Johnston by-election, 2020

Cause of by-election
Independent MP Ken Vowles, a former member of the ALP, announced his resignation from parliament in November 2019.

Margin – ALP 14.7%

Geography
North Darwin. Johnston covers the suburbs of Millner and Moil, along with part of Alawa, to the north of the airport.

History
The electorate of Johnston has existed since 2001, and has always been won by Labor.

Labor’s Chris Burns won Johnston in 2001. Burns was a minister in the Labor government from 2002 to 2012. He was re-elected in 2005 and 2008, and retired in 2012.

Labor’s Ken Vowles succeeded Burns in 2012. Vowles was re-elected in 2016. He served as a minister in the newly-elected Labor government but was sacked as a minister and kicked out of the Labor caucus in December 2018. He announced his retirement in November 2019.

Candidates

  • Joel Bowden (Labor)
  • Aiya Goodrich Carttling (Greens)
  • Braedon Earley (Ban Fracking Fix Crime Protect Water)
  • Steven Klose (Territory Alliance)
  • Josh Thomas (Country Liberal)

Assessment
It’s always hard to predict the result of an NT election, particularly in the absence of a sitting member. This is a strong area for Labor and they would be the favourite, but it’s not clear what impact the departure of Ken Vowles might have on local Labor support.

2012 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Ken Vowles Labor 2,01951.4+3.6
Steven Klose Country Liberal 1,23431.4-7.6
Melanie Ross Greens 67617.2+9.3
Informal771.9

2012 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Ken Vowles Labor 2,45364.7+8.1
Steven Klose Country Liberal 1,33935.3-8.1
Exhausted1373.5

Booth breakdown
There are two booths in Johnston: Millner in the west and Moil in the east. Labor polled 62% of the two-candidate-preferred vote in Moil and 67% in Millner.

The Greens vote ranged from 16.6% in Moil to 18.6% in Millner.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Millner18.667.082120.9
Moil16.662.21,04526.6
Other votes21.564.771718.2
Pre-poll14.665.21,34634.3