why this would be?

    5. The boats are a really big thing in the NT. Probably there is some out of proportion cost issue, like it is somewhat in WA.

      Apparently Griggs went hard in 2010, 2013, but there was no force in it, in 2016. The issue in one for labor to lose, & perhaps exacerbated in Solomon

    6. Any idea why this would be?

      A lot of Defense Housing Authority property in Palmerston and environs, so I suspect that that’s where you’ll find sizable proportion of the defense sensitive vote

    7. Winediamond,

      I think pay scales would be more their priority, I don’t think many beyond inner city liberals (not in the political party sense) care about the welfare of illegal immigrants illegally entering Australia.

    8. Sandbelter
      Hey !!. I am mean’t to be the cynic !!. But seriously we cannot underestimate the psych impact of dating with dead bodies.

    9. Does anyone think this seat may actually swing towards the Libs despite what everyone is predicting to be quite a sizeable Labor win? Not sure if I would call it a possible surprise Lib win amongst a very likely whole lot of losses yet, but on the news that pops up about the NT government from time to time, it doesn’t seem rosy for NT Labor (come the next NT election, I expect quite a a correction).

      May just be me, but I think for Northern Territorians, territory and federal politics goes hand in hand. Back in 2016, everyone there hated the Giles Government, and it showed in the 2016 federal election, but the situation has now changed…maybe a sophomore surge for Gosling will blunt it, but I have doubts that there will be much of a swing towards Labor here come this year’s federal election.

    10. Agree with WL, NT Labor is hurting at the moment with people being expelled from the party room, the party sending the Territory financially up the proverbial and a weak Chief Minister. There may be swings to the CLP in both seats.

      I also think there will be a huge correction (possible upset win for the CLP) in August 2020. But for this Federal election, I expect both seats to stay Labor.

    11. No way can a goverment lose after 1 term after winning the biggest victory in territorial history, i have no idea what your on to think that, At worst i think it would be a Labour minority goverment, but theres no way the CLP can gain back power after 1 term in opposition, while it may have happend last election where a 1 term gov was defeated, your crazy to think it would happen twice in a row. Labour is certainly favoured in the next territorial election. And i believe there will be tiny swings to the ALP in these 2 seats because of the toxic liberal brand this election.

    12. I think this is a seat that will always be swingy and therefore neither side can take for granted ….. and woe betide he/she who does. Territory politics can be idiosyncratic and both majors NT branches have histories of periodic dysfunction. Can/will it potentially swing sufficiently to go against what may be the national pattern so as to change hands ? Certainly a notional case to be made but at this point more a case of noting it down as one to watch, particularly as a potential anomaly.

    13. C Wombat
      Yep. I wonder if labor knew specifically they were rolling the electoral dice on this one, with Medivac ?? Funnily enough i think the NT state deficit, & Debt of $36 BILLION is a bigger issue. I mean the place is completely insolvent.

    14. There was an article in the Australian. Liberal sources suggested Lingari is maybe a chance but Solomon is no chance and it’s reflected on Sportsbet where the coalition are at $9:50. I expect both seats to be retained by Labor. The election is just too much in Labors favor via pendulum swings to counter any anmistosty voters may have to the N.T. government up there.

    15. With an unpopular state government, Labor dropping the ball on a major political issue, and the aforementioned factors about this being a naturally CLP leaning seat, Gosling won’t have an easy time retaining.

      I am reminded of Cowan and Swan in the 2007 election when I look at the NT.

    16. John
      Yep this is now in play. Matt CUNNINGHAM was on the Front Page last night saying this is seen as a referendum on the NT govt. Bookies odds have gone from $9.50 to $2.75. Lingiari is similar.

    17. Considering the previous Country Liberal NT government was also very unpopular I’m not sure that NT politics will help them that much.

    18. The swing to Labor in 2016 would have been bolstered by an unpopular CLP government – which lost office in a landslide just weeks after the federal poll. A swing back to the CLP on May 18 is quite likely considering the parlous state of the Territory economy and government finances. An ALP loss would require a large swing – though stranger things have happened – especially as it appears the public service will be cut.

    19. Both Shorten and Morrison have been in the NT recently, so maybe both their internal polling is showing a close result.

      You feel if Morrison has any hope of offsetting losses in other states he has to pick up seats like this. It’s a long shot, but I think it’s plausible. Still would expect a labor retain, albeit with a swing back to the CLP.

    20. There has been a steady drip of news from the NT. None of it good for Labor. No seems to think Labor can lose this. Will it really come as a shock if they do ??.
      There is a singular compelling issue in the NT. There is an effective breakdown of Law & order. Massive increases in crime, assaults , & terrifying home invasions. That is a vote changer.

    21. Apparently the CLP candidate has screwed up. However the Labor govt is taking every opportunity to keep reminding everyone just how bad they are. More doubtful now. Labor could hold on


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