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NT on verge of making national history

AAP logoAAP 28/08/2016 Neda Vanovac

The Northern Territory is on the verge of making national history with its new parliament, which will contain a record number of female politicians.

The number of female members of the 25-seat Legislative Assembly has been climbing since 1987, when there was not a single woman elected as a member of parliament, to the most recent parliament, which had 11 female members.

Of the 25-seat Legislative Assembly, Saturday's election has resulted in 19 seats effectively decided for the class of 2016, and 10 of them - or 53 per cent - are held by women.

Of the six seats that are still too close to call, female candidates may yet triumph in three of them, which would give the NT the first majority female parliament of any Australian jurisdiction.

Of the so-far 15-seat Labor government, seven members are female, with possibly another three to join them.

Re-elected Labor MLA Nicole Manison said the high representation shows that Labor is inclusive and "not all talk".

"I thoroughly believe your parliament should be a reflection of your population," she told AAP on Sunday.

"I think we're setting a great example ... it's ultimately going to lead to better decision-making around policy and around the performance of government."

Speaker Kezia Purick has also been re-elected, now independent after winning the last election with the Country Liberals.

Four female MLAs left the former government to become independent, as well as a former chief minister, a former party president, and the Mayor of Katherine, citing a toxic boys' club culture within the CLP.

Ms Purick said higher female representation wouldn't change political debate in substance but it would be a stylistic shift.

"This is what the public saw: boofy boys who just rabbited on and just alienated women and men... it was a style that wasn't in step with contemporary standards," she said of her former colleagues.

"You won't get the tall, robust men yelling across the chamber - I'm not saying women can't yell, they do - but you'll actually get a different style of debate."

The NT Electoral Commission will resume counting votes on Monday.

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