Legislative Assembly elections | NTEC

Legislative Assembly elections

The Northern Territory is governed by one (unicameral) House of Parliament, the Legislative Assembly. General elections for the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly are held every four years and are conducted by the Northern Territory Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Act 2004 outlines the processes for conducting an election for the Northern Territory Parliament. Changes to the Act in 2009 specified a fixed election date; the fourth Saturday in August every four years.

Voting is compulsory in the Northern Territory at all levels of government. When, where and how to vote are advertised widely during each election period. Mobile voting teams provide access to voting services for people who would otherwise be unable to attend a voting centre because of hospitalisation, being in prison or an aged care facility or living in a remote community.

Photographs of candidates are included on Northern Territory ballot papers, making it easier for many voters to choose their preferred candidates. This is a unique feature within the Australian electoral system, and does not apply in federal elections.


A vacancy may occur due to the resignation or death of a member of the Legislative Assembly.

Under the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978, a by-election must be held if a vacancy occurs less than three years and six months after the first meeting of the assembly following the last preceding general election.

If the number of candidates standing for an election is the same as the number of vacancies, the election is declared uncontested, no voting is required and the candidates are elected unopposed.

More information on Northern Territory Legislative Assembly elections can be found via the following links: