Wildcard Territory Alliance is flailing on primary votes with leader Terry Mills in third place in his own seat of Blain.
Mr Mills, who has only 275 votes so far, trails Labor candidate Mark Turner on 421 votes and Country Liberal Party (CLP) candidate Matthew Kerle on 384.
The incumbent Labor government, which went into the polls the favourite, must win 13 of its 16 seats if it is to maintain power.
Analysts are predicting Labor will secure at least 12 seats.
But in the knife-edge seat of Braitling CLP candidate Joshua Burgoyne has 417 primary votes, compared to Labor MLA Dale Wakefield on 260 votes.
In the marginal seat of Brennan, Labor’s Tony Sievers is holding off CLP candidate Marie-Clare Boothby by 25 votes at 8pm ASCT.
It’s also close in the Labor-held seat of Katherine where MLA Kate Ganley is 24 votes ahead of CLP candidate Jo Hersey.
And in Port Darwin with MLA Paul Kirby 21 votes ahead of CLP candidate Toby George.
However, its still early days in the hotly contested electorate of Drysdale where less than 400 ballot papers counted so far.
The results are positive for the CLP who won just two seats at the 2016 election and appointed new leader Lia Finocchiaro six months ago.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner is leading the votes count in his seat of Fannie Bay with 963 to 570 primary votes for CLP candidate Tracey Hayeson.
THE RESULTS AT 7.30pm ACST
No results yet
Damien Ryan (CLP) 385
Robyn Lambley (TA) 317
Jackson Ankers (ALP) 204
Jerry Amato (CLP) 37
Selena Uibo (ALP) 26
Steve Edgington (CLP) 142
Sid Vashist (ALP) 100
Mark Turner (ALP) 421
Matthew Kerle (CLP) 384
Terry Mills (TA) 275
Joshua Burgoyne (CLP) 417
Dale Wakefield (ALP) 260
Kim Hopper (Ind) 245
Dale McIver (TA) 136
Chris Tomlins (GRN) 123
Scott McConnell (Ind) 59
Tony Sievers (ALP) 258
Marie-Clare Boothby (CLP) 227
Lauren Moss (ALP) 511
Tony Schelling (CLP) 159
Danial Kelly (TA) 157
Ian Sloan (CLP) 400
Anthony Venes (ALP) 173
No results yet
Michael Gunner (ALP) 119
Tracey Hayes (CLP) 91
Mark Monagham (ALP) 497
Kylie Bonanni (CLP) 344
Jeff Collins (TA) 116
Kezia Purick (Ind) 388
Phil Battye (CLP) 364
Rachael Wright (TA) 187
No results yet
Joel Bowden (ALP) 254
Gary Haslett (CLP) 152
Steven Klose (TA) 108
No results yet
Melanie Usher (TA) 129
Jo Hersey (CLP) 116
Kate Ganley (ALP) 108
Lynne Walker (ALP) 991
Yingiya Mark Guyula (Ind) 959
Bill Yan (CLP) 212
Matt Paterson (TA) 185
Sheralee Taylor (ALP) 181
Gerard Maley (CLP) 310
Beverley Ratahi (Ind) 207
Steve Asher (ALP) 63
No results yet
Paul Kirby (ALP) 433
Toby George (CLP) 412
Gary Strachan (TA) 139
Kate Worden (ALP) 525
Amelia Nuku (TA) 180
Derek Mayger (CLP) 146
Lia Finocchiaro (CLP) 492
Tristan Sloan (ALP) 293
Vanessa Mounsey (TA) 102
Nicole Manison (ALP) 603
Jed Hansen (CLP) 245
Michael Best (TA) 118
HOW ARE THE VOTES BEING COUNTED?
Thousands turned out at the ballot box on Saturday as the territory holds Australia’s first pandemic election.
The counting of votes made at early, remote and election day polling booths started at 6pm.
However, postal votes will be counted from 10am on Sunday due to social distancing requirements at counting centres.
More than half of voters, 53 per cent, had attended voting booths early which was a new record according to the NT Electoral Commission.
At least 65,000 people were due to vote on Saturday.
However, low participation rates meant the Commission expected more than 30,000 to turnout.
WHAT ARE THE SEATS TO WATCH?
Labor holds five marginal seats in the NT: Katherine, Brennan, Port Darwin, Braitling, and Drysdale.
The CLP holds two marginal seats Daly and Namatjira, and Territory Alliance has one, Blain.
However, contests are expected to be on in other seats including Araluen, Fong Lim, Barkly and Gwoja.
HOW MANY SEATS DOES EACH PARTY HOLD?
There are 25 seats in the NT Legislative Assembly. Labor holds a majority with 16 seats, Territory Alliance has three, CLP has two and there are four independents.
Thirteen seats are needed to gain a majority. Labor has announced it will not do any deals with the other parties to form government.
CLP and Territory Alliance have some strong differences, including on energy policies, but have not ruled out forming a Coalition.
WHO WAS THE FAVOURITE TO WIN GOVERNMENT?
Burt the psychic crocodile was reported to have taken a number of swipes at pictures of the candidates before finally tipping Lia Finocchiaro as the next Chief Minister of the Northern Territory.
While the market showed odds in favour of Labor to win the Territory election at $1.35 with Chief Minister Michael Gunner tipped to hold onto his top job, according to bookies.
The Country Liberal Party was the second favourite at $4.00, followed by the Territory Alliance at $8.50.
WHAT ARE THE EXPERTS SAYING?
Charles Darwin University Professor Rolf Gerritsen told the NT News CLP candidate Bill Yan would win the seat of Namatjira and that Labor MP Chansey Paech would win the seat of Gwoja.
However, he said the seats of Araluen and Braitling were too close to predict.
WHERE DO THE PARTIES STAND ON THE BIG ISSUES?
Current figures suggest the NT’s debt is set to reach $8.2 billion this year.
Labor said one-third of the recommendations made in a budget repair plan – with 74 recommendations – were implemented by March this year.
This included a reduction in public service executives by 10 per cent and a salary freeze for executives and politicians.
CLP plans to have contracts terminated for department chief executives who overspent their budgets.
TA promised to review the budget repair roadmap then decide what recommendations to enforce.
All parties say they want to boost private investment.
Labor, which set up the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission in May, said it would act on recommendations from the commission’s full report, which is not due until after the election.
CLP aims to create a taskforce to halve approval times across government and reduce mining taxes.
TA will have the Chief Minister take over the agriculture portfolio and will focus on diversification of pastoral leases.
Labor plans to increase bail compliance checks, review penalties for property crime and expand it’s Back on Track diversion programs. However, no extra funding has been announced.
CLP has pledged changes to the Bail Act which will see mandatory electronic monitoring for those on bail.
TA said it would introduce a new community court and a youth curfew in Alice Springs.
Labor said four more remote communities would have access to its Families as First Teachers program.
CLP will address non-attendance by reintroducing truancy officers and will start a phonics trial.
TA promised $100 million for school infrastructure which would be distributed between schools based on their needs.
The Labor government has signed off on funding to design and upgrade a health clinic and morgue in Gunbalanya, which Mr Gunner announced while campaigning.
CLP will look into the viability of mobile surgeries to visit remote clinics and create a cardiothoracic surgery program at the Royal Darwin Hospital.
TA said it would look into delivering a new Alice Springs Hospital before 2032 and would secure federal funding for a dedicated ice rehab centre in Darwin.
It also plans to legalise and regulate vaping and provide $5 million in seed funding for medicinal cannabis.
All parties say they support the development of treaties with Aboriginal people.
Labor said it would update its Aboriginal Affairs Strategy to include new Closing the Gap targets. CLP plans to set up a community-controlled housing body.
TA promised to establish a Chief Minister’s Aboriginal Reference Group within 100 days of being elected and strengthen the Treaty Commissioner’s office.