Labor’s Warren Snowdon said he was feeling “really sad” in the wake of the Australian federal election following a 5.7 percent swing to his Country Liberal opponent Jacinta Nampijinpa Price.
One of Australia’s longest-serving MPs, the 69-year-old former Rudd minister was first elected in 1987 and served until 1996. He was elected again 1998 and has served ever since.
While Labor looks to have held the Northern Territory’s two seats, Snowdon has not declared victory yet, with voting from remote polling booths along with pre-poll and postal votes still to be counted.
Snowdon’s margin has been cut to 2.5 per cent after the swing in favour of Price, who is a high-profile Warlpiri/Celtic woman and Alice Springs town councillor.
.@JNampijinpa: Lingiari is 1.3 million square kilometres. I’ve been out and about for the last 12 months getting to as many communities as I possibly can get to. The important thing is people out here are being heard.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) April 17, 2019
Darwin-based Solomon Labor MP Luke Gosling declared victory on Saturday night in the Northern Territory’s other electorate over the CLP’s Kathy Ganley, earning a second term.
The Territory’s Gunner Labor Government insiders had been worried voters would punish the two federal Labor MPs in a protest vote over the chronically indebted Territory budget.
Federal Labor had made more concrete spending promises for the Northern Territory, such as $1.1 billion for remote housing compared to the Morrison government’s $550 million, $300 million towards a ship lift, and quicker funding for Kakadu National Park than the Coalition.
Snowdon said he was confident he would hold on, but said he was very disappointed in Labor’s loss nationally and the swing against him. He cited a negative CLP campaign with no policies.
He said he thought hostility towards the Gunner government that the CLP campaigned on may have had an impact in some areas but that was difficult to discern.
“This is a dreadful result, the Morrison Government’s Kakadu commitment to roads might be put off to the ‘never never,’ the plan for northern Australia we had was immediate, not put off and would’ve made a significant difference to the NT bottom line,” he told AAP.
“It would have stimulated investment job opportunities and small business but won’t happen now.”
Price, who has been rocking the status quo with in her views on Aboriginal Australia’s issues with domestic violence and child protection, says she believes she still has a chance.
Proudly combating homelessness and disadvantage for Indigenous Territorians! https://t.co/ETEwIurf6E
— Jacinta Nampijinpa (@JNampijinpa) May 10, 2019
“I think some of the biggest issues for me is that people want jobs, people want stability, people want to stand on their own two feet,” she told the NT News.
She also flagged that she would be making a formal complaint, alleging that Labor staffers had been acting undemocratically by driving Aboriginal voters to booths to vote for them.
The two Territory senators will include the re-elected Malarndirri McCarthy of Labor and CLP’s Sam McMahon replacing the retiring Nigel Scullion.
By Greg Roberts. Editing by Epoch Times Staff.