Labor close to claiming second NT seat

Long-serving Labor MP Warren Snowdon looks to have held his Northern Territory seat.
Long-serving Labor MP Warren Snowdon looks to have held his Northern Territory seat.

Labor's Warren Snowdon looks to have won his Northern Territory seat again but said he was feeling "really sad" in the federal election's wake.

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.

Mr Snowdon has not declared victory yet, with voting from remote polling booths along with pre-poll and postal votes still to be counted.

Mr Snowdon's margin has been cut to 2.5 per cent after a 5.7 per cent swing to high-profile Country Liberal opponent Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, a Warlpiri/Celtic woman and Alice Springs town councillor.

Darwin-based Solomon Labor MP Luke Gosling declared victory on Saturday night in the NT's other electorate over the CLP's Kathy Ganley, earning a second term.

NT 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 promises for the NT, 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.

Mr Snowdon said he was confident he would hold on, based on Labor support in indigenous communities, but said he was very disappointed in Labor's loss nationally and the swing against him citing 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."

Ms Price, who has been controversial in her views on Aboriginal Australia's issues with domestic violence and child protection, says she believes she still has a chance.

""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.

Australian Associated Press