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Labor's Manuel Brown wins Arnhem Land and Tiwi Islands electorate in landslide

Peter Bodkin (AAP) -

Labor's Manuel Brown secured victory in the Northern Territory seat of Arafura, which covers remote areas like Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands, over the weekend.

Labor declared victory late on Saturday in the by-election for the Northern Territory electorate held after the former local member's unexpected death.

Mr Brown had secured nearly 70 per cent of the two-candidate preferred vote for the territory seat of Arafura by late on Saturday evening, beating the Country Liberal Party's Leslie Tungatalum.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles congratulated Mr Brown on the victory and thanked volunteers and other supporters for their efforts.

"And to Manuel - let's get to work," she said in a Facebook post.

Mr Brown has said improving roads, housing and health outcomes for residents were his biggest priorities.

Both he and rival Mr Tungutalum have roots in the Tiwi Islands, although Mr Brown currently lives in Arnhem Land.

Mr Brown received around two-thirds of first-preference votes, while just under 30 per cent went to the CLP candidate. The remainder went to Federation Party candidate Alan Middleton.

Northern Territory Senator and Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians Malarndirri McCarthy welcomed the win.

"Congratulations to Manuel Brown for his terrific result in the NT Arafura by-election!" she wrote on social media.

"Manuel is passionate about improving infrastructure, housing and health which is so important in this vast bush seat. He's also a strong supporter of the Voice."

The vast electorate, which spans 57,000sq km, includes remote areas with large Indigenous populations like Arnhem Land, Kakadu and the Tiwi Islands.

The NT Electoral Commission's mobile polling team used four-wheel-drive vehicles and helicopters to get to remote towns, communities and outstations across the sparsely populated region.

The by-election follows the sudden death of the sitting Labor member, whose name has not used for cultural reasons, in December.


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