The Northern Territory has had a parliamentary system of government since the granting of representative self-government in 1974 (see 'Sources', below). This makes elections for the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly doubly important; voters are choosing both a representative for their local electoral district, and someone who will support or oppose the current government.
The idea of voting for a representative is straightforward, but running an election for the Legislative Assembly is a complicated process requiring an extensive body of administrative rules. This includes rules about who is eligible to vote and how the votes should be cast and counted. The table below gives a brief summary of the electoral systems used for the Legislative Assembly since 1974, and information on the number of electors on the roll (registered voters), the number of electors in contested seats, the number of voters who cast a ballot, the electoral turnout (the rate of voting in contested seats), and the rate of informal (invalid) voting.
The summary information on this page has been compiled from records in the Australian Politics and Elections Database at the University of Western Australia. The individual records for each general election and period in office in the Northern Territory -- available through this website -- include sources and references.
For information on the government and politics of the Northern Territory, see Dean Jaensch, 'Northern Territory', in Jeremy Moon and Campbell Sharman (editors), Australian Politics and Government: The Commonwealth, the States and the Territories, pp 224-238 (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0521532051).