Fannie Bay by-election, 2022

Cause of by-election
Former chief minister Michael Gunner resigned from parliament in July 2022 after stepping down as chief minister in May 2022.

MarginALP 9.6%

Central Darwin. Fannie Bay covers suburbs immediately to the northwest of the Darwin city centre, including Fannie Bay, the Gardens, Parap, East Point and Ludmilla.

The electorate of Fannie Bay has existed since the first NT assembly election in 1974. The seat has tended to be safe for one party then change hands when the MP retired, at least until the last change of member. The seat’s last three members have all led their party.

The CLP’s Grant Tambling won Fannie Bay in 1974, and lost the seat in 1977. He later served in the federal Parliament, first representing the Northern Territory in the House of Representatives from 1980 to 1983, and then served as a Senator for the Northern Territory from 1987 until 2001.

Labor’s Pam O’Neill won Fannie Bay off Tambling in 1977 and held the seat for two terms, losing in 1983. She later served as federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner from 1984 to 1988.

The CLP’s Marshall Perron won Fannie Bay in 1983. Perron had represented the neighbouring seat of Stuart Park since 1974, and had served as deputy chief minister since 1978. A redistribution had abolished Stuart Park, so Perron ran for Fannie Bay.

Perron held Fannie Bay until his retirement in 1995. He served as chief minister from 1988 until 1995.

Labor’s Clare Martin won Fannie Bay at the 1995 by-election. She became Labor leader in 1999 and led the party to victory in 2001, becoming the first Labor chief minister of the Northern Territory. Martin resigned as Chief Minister in late 2007 and retired from the assembly in 2008.

Labor’s Michael Gunner succeeded Martin in 2008. He was elected leader of the ALP in 2015, and led the party back into government in 2016. He won a second term in 2020, and stepped down from the leadership and parliament in 2022.


  • Brent Potter (Labor)
  • George Mamouzellos (Independent)
  • Raj Samson Rajwin (Independent)
  • Jonathan Parry (Greens)
  • Leah Potter (Independent)
  • Ben Hosking (Country Liberal)

Northern Territory electorates have small numbers of voters and often the incumbent MP is crucial to holding the seat. The seat is a relatively strong seat for Labor, and seems likely to stay with Labor, but it could produce a surprise.

2020 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Michael Gunner Labor 2,095 48.2 -8.2
Tracey Hayes Country Liberal 1,510 34.8 +1.0
Peter Robertson Greens 444 10.2 +10.2
Rebecca Jennings Territory Alliance 242 5.6 +5.6
Mark Mackenzie Independent 54 1.2 +1.2
Informal 85 1.9

2020 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Michael Gunner Labor 2,589 59.6 -2.9
Tracey Hayes Country Liberal 1,756 40.4 +2.9

Booth breakdown
There are two booths in Fannie Bay: Parap in the centre of the seat and Ludmilla in the east.

Labor polled 61.4% of the two-candidate-preferred vote in Ludmilla and 64.4% in Parap.

The Greens vote ranged from 14.2% in Parap to 16.1% in Ludmilla.

Voter group GRN % ALP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
Parap 14.2 64.4 895 20.6
Ludmilla 16.1 61.4 280 6.4
Other votes 8.9 63.5 888 20.4
Pre-poll 8.5 55.9 2,282 52.5

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  1. I think Labor will probably win this one — not much has really changed since the Territory election that would suggest a CLP upset here, and I doubt the tough-on-crime rhetoric will play all that well here. Looking at the 2022 federal election results in Ludmila and Parap, though, the Greens did do quite strongly – 20.62% in Ludmilla and 19.37% in Parap. Obviously these are quite different political environments, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Greens do well in this by-election and poll a strong third. (Maybe around 20% if they’re lucky?)

  2. I’d also note the 2PP in Ludmilla and Parap in 2022 — 62-38 in Ludmilla and 59-41 in Parap, both won by Labor. Certainly Gunner’s retirement might make this more of a close-run thing but the area still leans Labor over the CLP.

  3. I think that 2PP was closer than expected between ALP and CLP. At one point in the count the CLP were ahead by 10 votes. Not a good sign for the CLP’s prospects in 2024 though. They were really hoping to show some momentum building and I don’t think a “close” result really gives them that narrative, but I’m sure they’ll still try.
    It was a much lower voter turnout than expected. Last NT election had 81% turnout, this by-election – just 63%. So really seems like a reasonable proportion of the electorate couldn’t care who won. And the stakes were pretty low to be fair – it wasn’t going to change any balance of power in the NT parliament.
    The Greens saw the biggest increase, with 19.4% of the primary vote – a swing of more than 9%.

  4. If I were the CLP, I would be greatly encouraged by these results. They outperformed the federal ballot by around 8% & if the swing were replicated, the CLP would have a majority. However, judging by the fact that by-election swings tend to be greater than generic swings, I would expect this seat to trend further to the ALP in the future (especially with the high Green vote), but it does indicate that the ALP could lose their majority come 2024.


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