Labor, CLP discuss preference swaps: Scott McConnell


In an unprecedented move to consolidate their monopoly on power in the NT, Labor and the CLP candidates may be swapping preferences in next year’s election in order to block independents.
Scott McConnell (pictured), the sitting Member for Stuart and declared independent candidate for Braitling in 2020, says he has received solid reports about negotiations between the major parties.
“They have an interest in maintaining the status quo which is the opportunity for either of them forming government,” he says.
“Labor in particular doesn’t like the fact that Robyn Lambley, the independent Member for Araluen, is doing a good job representing Alice Springs, and they are willing to do anything they can do to get rid of her.”
He says contrary to common belief that the two parties are on opposing sides, there is a “very small coterie of people who manipulate the politics of the town.
“They don’t speak on the record. They are doing their secret deals in coffee shops and private meetings, and we don’t actually know what’s going on, about the gallery and land swaps and so on.
“The public is just not being informed. These are our assets, the assets of the community, but these discussions are taking place in private to advantage the people who are in their roles now, like the Mayor Damien Ryan and the Member for Braitling Minister Dale Wakefield.
“They are playing their cards to suit them at the expense of our community – and the reputation of our community also.”
Mr McConnell says the demolition of Anzac High, which local historian Alex Nelson has said he will seek to prevent by applying for a court injunction, is an example: “That building is not an asset of the current government. It is an asset of the taxpayers.”
As such it has been very useful as a home for the St Joseph Learning Centre for underprivileged children, now moved “into a sub-standard facility at the old Batchelor College.
“They want to knock down [Anzac High] so they are looking like they are doing something.”
We have offered the right of reply to Ms Wakefield and Mr Ryan.
UPDATE Oct 9, 1pm
Ms Wakefield and Mr Ryan have neither confirmed nor denied the accuracy of reports received by Mr McConnell.


  1. We need to stop voting for the same same old parties.
    Labor and CLP don’t represent the people, just their own interests. Put them last.
    And Scotty what’s your position on fracking, my member refuses to state his position, bit expects me to vote for him, without knowing what he stands for.

  2. May be we will have to boycott the next elections in protest.
    As Nelson Mandela has pointed out, boycott is not a principle, it is a tactic depending upon circumstances.

  3. @ Stewart Hyway: At Federation there was only one organised major party in the Federal Parliament the Labour Party (later changed in 1913 to the American spelling Labor by its American leader King O’Malley).
    The rest of the Parliament consisted of individuals who were never going to have any clout getting legislation passed if Labour was against it.
    So after a few years they organised little groups with similar interests, developing gradually to parties with clout.
    If we stop voting for the major parties, then two things are sure to happen: We will return initially to an early post-Federation of a parliament of not even one party, and MPs will be running around aimlessly pushing their own individual agenda items.
    Nothing getting done.
    Then, when it becomes obvious that things are a chookhouse mess, the brighter MPs will put their heads together … and hey presto! Parties are formed once more!
    Human nature never changes mate. There is nothing new under the sun … especially in the power mindset of our pollies.

  4. Are Australian political parties ignoring their members, even worse their electorates?
    Recent Commonwealth election result reflects over-concentration on left or right issues whilst ignoring middle voters.
    NT elections show wider variations, perhaps with less attention to middle of the road voters.
    Politicians failing to demonstrate real recognition and attention to middle voter concerns are ignoring most voters.

  5. John Bell, if the two majors are only interested in representing their own corrupt interests then don’t vote for them.
    If we elect a bunch of independents that eventually band together, so what.
    At least the pollies will know that they are there to represent their electorate not the backroom boys. Staying with the status quo is a ticket to nowhere.

  6. This does make sense, for the CLP and the ALP to preference each other, if they don’t they could both face oblivion.
    But the problem is, the two party preferred counting system by the commission, if one of them isn’t picked as one of the two, both could lose the count. Designed for only two parties contesting.


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