- Trish Crossin (ALP)
- Nigel Scullion (CLP)
The Northern Territory first elected Senators in 1975, when the Labor Party and the Country Liberal Party each won a single seat. Both parties have maintained this 1-1 split at every election since, with no serious challenge to this status quo.
The strongest ever minor party performance came in 1987, when the Northern Territory National Party, who were not endorsed by the federal Nationals, ran for the Senate and polled over 14%. This election saw the CLP fall below a quota (polling 32.5%) for the only time in three decades of Senate elections. The National Party never ran again for the Senate in the Northern Territory, and the CLP recovered to a primary vote above 40% in 1990. The 1987 election saw the ALP top the poll for the first time, and ever since then the party that won the federal election has topped the poll in the Northern Territory, with the CLP winning in 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2010; and the ALP coming first in 2007.
In 1998 the CLP fell below 40% for the second time when One Nation polled 9.3%, but they still safely won a quota.
In 2010, the ALP suffered a 12.6% swing against them. That vote was split between the Shooters and Fishers and the Sex Party, who hadn’t run before, and a 4.7% swing to the Greens.
|Australian Sex Party||4,930||5.10||+5.10||0.1530|
|Shooters and Fishers||4,640||4.80||+4.80||0.1440|
The Country Liberal Party topped the ticket in 2010. Labor suffered a large swing against them, but still retained the seat reasonably comfortably.
There was a big swing to the Greens, and the Sex Party and the Shooters and Fishers performed strongly in their first performance.
Sitting Country Liberal Senator Nigel Scullion is presumably running for re-election. Sitting Labor Senator Trish Crossin is not running for re-election. Crossin was headed towards a preselection challenge from former Labor MLA Marion Scrymgour, but this was headed off by the preselection of former Olympic athlete Nova Peris. It is unclear if Scrymgour still plans to run in the election. Patricia Petersen’s Australian Independents are running Phil Walcott. The Palmer United Party is running Doug Tewake.
The Northern Territory has always been the least interesting Senate race in the country: no result has come close to challenging the 1-1 Labor/Country Liberal split.
That is likely to remain the case in 2013.
Having said that, Labor has been doing particularly poorly in the Northern Territory in recent times. While the ALP has sometimes struggled with white voters in Darwin and Alice Springs, the big swings against them in 2010 and in the 2012 NT election were focused in outback indigenous communities.
Marion Scrymgour was partly headed off because of her opposition to the intervention and concern about her independent streak. She had once quite Labor and sat on the crossbenches when she was a member of the NT Legislative Assembly.
If Scrymgour was to choose to run as an independent, and gained preferences from the Country Liberals and the Greens, it’s not inconceivable that she could threaten Peris’ coronation.