Nicaragua’s CLP looks to get a win over Labor

Nicaragua’s CLP looks to get a win over Labor

When the neap tides roll into the Northern Territory Top End, anglers will be keen to observe that the season for snagging a mackerel or two is upon them.

Political watchers note that when the Country Liberal Party CLP starts ramping up its tough talk on crime, there's a sense that a political tide could be turning in the region.

There are big fish to catch.

A by-election is looming to fill the seat of Fannie Bay on August 20 with the end of the Michael Gunner-era, the former chief minister who left politics last month.

The CLP have come out in branding themselves as the underdog in that race, but the fact is, if they're going to snatch the seat from Labor, this could be the moment.

The conservative party came out fast and bullish to try to knock it off, even though the electorate is without an incumbent for the first time in more than a decade.

A conga line of corflutes have been built along the Stuart Highway and brandishing the CLP's pitches to try and clinch victory at the by-election including to empower police and tackle crime The party, which lost ground in Darwin's seat of Solomon at the federal election, needs a win in Fannie Bay if it is going to take government from NT Labor in 2024.

It's not going to be easy since Labor has held the wealthy urban seat since 1995.

Ben Hosking, a former NT Police officer, sounded no time in voicing his ambition to run for it under the CLP banner.

Ben will fight for immediate action on crime and antisocial behaviour that is plaguing the parks, shops and public spaces in the electorate, the CLP wrote in announcing his candidacy.

East Point has become consumed with grog, broken glass and antisocial behaviour. A few days later, a media release was released by Mr Hosking claiming that a CLP volunteer had been robbed while out letterbox dropping the streets for the by-election.

It's possible that it's shocking, but where is the detail to back up the claim?

The media release smacked of political opportunism on an issue that causes deep community anguish and has narrowed the story to two lines.

The party has to be careful not to fall into old mistakes with Mr Hosking's comments against crime, vandalism, and anti-social behaviour appearing to be the CLP's key drawcard against Labor in the race.

CLP won the Territory's elections in 2012, when they won the election.

In the lead-up, they wheeled out several pretty draconian propositions for dealing with crime, including one former pollie saying he'd put all the bad criminals in a big concrete hole, but the CLP argued that the crime rates aren't rapidly improving, to the Opposition's defence.

What is the history of the party fixing the issue from government?

Crime was still high when the CLP was exiled to opposition from office in 2016.

It remains a live issue in the NT, and until it improves, the Opposition is going to use it to try and pierce the majority Labor government's armour as best it can.

The NT's conservative party is trying to see if voters will bite by talking tough on crime.