Lingiari – Australia 2013

ALP 3.7%

Incumbent MP
Warren Snowdon, since 2001. Previously Member for Northern Territory 1987-1996, 1998-2001.

Lingiari covers the vast majority of the Northern Territory, with the exception of Darwin and Palmerston. The seat covers Katherine and Alice Springs, as well as many indigenous communities throughout the Territory.

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, before Labor and then the CLP each held the seat for one term, 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, were created.

Snowdon has been elected in Lingiari four times. His margin was increased at the 2004 and 2007 elections, but suffered a big swing against him in 2010.


  • Peter Flynn (Citizens Electoral Council)
  • Barbara Shaw (Greens)
  • Alf Gould (Independent)
  • Tina MacFarlane (Country Liberals)
  • Regina Mccarthy (Rise Up Australia)
  • Trevor Hedland (Palmer United Party)
  • Kenneth Immanuel Lechleitner (Australian First Nations)
  • Warren Snowdon (Labor)

Lingiari has been held for Labor since its creation in 2001, but it is now a very marginal seat. After a big swing against Labor in the outback in 2010, the ALP lost most of their seats in outback Northern Territory at the 2012 territorial election.

If those swings are replicated in 2013, Lingiari will likely fall to the Country Liberal Party.

2010 result

Warren SnowdonALP17,20540.08-13.91
Leo AbbottCLP14,70834.26-0.40
Barbara ShawGRN5,40312.59+5.67
Deirdre FinterIND2,0384.75+4.75
Kenny LechleitnerIND1,9104.45+4.45
Peter FlynnCEC1,6633.87+3.87

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Warren SnowdonALP23,05153.70-7.46
Leo AbbottCLP19,87646.30+7.46
Polling places in Lingiari at the 2010 federal election. Darwin outskirts in orange, Top End in green, Katherine in red, Outback in purple, and Alice Springs in blue. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Lingiari at the 2010 federal election. Darwin outskirts in orange, Top End in green, Katherine in red, Outback in purple, and Alice Springs in blue. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Lingiari is an unusual electorate, covering a massive area. A large proportion of the vote is cast through “remote mobile teams” – roving polling places that can’t be identifiably associated with a particular geographical location. Twenty-one of these teams were used in Lingiari, and collectively they made up 28% of the vote cast. This is larger than the vote in any one identifiable area. Only 21% of votes were cast in Alice Springs. While it isn’t possible to identify which part of the electorate these votes came from, they would have come from remote communities in the outback and the top end, and been dominated by indigenous voters.

In addition to the remote mobile teams, booths have been divided into six areas by geography. The main towns of Alice Springs, Katherine and Darwin have been grouped together. Darwin itself is in Solomon, but there are some areas on the outskirts that are part of Lingiari.

In addition, the remaining booths were divided between the Top End, the Outback and the Islands (Christmas Island, Home Island and West Island).

The ALP won two-party-preferred majorities in almost all areas. The Country Liberal Party won a 54.7% majority in Katherine. The ALP’s margin varied from 50.08% in the Darwin outskirts to 64.5% on the islands. The CLP narrowly won the vote in the ‘other votes’ category (including absentee, postal and prepoll votes).

The Greens performed very strongly in Lingiari in 2010. The vote peaked at 31.% in the outback, largely thanks to a huge 33.7% vote in Tennant Creek. The Greens also polled over 15% in Alice Springs and 12.6% at the remote booths.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Remote Mobile Teams12.5859.5111,03325.70
Alice Springs15.2354.258,18219.06
Darwin outskirts7.4350.085,55912.95
Top End11.5362.932,1424.99
Other votes12.2748.5212,12828.25
Two-party-preferred votes in Lingiari at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Lingiari at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Lingiari at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Lingiari at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in parts of Lingiari near Darwin at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in parts of Lingiari near Darwin at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in parts of Lingiari near Darwin at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in parts of Lingiari near Darwin at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in parts of Lingiari around Alice Springs at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in parts of Lingiari around Alice Springs at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in parts of Lingiari around Alice Springs at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in parts of Lingiari around Alice Springs at the 2010 federal election.


  1. Tina MacFarlane is running for the Country Liberals, and Warren Snowdon has been endorsed to stand again for Labor. Should be very interesting considering Snowdon has such a high personal vote plus the NT Government not being very popular. Will be a close call.

  2. The Liberal Party has signed up many Aboriginal elders and communities in this seat to help with better indigenous/white relations. I think Snowden will probably lose this one. Abbott is not unpopular in these parts.

  3. ohhh I would not be too sure……on territory election figures would be non labor…..
    but @ territory level Alice Springs is reliably non labor…..last fed election Mr Snowdon won Alice Springs.But I just don’t know

  4. Typo – Greens candidate last time was Barbara Shaw – an Indigenous woman standing on strong opposition to the intervention – reflected in the Greens vote around Alice Springs

  5. Yes, probably one of the hardest seats to predict although would have to say the Libs have a strong chance here.

  6. Hard call, this one.
    Tony Abbott apparently tried to convince Alison Anderson, the Labor-cum-Independent-cum-CLP member of the Northern Territory Parliament, to run against Warren Snowdon – barely months after she’d become a minister in the newly-elected CLP Government led then by Terry Mills. He apparently wanted an Aboriginal woman in the Coalition ranks in Federal Parliament.
    Although such a move would’ve meant an Aboriginal woman having to win seat off another party, rather than being foisted in a safe seat, a la Nova Peris, Abbott’s approach to Anderson looked too much like tokenism.
    Snowdon has been around a very long time and would seem hard to dislodge, although his seat is not safe and he previously lost it in the anti-Keating landslide of 1996.
    Still, I’m tipping Snowdon to lose, in a close one.

  7. Mr Trevor Hedland, who is the Executive Director of National Aboriginal Solutions has been chosen to contest Lingiari for Palmer’s United Party.

  8. Expect PUP to poll okay here. If preferences flow to the Libs as Palmer has indicated, then could be hard for Labor to hold onto. I’d put this one in the Lib camp at the moment and we won’t have any idea until election night.

  9. I know that DB thinks that this is a good possibility for a CLP win, that would make sense based on last years Territory election but I really do wonder? What would be the chances that both NT seats are lost by their incumbents this election?

  10. Exactly, you’d have to be a fool to base a federal result in the NT based on the territory elections. Most people vote one way at a territory level and the other at the federal level

  11. Seems to be a northern-Australia trait, because Queensland has a tendency to do that, too.

    Anyway, it’s worth noting that DB’s comment came before the switch to Rudd, and at that time, Solomon didn’t look like it was going to be an ALP gain, either. With the switch, ALP have improved in both seats, and I’d suggest that this is now likely a retain, and Solomon a possible gain for Labor.

  12. Glen, actually my ref to DB was due to what he wrote about Lingiari in answer to a Solomon query I had a couple of days ago. I should have mentioned that, and perhaps I read to much into his brief reply.

  13. Observer – from what I am hearing, Aboriginal communities are rallying behind Abbott. That is not good news for Snowden.

  14. If KAP runs here I think they cold mirror primary votes they received in North Queensland during the state election with a good candidate. I honestly believe the CLP will do badly, having Nova Peris as a candidate, the only indigenous candidate in the NT for either side isn’t going to help Abbott and the CLP and what you hear and what internal polls say are always different on Election Day which is why at every NT election they say it will be close

  15. This post on PB proves that some in Lingiari are being polled in a seat where polling some communities must be difficult. So we may see some seat specific polling or at least some NT specific polling in the next day or two;

    “Just Me Posted Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm | PERMALINK
    For what it is worth, I am in Lingiari and just got robo-polled by ReachTel (I think it was). As best I can recall the questions were:

    1. Who gets your primary vote? Labor or Liberal?
    2. Who would make the better PM? Rudd or Abbott?
    3. Regardless of who you will vote for, who do you think will win the election? Labor or Liberal?
    4. Which of the following is the most important election issue for you?
    – Asylum seekers
    – Cost of living
    – Leaders
    – Education
    – Economy
    – Environment
    5. Which party can best handle the asylum seekers? Labor or Liberal?
    6. Which party can best handle the economy? Labor or Liberal?
    Finishing off with a couple of demographic questions about my age and gender.”

  16. Aboriginal elders indicate that Abbott received the most incredible reception of any political leader ever yesterday. Hard to rely on polls in Lingiari but this looks like being a CLP gain based on support from Aboriginal communities.

  17. CLP won a lot of outback seats when they swept to power – this will surprise a lot of analysts on election night I think.

  18. Observer – Isn’t Peris running in the Senate – We’ve seen seats support one party in the House and another in the senate before. I honestly can’t predict Lingiari. While my gut instinct is to say that it would stay with Labor, the swing at the Territory election, particularly in aboriginal communities can not be ignored. Definitely one to watch.

  19. Yes but she’s brand labor, face of the ALP in the bush which they will respond better to then Tina McFarland

  20. Observer – I understand, but you realise the ALP brand is stuffed. In the debate Rudd didn’t refer to the ALP on one occasion, whereas Abbott referred to the LNP on 12 occasions. If that doesn’t demonstrate current branding positions of both parties, then nothing will.

  21. I wouldn’t trust any poll in this seat as about 42% of the seat is made up of indigenous communities. Mind you, I have seen nothing on this seat.

  22. DB the liberals accuse labor of talking about themselves too much, that being brand labor so which is it? Going by your measure of aboriginal people immediately voting for a party because they have an aboriginal person in it, you’d have to admit being a senator is more prestigious then being an advisor

  23. But I thought a lot of indigenous communities respected Trish Crossin and were annoyed by the token appointment of Peris. So her being on the Senate ticket may not be enough for Snowden.

  24. Well if Crossin was respected her primary wouldn’t have taken such a dive at the last election. Snowmen has a huge incumbency and is widely respected and will probably win

  25. I think Nova Perris will actually be a drag on Labor here because she is a prime example of the debarcle that was the Gillard Leadership. Trish Crossin certainly won’t be helping and the fact that Warren Mundine has supported Abbott in the past puts this seat in play big time.

    I would say the CLP are slightly in front but it is game-on.

  26. Barbara Ward from Alice Springs, campaigner against the Intervention is running for the Greens again and polled around strongly in the centre and outback.

  27. Two things working against ALP here:
    1. ALP overperformed in urban (white) areas last time due to news breaking during the campaign of an AVO against the then CLP candidate.
    2. CLP will now have 4 Indigenous sitting members to help them get out the vote.

    Balance this against problems within CLP Government, fact that CLP candidate is non-indigenous this time and that Snowdon has had a wake up call and will no doubt be taking the campaign more seriously.

  28. This is a potential gain for the Country Liberals next election I’d expect. On 0.9% and a very likely chance that Warren Snowdon will retire will provide the Libs with their best chance of picking this one up. Snowdon did well to hold onto it this time, much of his success is his personal vote in the bush.

  29. Electionlova
    Do you know the story about Warren & the Commonwealth jet he used for the dog race in Sydney?? For years every time he spoke in parliament, the coalition members would howl

  30. Abbott must be humiliated by the CLP campaign. Based on the results, Namatjira, Stuart, Arnhem and Arafura would all go massively to labor with swings of over 30% in some seats. In one part of Alison Anderson’s seat, there was a swing to labor of over 50%! At the 2010 election, the bush turned away from labor and delivered the CLP government. Alot say federal results are a good indicator for the NT. CLP face a wipeout in the bush seats they won off labor

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