'Massive swing' against Labor in Casuarina – Giles


Sir – Yesterday’s Casuarina by-election saw a massive swing to the Country Liberals and is a huge vote of confidence in the work of the Giles Government.
I’d like to congratulate Dr Harry Kypreos and the campaign team for their hard work over the past few weeks to secure a five per cent swing, two party preferred. He was the standout candidate and it is a great loss to democracy that he won’t be in the Parliament.
A swing of this scale to the government is unheard of mid-term, in a by-election, especially in a safe opposition seat.
Labor’s primary vote collapsed by a staggering 17 points or 1000 votes yesterday.
ALP primary support went from 59.3 per cent at the last Northern Territory election to just 42.1 per cent this weekend.
At the same time, the Country Liberals primary vote increased and only 50 votes ultimately separated the major parties.
What is clear is that Territorians are embracing the direction of the Giles Government and our vision for the development of Northern Australia that has job creation at its core. There is still more work to do and I look forward to working with Territorians over the next two years as we implement policies to create jobs, release more land and help force down the cost of living.
Labor has pushed the same negative campaign for the last four elections with Delia Lawrie running around like Henny Penny claiming the sky is falling in.
Voters are sick and tired of Delia and her negativity. She’s offered no new policies and is instead clinging onto the same tired ideas that saw Labor booted out in 2012.
Despite not taking the seat, the Giles Government will continue to represent Casuarina and other Northern Suburbs electorates as it builds a better and brighter future for the Territory. Thank you to everyone who supported us yesterday.
In Casuarina, Delia managed to do worse than Labor’s low-water mark in 2012. Voters have deserted Delia Lawrie and her leadership is now in a world of trouble. It has exposed her as a lame duck leader.
The rumblings of discontent are getting louder and the question on everyone’s lips today is how long until Michael Gunner or Gerry McCarthy make their move?
Adam Giles
Chief Minister


  1. Sounds like a sore loser to me. Congrats to Lauren Moss a clever and caring young Territirian woman who has been active on her community for a long time.
    It’s time answer some questions about Foundation 51. People want leadership not arrogance, Adam, but it’s likely you’ll only realise that in hindsight.

  2. What a load of hogwash, Adam. NT Labor’s Lauren Moss has done well to hold this seat, with only a 4% swing away from Kon Vatskalis’ 2012 “two party-preferred” vote.
    Vatskalis had been the local member for 13 years, with a big personal following in an electorate which has a very large share of voters of Greek ethnic origin.
    Kon had built up a large personal following amongst the conservative business section of this Greek group, and some of these voters have now naturally returned to the CLP upon his departure.
    In 2012 it was a straight two candidate race. This time there was a wide field of seven candidates, including a strong Green who took 10% off the Labor primary vote.
    There was also a very low turnout of registered voters, a factor which always disadvantages the ALP.
    The CLP cannily ran a popular locally born Greek doctor, but still failed to make much inroad on Vatskalis’ “favourite son” score. Unsurprisingly the minor candidates picked up quite a few votes, most of which came back to the ALP on the preferences.
    I predict that Ms Moss will easily take the Labor vote back to the Vatskalis level at the next NT Assembly election in August 2016.

  3. You would expect Labor to spin it one way and Libs the other.
    However, this is still a big swing against Labor and more importantly, it shows that Labor can’t gain seats without the Greens.
    Labor must now swing to the extreme left and adopt the Greens policies to even exist – so that makes it a Green Party, no more, no less.
    The Labor Party is no longer a representative of Australian working men and women as the Greens oppose just about everything that would offer stable employment.
    It may well be that a new “workers only” political party like UKIP emerges in Australia. It’s Time!

  4. Poor old Adam, try ever so hard to distract and stir trouble.
    By 2016 voters would have deserted Adam Giles and his appalling leadership.

  5. Gees Bob what barefaced audacity! You know very well that a swing towards the incumbent government in a by-election can only be interpreted as a disaster for the Opposition! A well deserved one I might add.
    The only reason Labor held the seat was because of undeserved residual good will to Kon. Kiss this seat goodbye at the next election, Labor!

  6. It sounds like Janet has a big sister (Maggie D, Posted October 20, 2014 at 9:37 am).
    No Maggie, there was no “big swing” against Labor. There was a small (4%) swing. You don’t seem to be aware of four important factors in this by-election:
    1. There were five extra candidates in this by-election, compared to the two-horse race in the 2012 contest in Casuarina: these five candidates understandably picked up over 17% of the first preferences.
    2. Kon Vatskalis had built up a big personal following over 11 years as the local member amongst the more conservative members of the Greek business families and defence personnel in the electorate, many of whom are people who normally wouldn’t vote Labor, and some of whom were always likely to return to the CLP once Kon departed.
    3. The failure to vote of nearly 30% of those on the electoral roll for Casuarina.
    4. The huge spending promises made by the Giles during the campaign in an attempt to bribe the electorate into forgetting about his other reprehensible policies.
    Once Lauren becomes more known to the Greek section of the Casuarina community, it is likely that some of the people who voted CLP this time will return to Labor.
    As for Labor taking on “extreme left” policies, you have got to be kidding. You are just scare-mongering, spouting anti-Labor propaganda. Labor will never take on extreme policies.
    The ALP gave the NT eleven years of good steady progressive governance between 2001 to 2012. That stands in stark contrast to the chaos, scandal and incompetence which has dominated NT politics since the CLP took power two years ago.
    There is absolutely no chance of Labor adopting far left policies, and you know it.
    Labor will continue to provide good sensible centre-left alternatives to the cruel rightwing policy trends of the CLP and Tony Abbott’s LNP.
    The CLP and LNP are in the political game primarily to further the interests of big business, at the expense of working people and the disadvantaged. It sounds like you are a fan of that approach.

  7. I continue to admire Bob Durnan’s preparedness to engage fools and zealots in reasonable discussion.

  8. Poor old Bob Durnan – going off at the deep end because a woman dares an opinion that doesn’t agree with his rather set view of the world – I therefore must receive a lecture, for my own good I expect.
    Well, Bobby, let’s examine your flawed logic. Having returned from a trip to Europe and England I see that working men and women ARE turning to UKIP as they feel compromised by UK Labour. It is possible that an alternative to Labor will occur here.
    Traditionally, by-elections produce big swings against the government; this didn’t happen, the swing went the other way. Many journalists have reported it thus.
    Just because I express an opinion that does not agree with your rigid thought process (as in I’m not a Labor Party zombie) there is no need to lash out and declare that I am “sprouting propaganda”. I could use the same comment against you.
    Your other comments about Liberals – or CLP here in the Territory – being the evil bosses and Labor the righteous defenders of good against evil is like something out of a Flash Gordon or Spiderman comic. Do you really believe this yourself? If so, you’re really a bit religious about your beliefs.
    I don’t know who Janet is. I don’t have a sister.
    Who would have I voted for if I lived in that electorate – probably the doctor – or maybe I would have been just part of the large percentage who are starting to turn their backs on politics altogether.
    Anyway Bobby. I’ll just continue to post my comments as I wish and will do so until Labor gets back in and gags me.


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