‘No deals’ even if NT Labor doesn’t win majority Gunner says
NT Labor won't do any "deals" with independent candidates in order to form a government if it doesn't secure a majority at the election, Chief Minister Michael Gunner has said.
Speaking at a polling booth in his electorate of Fannie Bay hours before polls closed, Mr Gunner said he "won't do any deals" with independents because he wanted NT Labor to govern with "stability not uncertainty".
Asked if he ruled out governing in a minority government with support of independents, Mr Gunner asserted "no deals".
"I'm planning to win and working as if I'm losing," he said.
"We'll know what happens tomorrow, Monday or Tuesday, you know it could be a close contest but for me it's very clear, in the middle of public health emergency Territorians absolutely need certainty."
NT Labor come into the unprecedented pandemic-era election with 16 of the Territory Legislative Assembly's 25 seats, with five of those seats considered highly marginal.
Charles Darwin University's Professor Rolf Gerritsen has said he expects NT Labor to pick up 12 or 13 seats and if it's the former, believes the incumbents will need to have a "very nice chat" with independent Goyder MLA Kezia Purick.
Mr Gunner and NT Labor swept to power in 2016 with a stunning 18 out of 25 seats, reducing the opposition to just two seats.
Since that time two MLAs defected to the crossbench and one quit, sparking the Johnston by-election which resulted in Labor scrapping through after a massive swing against it.
Adjacent to his role as Chief Minister, Mr Gunner has had a heavy personal four years, including marriage, a heart attack, and becoming a father.
But Mr Gunner said he has "never had more of a pep" in his step and that he had always treated this election as a close contest"
He appealed to Territorians who had not yet cast their vote, which after a historic early voter turnout is a total of 65,688 people, to do so before the close of polls today.
"Your voice matters, your vote matters, make sure you cast it today," he said
"Make sure you have the final decision and who leads you for the next four years.
"I think the choice is clear."
Originally published as 'No deals' even if NT Labor doesn't win majority Gunner says