This background note examines the 2012 Northern Territory election, focusing specifically on the two month period preceding polling day, and provides an account and brief analysis of the election outcomes.
The Northern Territory has a unicameral parliament—the Legislative Assembly—elected under the provisions of the Electoral Act (NT) (the Electoral Act). The Northern Territory is divided into 25 divisions for Legislative Assembly elections. There are around 124 000 electors enrolled and average enrolment per electorate is under 5000 which means that a diligent sitting MP is likely to be reasonably well known by his or her constituents.
An electoral redistribution is conducted prior to each election by a process overseen by two independent committees.
Changes to the Electoral Act in 2009 specified a fixed election date, the fourth Saturday in August, every four years. As a result, the 2012 election was scheduled for 25 August 2012; the previous election had been held on 9 August 2008. The Assembly was prorogued on Monday 6 August, with close of rolls on Wednesday 8 August, and nominations finalised on Friday 10 August.
During its 38 years of existence, the NT Assembly has contained proportionally more Indigenous members and more female members than other Australian parliaments. In the most recent Assembly (2008–12) five of the 25 members were Indigenous, three of whom were women.