The NT will lose one of its two seats in the House of Representatives – both held by Labor – because of a drop in population.
An appeal may save the day or the two members, Warren Snowdon (at left, Lingiari) and Luke Gosling (at right, Solomon), will have to toss a coin for the ALP nomination.
It’s been a tight squeeze for a long time: A Private Member’s Bill in June 2003 by David Tollner, the then Country Liberal Party Member for Solomon, failed to obtain a guarantee for a minimum of two seats each for the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
The NT is now divided – essentially – between Darwin and the rest of the NT.
The enrolments were almost exactly the same in 2019: 69,336 in Solomon and 70,023 in Lingiari.
Professor Rolf Gerritsen says last time we had only one seat Mr Snowdon held it, and he won Lingiari after the partition in 2001.
“I don’t know that Snowdon would have the appeal in Darwin that he had 20 years ago,” he says Prof Gerritsen.
“Darwin was a fraction under 50% of the Territory, and now it’s over.
“The simple reality is that Darwin is now more important in the NT. Both parties will have to pick someone who can win Darwin.”