By ERWIN CHLANDA
Question to Eli Melky (pictured), town councillor and political bit player (former CLP, Palmer United): Are you going to be standing as an independent in Braitling?
Answer: I am 100% not considering standing at this time. Absolutely not.
Q: What about tomorrow?
A: Unlikely – but who knows what the future holds?
Mr Melky admits he’s having get-togethers with Opposition Leader Michael Gunner but only related to his sports show on radio and to discuss issues that are affecting this town, in his role as councillor.
Q: Is there a ploy to divert conservative votes from Independent Phil Walcott in the Chief Minister’s seat?
A: I am not part of any ploy. It is frustrating to be in council as there is a high CLP representation. It’s difficult to imagine whose interests are being best served at the moment, CLP or our town? While I will welcome opportunities to better serve the public, including stepping up to stand for Territory politics, even Federal, at this time I am not intending on it.
Meanwhile there is a persistent rumour of a poll in Braitling two weeks before Easter which spelt doom for Adam Giles: The numbers, from a sample of 220, were 38% Phil Walcott (Ind), 28% Dale Wakefield (Labor), 22% Adam Giles (CLP) and 5% Jane Clark (Ind).
Dalton Dupuy has since declared his candidacy for the Greens.
What seems to be sure is that the survey – if indeed it took place – wasn’t commissioned by the CLP: Its president, Tory Mencshelyi, is adamant.
Labor figures in The Centre aren’t sure about the poll – but that doesn’t mean much, given that Mr Gunner and his minders don’t like answering difficult questions, even apparently from his own team.
If you think the Federal election campaign is going to be long, try the NT: It’s 16 weeks to our due date.
Melky for Braitling? It's a maybe.
By ERWIN CHLANDA