1987 Northern Territory general election

A general election was held in the Northern Territory, Australia on Saturday 7 March 1987. Although the incumbent Country Liberal Party (CLP) won a majority under new leader Stephen Hatton, the party's vote was down almost 20 percentage points.

1987 Northern Territory general election

 1983 7 March 1987 (1987-03-07) 1990 

All 25 seats of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
13 seats needed for a majority
Turnout71.2 ( 10.4 pp)
  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader Stephen Hatton Terry Smith Ian Tuxworth
Party Country Liberal Labor Nationals
Leader since 14 May 1986 19 August 1986 21 December 1986
Leader's seat Nightcliff Millner Barkly
Last election 19 seats 6 seats Did not exist
Seats won 16 seats 6 seats 1 seat
Seat change 3 0 1
Percentage 39.4% 36.0% 17.1%
Swing 18.8 0.4 17.1%

Chief Minister before election

Stephen Hatton
Country Liberal

Elected Chief Minister

Stephen Hatton
Country Liberal

At the 1987 election, the CLP faced a challenge from the Northern Territory Nationals, a rebel conservative party led by former CLP Chief Minister Ian Tuxworth that was aligned with then-Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, but not affiliated with the federal National Party of Australia. The NT Nationals took 17.79% of the primary vote, mostly from the CLP, but finished with only one member in the assembly. Hatton, despite a loss of three seats, retained a working majority.

Labor's vote remained virtually unchanged. As in 1983, its assembly tally was six.

Two former-CLP independents were re-elected in their seats. Noel Padgham-Purich was re-elected to Koolpinyah, while Denis Collins was re-elected to Sadadeen as an independent. Former Chief Minister Ian Tuxworth was also re-elected as a member of the NT Nationals.

Ian Tuxworth's election to the seat of Barkly was declared void after independent candidate Maggie Hickey challenged the result on the basis that the Labor candidate, Keith Hallet, held British nationality and was not an Australian citizen. Due to the close result (Tuxworth had won by only 19 votes), Justice John Nader voided the election on 30 July 1987, and a by-election was held on 5 September 1987, at which Tuxworth regained the seat.[1]