Northern Territory election: vote-counting continues as Labor edges closer to majority | Australia news

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Vote counting is set to resume in the knife-edge Northern Territory election, with incumbent Labor edging closer to a majority.

The three-way race, which includes the County Liberal party and newcomers Territory Alliance, is the first major political test of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The chief minister, Michael Gunner, told supporters he was “very confident Labor would form the next government” following Saturday’s poll.

The battle is coming down to a handful of key seats including Arnhem, Barkly, Brennan, Braitling, Daly, Katherine and Namatjira.

Labor was ahead on primary votes in Arnhem and Katherine on Sunday but the two-party-preferred count had to be checked after the wrong candidates’ names were used.

The party was also ahead of the Country Liberal party in Barkly by 102 two-party preferred when vote counting ended for the day.

The race is tighter in Daly and Namatjira, where the CLP led Labor by seven and 25 votes respectively on a two-party-preferred basis.

On Saturday night, Labor secured 38.9% of the primary vote to the CLP’s 31.8%.

Gunner’s team was on track to take at least 12 seats in the 25-seat assembly but on Sunday, two seats swung back to the CLP.

Despite this, Labor scrutineers expect 13 seats will be secured, delivering a majority. Labor won 18 seats in the 2016 poll.

A formal declaration of the poll is not scheduled until 7 September, three days after postal votes close.

Counting continues on Monday, with recounts of the two-party-preferred ballots for Arnhem, Blain, Fong Lim, Johnston and Katherine.



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