Labor's Dheran Young claims Daiy by election
TERRITORY Labor has claimed a historic victory in the Daly by-election, snatching the seat from the Country Liberal Party in what will be a first for a sitting NT government.
The by-election was triggered by the resignation of the CLP’s Ian Sloan who won the seat by a whisker at last year’s Territory election with another close result expected when the tally began on Saturday. But in the end Labor’s Dheran Young romped home, with Chief Minister Michael Gunner publicly calling the result for his man by about 7.30pm, describing the result as “incredibly humbling”.
“Dheran Young is a decent, honest and hardworking Territorian – and he will be a terrific Labor member for Daly,” he said. “Tonight’s result only encourages us to work even harder for all Territorians. We are so grateful that you have backed us – and we will keep backing you every day. We are especially grateful for the overwhelming support the bush has shown us. We don’t take that support for granted – and we will work even harder to keep your trust.”
Mr Young said he was “blown away” by the support of voters. “The Chief (Minister) has been a huge support and the message I got loud and clear was that Territorians want us to keep them safe from Covid,” he said.
A breakdown of first preferences by voting centre showed the battle was won and lost in the bush. The CLP’s Kris Civitarese outpolled Labor in rural area booths like Coolalinga and Berry Springs but it was the more remote communities that took Labor to victory.
Mr Civitarese and independent Rebecca Jennings, both more than doubled Mr Young’s first preference votes in Berry Springs.
But Mr Young took the lead in the Daly mobile teams, with upwards of 1100 votes, compared to Mr Civitarese’s 457.
At the end of the night, Mr Young was sitting pretty on 1532 primary votes to Mr Civitarese’s 1160. Ms Jennings had racked up 530 primary votes with fellow independent Wayne Connop trailing on 189.
“This result is historic and I know I have to work really hard to keep their trust,” Mr Young said.
NT Electoral Commissioner Iain Loganathan said with postal and declaration votes still to count, the official result would not be known for another two weeks. But with only about 440 of those votes still outstanding and Mr Young already 372 primary votes ahead of Mr Civitarese, Labor’s history-making byelection win is all but assured.