Labor's Luke Gosling is set to win NT seat of Solomon, locking in historic third term
Labor MP Luke Gosling is projected to retain the Northern Territory electorate of Solomon, becoming the first politician to win the Darwin-based seat three times in a row.
- ABC election Antony Green says Luke Gosling has "safely retained" the Northern Territory seat
- The Country Liberal Party's Tina MacFarlane was seeking to win the seat after two terms with Labor
- The electorate of Solomon includes half of the NT's population
The former commando is forecast to get about 59 per cent of the two-candidate preferred count, a significant increase on his margin in the 2019 election.
Country Liberals candidate Tina MacFarlane is projected to secure about 41 per cent of the vote.
"Solomon has been safely retained by Labor," ABC election analyst Antony Green said.
Mr Gosling told a cheering crowd of supporters at the Nightcliff Social Club that "we are the most incredible place in the nation and we will go from strength to strength, hopefully with federal Labor".
"It's early days, everyone says there is a lot of counting to be done but I'm so proud to be part of Albo's team, I'm so proud of our local Territory team."
The electorate includes half of the NT's population but just 0.01 per cent of its land mass, including Darwin and parts of Palmerston.
Mr Gosling was first elected in 2016 when he defeated the then CLP incumbent Natasha Griggs on a 7.4 per cent margin.
LIVE UPDATES: Get the latest news and results as counting continues in the 2022 electionSpotlight on Solomon this election
Mr Gosling was re-elected in 2019 on a margin of just 3.1 per cent, making Solomon the 12th tightest result in the country.
The prospect of Solomon returning to the Country Liberals in 2022 made it the focus of multiple campaign visits from the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader, as well as other senior members of both major parties over the past six weeks.
If the projection is confirmed, it will be the third time Ms MacFarlane has run an unsuccessful campaign for the Country Liberals, after previous attempts in the NT's other seat of Lingiari in 2013 and 2016.
Ms MacFarlane said she was yet to concede defeat.
“There’s a lot of votes to still come in. I am hopeful we might be able to get there. But we have to wait and see what happens,” she said.
“I’m not devastated or falling apart, it’s how it is, it’s politics, it’s reality.
“The people of Solomon voted, and whatever they decided, I well and truly respect it."
Ms MacFarlane said the results so far reflected the national trend away from the Coalition, as well as the splintering of the conservative vote in Solomon by the Liberal Democrats.
The NT's new Chief Minister Natasha Fyles, who took over from Michael Gunner, described Mr Gosling as the "history-making Member for Solomon".
"It's been a big fortnight in the Territory but no better way than to cap it off with this evening's result," she said.
Labor Senator Malarndirri McCarthy said she was feeling cautiously optimistic about the result in the vast electorate.
"I have much faith that we are well and truly going to hold on to Lingiari," she said in Darwin.Lingiari 'too early' to call
Mr Green said it was still too early to project the outcome in Lingiari because of the sharp contrast between results in remote polling booths, which traditionally favour Labor, and regional hubs like Alice Springs, which usually lean towards the CLP.
Lingiari was previously held by veteran Labor MP Warren Snowdon on a margin of 5.5 per cent.
Mr Snowdon was the local member in Lingiari for the past two decades until his retirement this year.Jacinta Price to be elected to Senate
Former Alice Springs deputy mayor, Jacinta Price, looks set to enter the Senate for the Country Liberal Party.
She will join Labor's Malarndirri McCarthy, who is projected to retain her seat in federal parliament's upper house.
The Northern Territory's two Senate seats, historically, go one each way to the Country Liberal Party and Labor.Election news:
Posted 14h ago14 hours agoSat 21 May 2022 at 11:36am, updated 11h ago11 hours agoSat 21 May 2022 at 2:42pm