The Northern Territory and Heffron

There were two elections yesterday in Australia, the Northern Territory election, and the Heffron by-election in New South Wales.

Labor lost in the Northern Territory. I haven’t followed the election closely, so I’m not going to to speculate. However, I was reminded of this passage from the brilliant book by Christine Jackman, ‘Inside Kevin07‘:

But one should never underestimate the Northern Territory when it comes to originality. Out of the blue, Gartrell received an email from the NT’s Labor secretary, George Addison. ‘What if someone writes or paints a political slogan on an animal, say a pig or a cow? The animal is then tethered on private property – though clearly visible to voters entering a booth,’ Addison had written before adding, almost as an afterthought: ‘I would suspect this question is restricted to the NT.’

(Many thanks to Jonathan Williams for helping me locate the passage as my copy of the book has gone missing)

The Heffron by-election was a much better result. It was the seat of former premier Kristina Keneally, in a state where Labor is still well behind in the polls. The Liberals chose not to stand a candidate, presumably for the same reasons they kept out of the Melbourne by-election, almost handing the traditional Labor stronghold to the Greens. However, in this case the strategy totally backfired, with Keneally’s successor, Ron Hoenig, crushing the Greens with a massive 70.6% of the two-party preferred vote. The Liberals and Greens will both have a lot of thinking to do.

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