Michael Gunner said he did not see victory “as a reward, but as a renewal of our responsibilities to Territorians.”
“In backing Labor, you chose the future over the past. You chose stability and certainty. You chose strong and secure borders. You chose jobs, not cuts,” he said in a statement posted on Facebook on Monday evening.
“I know that your support, your faith, comes with a simple instruction to my team: just keep working. And we will.”
Country Liberal Party (CLP) leader Lia Finocchiaro said it was now clear Labor had enough seats for form government.
“I called Michael Gunner a short time ago to congratulate him and the Labor Party on winning the election, and urged him to move immediately to take real action on the economy,” Finocchiaro said in a statement.
“The rhetoric from the Gunner government about ‘saving jobs and savings lives’ needs to stop and tangible action must be taken without delay.”
The most recent figures from the Northern Territory Electoral Commission show Labor ahead in 16 seats, with the Country Liberals leading in six, independents in two and the Territory Alliance in one.
A formal declaration of the poll is not scheduled until September 7, as postal votes are still coming in.
Labor was ahead in Arafura, Arnhem, Barkly, Blain, Casuarina, Drysdale, Fannie Bay, Fong Lim, Johnston, Karama, Gwoja, Namatjira, Nightcliff, Port Darwin, Sanderson and Wanguri.
The CLP appeared on track to win Braitling, Brennan, Daly, Katherine, Nelson and Spillett.
Independents will hold Mulka and Goyder, while the Territory Alliance is set to take Araluen.
Alliance leader Terry Mills was the biggest casualty of election night, losing his seat of Blain.
By Aaron Bunch and Paul Osborne